During college, I studied abroad a couple semesters, and I tried to buy a few pieces of local art whenever I traveled around. In Istanbul, Turkey, I purchased two ink drawings of whirling dervishes. One of them was a fairly standard size and was easy to frame, but I couldn't find any ready made frames to fit the other drawing. I didn't want to spend $50+ on a custom frame, so I jotted down the dimensions and stayed on the lookout for a suitable frame.
After a few months of looking, I found this frame for sale in our local thrift store. For only $2.99! And it was the perfect size for the dervish drawing!
The print was definitely not my style, but the frame was sturdy and the glass was not broken or chipped, so it was perfect for this project.
After taking out the old mat and frame and washing the glass, I painted the faux bamboo frame with an antique gold paint I already had.
Then, I had a custom black mat cut for my ink drawing. A custom mat is fairly inexpensive; it's the custom frame and glass that will really get pricey.
Here's the finished product:
And the before and after again:
Ah, much better! I think the whole project cost me $10 - 15. Not bad for a custom piece of art! I got to stand in the Grand Bazaar, a giant covered market in Istanbul, and watch while the artist drew these little whirling dervishes, and now I get to enjoy them every day!