Hanging Prints on a Budget

You might have noticed that over the past few months I've been shooting a series of portraits of everyone who works at the Red Horse Cafe. It's a nice little coffee and treat lounge on the ground floor of my building in Park Slope. This all started when I was jazzed to shoot one night and so took a portrait of a guy named Derek who was on his break. This led to another and then another, and in the end I shot all 12 of them plus group portraits of the whole clan.

Well they've asked me to show the series on their walls next month, which I'm more than happy to do. I've printed a set of 13x19 prints on Red River Polar Satin paper (super stuff in my opinion) which came out great, but I was having a hard time coming up with a good way to display them. I can afford to spend $40 a pop on decent frames to hang in a cafe for a month. That's $500, and that ain't gonna happen. I also didn't want to permanently spray mount them to foam core either, as ink and paper aren't cheap when you're printing large dark images.

So I came up with a scheme last night, went and bought supplies today, and it actually worked, so I thought I'd share in case anyone else had a similar problem.

Materials: Black foamcore, 1" wide black masking tape, large clear picture corners, 3M removable double-sided tape, and no.4 bulldog clips.

Step one: Cut the foamcore to size. I bought 32x40" sheets, so I cut them in half to 32x20". And then into 2 14x20" sheets with a 4" slice left over. This gives me a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the print.

Step two: Cut strips of the masking tape and tape along the edges of the foamcore to give them a nice clean edge that won't split apart from minor wear and tear. I left about 1/2" in the front and wrapped the rest over the edge and onto the back of the sheet.

Step three: Use the double-sided tape to fix the centered print in the middle along the top edge and in the center of the print. This double sided tape goes on the back of the print, of course. This should keep the print from sliding out of the picture corners.

Step four: Attach picture corners to all for corners of the print. So in the end the print is sticking to the board on the four corners and in the top and center with the tape on the back.

Step five: This part was my sister's slick idea, how to hang... Take a big bulldog clip to the top of the board and hang by the whole on the clip. It's a little funky and a little industrial, I think it looks cool. You may disagree. All told, I think it comes to about $3 a print. Perfect, and looks good. They're going up at the end of the week so we'll see how they look on the wall soon enough. Thoughts welcome.