Since I mostly stitch smalls, framing isn't much of an issue. But occasionally I stitch a larger piece that is more suited to framing, and then the fun starts. Professional framing is, for me, just too expensive. Next option, buy a ready made frame and put it together myself. As every stitcher knows, you're lucky if the piece you want to frame is a standard size. Most designs are odd sizes and ready made frames are not to be had, or are expensive if you do find them. (I recently found a 7 x 7 frame that was perfect, but it was nearly $50. No thank you.) I know all this, but I start the search anyway for something that will work. And search. And search. Search. Have a cookie. Search some more. Give up.
I finally decided to just make the frames myself. I say "make" but what I really mean is start with an unfinished wood frame and go from there. I discovered to my great joy that A.C. Moore has a very nice selection of unfinished wood frames in odd sizes. I also discovered an online source for custom-sized unfinished wood frames, but since I have not ordered from them yet I don't want to endorse them here. Suffice it to say, wood frames in any size are readily available online (if you don't have an A.C. Moore). At Hobby Lobby I found a bunch of different wood appliques to dress up my plain wood frames. Bought a little bottle of paint and a few other supplies, and I was off and running on my first "from scratch" framing project.
I did experiment with a staining medium (added to acrylic paint to turn it into a stain) and it looked fine, but I decided I wanted a rich, dark color so I just went with plain paint. Here are my supplies... less than $25.
Here's the original. As you can see in the final picture, I took my usual liberties with the design, but I did love the color of the frame and wanted to duplicate it as best I could. The design is He is Risen by Little House Needleworks, found in the March/April 2010 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine.
And here's my "from scratch" frame and my version of the design. The paint color is Black Plum.
I'm really happy with how it turned out. Now that I know what I'm doing, and where to get my supplies, I will be unstoppable. Until it's time to do housework.