Framing Diplomas and Certificates: Which Method Is Best?

Graduation season is on the way. While you may not get your diploma the same day that you walk across that stage, it’s important to consider how and where you will display this symbol of your significant accomplishment.

In order to best protect and present your diploma or certificate, you will most likely opt for a high quality frame. When you want to go above and beyond simply picking up a frame at the local department store, follow these steps for preserving your valuable documents.

1,Protecting the Document

The most important thing is a frame that will protect the documents, not only from tears and marks, but from sun and the frame itself. The best way to do this is to choose museum-quality framing. The materials will be lignin-free, and not become acidic with time. Think of how an old newspaper looks – yellow and brittle. That’s the last thing you want happening to your diploma or certificate.

As for the glass, you want something that will protect your document from the sun’s rays, which can cause fading. High quality glass will keep out the UV rays, and you can even opt for reflection control for a nice- looking display.

2,Selecting the Matting

This is really about personal preference, and what will look best with your particular document. You might prefer a single mat, or a little more complexity with an inner and outer mat. The idea is not to distract from the document itself, so something plain and classic will probably look best.

Black, silver, gold and gray are easy and safe choices. However, you may want to incorporate your school colors somehow. Allow yourself time to figure out which color will look best closer to the document (if you go with a double mat). Further, consider muted tones of a color like orange or yellow to keep a sophisticated feel.

One other thing is the size of the matting. A rule of thumb is to make the mat width 15 to 20 percent of the document’s smallest dimension. The point is to be small enough to not overtake the document, but large enough to give the document some weight.

3,Selecting the Frame Itself

Some diplomas and certificates have ornate elements; others are very simple. Choose a frame that complements the document without overshadowing it.

Then it can become a matter of taste. Do you want something simple and modern looking, or a carved wood frame with some intricate detail? Of course, think about where the document will hang in your home and what will look best in your chosen spot.

4,Putting the Document in the Frame

It might sound like a simple thing — putting a document in a frame — but it’s actually somewhat delicate. Before touching the frame or document, make certain your hands are clean and dry.

First, ensure the diploma or certificate is flat. If it has been rolled up in a tube, take it out and place it between two clean, white towels. Place books atop that. Be careful not to put weight on any raised seal, as that could flatten the impression.

Put another clean towel on a flat work surface, and place the frame upside-down on top of it. Remove the backing and place your diploma or certificate appropriately within the frame and matting. Re-secure the backing, making sure it’s in place before putting the frame upright.

Once the document is safely in the frame, hang or display it in a visible spot. After the work of framing it (not to mention earning it) you deserve for it to be seen by all!

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