A simple and basic display frame for a Steampunk gun

I've been continuing to work on display options for the modded and Steampunk weapons and when I took part in a small gallery show, I had to figure out wall options for some of the guns. I wanted to stay with simple, yet functional options and decided to keep them as neutral as possible while having the overall unit work as a whole. (as a custom framer, my design philosophy has always been that the whole piece should be greater than the sum of it's parts. Many artists fear interesting framing options will “distract” from the art but done right, the frames should enhance the work.) I also wanted to keep the prices down, have them be secure and make it easy to get the guns in and out of them.


This is one of the most basic solutions. I started with a plain, vintage frame and cut a piece of Masonite to fit inside. The board was then covered with an off-white textured wallpaper. (you can paint this paper to look like pressed tin) I went with the board and paper because they would both be solid and stable and the wallpaper is made to be exposed to air, unlike framing mat-board, which will ripple and warp if not kept under glass. It's also easier to keep clean than a fabric cover. The backing board could have also just been painted, but I wanted the added interest and Victorian feel that came from the texture.


To mount the gun, a pair of antique brass curtain loops were screwed into the backing board and that was it! The gun slides into the rings and rests very securely but is just lifted out when it's needed for an event. In this case, it was pretty enough that the whole thing was bought as a decor piece, but maybe having the gun on hand will inspire a costume down the road.

Vivian Hutcheson