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Preserving History: How to Protect and Frame Memorabilia and Antiques for Display

Memorabilia and antiques are more than just collectible items; they represent a window into times gone by, telling stories and preserving history through their unique existence. Harnessing the power of custom framing, these items can be transformed into showcased treasures that will delight both you and your guests as part of your home décor. At our Newtown-based picture framing service, we take pride in skilfully framing customers’ most cherished, and often delicate, historic memorabilia. In this blog post, we will share our expertise by outlining the essential considerations and tips involved in preserving, protecting, and thoughtfully presenting your valued antiques and memorabilia.

To begin, we will delve into the importance of using conservation-grade materials and techniques in the framing process. You will learn how archival-quality mats, UV-filtering glass, and acid-free backing materials are vital in maintaining the integrity and value of your pieces, protecting them from discolouration or damage over time.

Understanding the best methods to beautifully present and protect your valued antiques and memorabilia is essential in preserving their stories for future generations. Stay tuned as we delve into the world of custom framing for your most treasured pieces, backed by years of experience and a dedication to quality at our Newtown picture framing shop.

The Importance of Conservation-Grade Materials and Techniques

When framing delicate memorabilia and antiques, selecting the right materials is paramount in ensuring their longevity. Here are some elements to consider:

1. Acid-Free Matting: Standard matting can release chemicals that cause discolouration or deterioration over time. Opt for acid-free, archival-quality mats to prevent such issues and preserve the natural state of your item.

2. UV-Filtering Glass or Acrylic: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading or damage to your memorabilia. Choose UV-filtering glass or acrylic glazing to protect your items from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

3. Conservation-Grade Backing: Like matting, using acid-free backing materials prevents discolouration or damage to your memorabilia, making it vital for preservation purposes.

4. Reversible Mounting: Whenever possible, choose reversible mounting techniques that keep the integrity of your items intact, ensuring they can be removed from the frame without damage, if necessary.

Framing Methods and Techniques for Various Antiques and Memorabilia

Different types of memorabilia and antiques may require distinct framing methods to highlight their unique characteristics and safeguard them from damage. Here are several framing techniques to consider based on the nature of your item:

1. Shadow Box Framing: Ideal for three-dimensional objects, shadow box frames provide depth and storage space to accommodate items such as medals, vintage toys, or antique tools. Utilising a deep, box-like frame, these displays showcase your objects in a visually striking manner.

2. Multi-Object Displays: To create a harmonious arrangement of multiple, related items, consider using a large frame with several custom-cut mat openings. This technique is perfect for displaying a collection of small memorabilia such as stamps, coins or antique postcards.

3. Irregular Shapes and Dimensions: Custom framing provides flexibility for showcasing items with unique shapes, such as antique fans, maps or textiles. In these instances, a custom-cut mat or moulding can be crafted to precisely accommodate the contours of your memorabilia, offering a tailored and polished presentation.

Securing Your Items Safely

Ensuring your treasured items are secure within the frame is a top priority. Avoid using adhesives, tape or other materials that could leave residue or damage the memorabilia’s surface. Instead, consider these mounting techniques:

1. Museum-Quality Hinging: Using acid-free Japanese paper and reversible adhesive, this method allows you to hinge items such as photographs or documents within the mat window without damaging the surface.

2. Mounting Strips: For artwork on paper, mounting strips provide a non-invasive method of securing the work within the frame. They grip the edges of the art and keep it in place without the need for adhesive or puncturing the paper.

3. Spacers: Ideal for showcasing three-dimensional objects in shadow box frames, spacers can be used to keep your memorabilia at a distance from the glass or acrylic, preventing contact and any potential damage.

Environmental Protection and Frame Sealing

Proper frame sealing and protection from environmental factors is essential to the preservation of your memorabilia and antiques. Consider the following recommendations:

1. Humidity: Maintain stable humidity levels in your display environment, as fluctuating levels can encourage mould growth or material degradation.

2. Temperature: Keep temperatures stable and avoid exposing your framed items to extremes of heat or cold, which can lead to the expansion and contraction of materials, potentially damaging your memorabilia.

3. Lighting: Along with UV-filtering glass or acrylic, ensure your display area receives low to moderate levels of natural or artificial light to prevent fading, discolouration or damage to your memorabilia or antique items.

Creative Presentation Ideas

To make a bold statement with your framed memorabilia or antiques, consider these unique display options:

1. Gallery Walls: Arrange multiple framed items on a single wall, creating a visually dynamic exhibition that tells the story of your collection.

2. Themed Rooms: Designate a specific area or room of your home to display your collection, a celebration of your passion for a certain era, theme, or subject matter.

3. Focal Points: Create a focal point in your living space by hanging an impressive framed item, such as an antique map or flag, in a central location.


Framing your cherished memorabilia and antiques requires careful attention to detail, high-quality materials, and skilled craftsmanship. With our expertise and guidance at Newtown’s trusted picture framing shop, you can be confident that your valued items will be preserved and showcased in a manner that brings delight for decades to come. Trust our craftsmanship, experience and dedication to helping you achieve your dream framed piece, and let your cherished memories and valuable antiques shine as they truly deserve. When it comes to framing in Newtown, Picture Framing has you covered.