Custom Framing a Vacation Souvenir

Ceramic tile I bought in Bruges, Belgium

Years ago, my husband, kids and I traveled to Europe. Since we were traveling “light” I only bought small souvenirs from each place we visited. This one is one of my favorites. It’s a handmade ceramic tile depicting a street, where we happened to stay, in the city of Bruges in Belgium.

Once back home, I looked for a ready-made frame to showcase the tile, but I simply couldn’t find the right one. I stopped by a custom framing shop to get some advice and the owner (James) was so helpful that I ended up having my tile custom framed. To get started, I shared the following information with him to make sure he would recommend frames and colors that would meet my needs.

  • I wanted a large frame to give the small delicate tile more presence on the wall
  • I didn’t want glass covering the tile
  • I was looking for frames that were timeless as opposed to trendy
  • The framed tile would hang in my office on a black feature wall
  • And of course I shared what my budget was

With this information in mind, James showed me several looks, and recessing the tile in a shadow box turned out to be the look that I liked the most as it truly enhanced the beauty of the tile. We picked the colors for the layered frames based on themes found in the painted tile. When I saw the final look, I couldn’t believe how the tile had completely been transformed from a simple souvenir into a real piece artwork.

Custom framing art

How I hung it:

  • I taped the information of the boutique and artist on the back of the frame as a reminder of our stay in Bruges
  • I placed very thin rubber bumpers on the bottom corners to keep the frame straight on the wall and to prevent it from scratching the wall
  • I used one of our Déco Nails to hang it — the wire fits nicely in the groove of the nail and keeps it secured to the wall
  • Note that because the tile is recessed the shadow box pops away from the wall, so I hung the frame on a wall where it can be enjoyed when looking at it straight on rather than from the wall

In the end, custom framing ended up costing more than buying a ready-made frame, but considering all the great memories attached to this vacation souvenir it was well worth the expense.  I love the fact that I have a very unique, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.

Do you have any vacation souvenirs or photos that you had professionally framed?

Liette Tousignant

I’m passionate about picture hanging and decorating (and I’m also the Founder of Under The Roof Decorating).


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