An absolute must for people like you and me, who love to make our homes sparkle, is artwork and pictures.

BeFunky_Framing1.jpgIf you’ve ever priced a professional matting and frame job, you know it’s expensive, even with the um… 50% off that some big box craft stores offer.

I have tried many times to cut my own matte, once with scissors and once with an exacto knife. It was a mess.

“I would definitely leave it more for the professional to do matte cutting,” said Jack Pilant.

Pilant is and artist who also works at a shop called You Design Restoration and Art Gallery.

I have to admit, before our interview, I thought paying for a pro was a rip off. Then, I saw the machine used.

“This bar will actually raise. You actually slide the mattes through here,” said Pilant. “You have your dimensions and your windows and everything measured out.”

I interviewed Jack in the back of the shop where they cut the mattes and custom frames.

Once he started talking numbers and dimensions, he lost me. I still couldn’t tell you how it works… all the proof I needed that it’s not for me to try on my own. Plus, like everything else in life, it has quirks.

“You have to understand it and get to know it and it’s practice as well.”

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Here’s another reason to leave it to the pros. “We have over 1,500 samples.”

I could probably pick the color, but then there are textures to consider. I wouldn’t know where to begin. It’s an artform in itself and the artists handle questions (and I’m sure difficult customers) every day.

“The picture will really tell you what frame they really need.”

And they love the challenge. AUDIO: Click HERE to listen to Jack talk about what he throws away to make one-of-a-kind artwork.

“Everything changes, so it’s never the same. It’s pretty awesome because it’s never dull here. There’s always something going on. There’s always something new.”

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There are also options on the glass. Museum quality will cost a lot more and take special care, but it’s incredibly clear. Plus, it protects your valuable piece from sun damage that leads to the color fading.

I have the American flag my cousin flew in a fighter jet over Iraq in a shadow box with high quality glass so the material will look the same decades from now.

Oh, one quick note. If you’re giving a framed piece as a gift, pick a restaurant and have the staff hang it on the wall before dinner. Someone did that for me once and I loved it.

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If you are dedicated to figuring this out, it’ll cost you several hundred bucks, but you can buy your own. Click on this to learn more.

Here’s a step-by-step on how to do it yourself if you feel brave. Kisses.

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