Last-minute picture framing Christmas gift ideas for the whole family

Stuck on what to get your Nanna for Christmas? Or is your Dad a hard one to buy for? Never fear, I, Scott Dawson, am here to save you from last-minute Christmas present shopping hysteria.

Here are my top picks for your Mum, Dad, Nanna, husband and best friend.


Mums love just about anything in a picture frame. School art and drawings, but they especially love family portraits.

Christmas gift idea: Get together a series of family portraits from over the years and have them framed to make a cluster of pictures for a wall. 


Anything sports memorabilia related. Enough said.

Christmas Gift idea: We have plenty of memorabilia ideas at the Gold Coast shop, but if you are serious about framing his beloved items, bring them in and let’s create a one-of-a-kind idea that will know his socks off!


What don’t Nannas love? Anything from their beloved grandchildren will be a welcome gift and token of appreciation.

Christmas Gift idea: Nannas also like family portraits, but love framed pictures of their grandchildren even more. So find the best pic of you and your brothers and sisters and get it framed.

Best friend

Best friends are easy to frame for. Picture this …

Christmas gift idea: The pair you on your wedding day or hers, or out on the town, or a relaxed weekend barbecue. She will love you for reminding her of all the great memories who two have shared together.

 There you have it folks, picture framing Christmas gift ideas made simple and easy.


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Attention picture framing customers: All I want for Christmas is…

Compliments Picture Framing matt board Gold Coast

We’ve cut hundreds of matt boards for Christmas stock.

Some time off after making a squillion picture frames from my Gold Coast showroom this year. Or what feels like it!

Anyway, it won’t be long because there are only 48 days until Christmas!


I know – that statement just sent you into a mad spin because there is a plethora of jobs that need to be done before then running around in your head, hey?

One minute you’re hanging out with October and the next we are almost half way through November suddenly realising that Christmas is really only just around the corner.

So I’m putting the word out early to get in early.

It’s time to start your to-do list folks and at the top of that list – which you should be writing right now – is calling us if you want to have free reign over the framing options for your Santa sack.

At this time of year we get really busy and we run out of all the cool stuff. I Facebooked it the other day that we are on a roll building 1200 picture frames to get done by the end of November, punching out 150 a day (when we are at our peak performance).

And, yes, I did hear you say – “well, why don’t you just order some more materials, Scotty?”. That would be the logical thing to do, but the suppliers all shut up shop for the festive season.

I don’t want you to miss out on getting the maximum choice of picture framing materials on the Gold Coast this Christmas – so get in now to avoid disappointment.

Now is the time to get organised because we all know how crazy things get as the silly season approaches.

We have plenty of stock arriving for the Christmas rush and the early birds will get the worm!

Scott Dawson is the director and master framer, Compliments Picture Framing, Gold Coast. Read more about him here:

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6 reasons you should get your pics off Facebook and into a picture frame


Would you ever frame this? Of course not, so why leave your precious pictures on Facebook when you could frame them and show them off?!

Picture framing: Want to know why you should get off online and get on offline when it comes to framing your pictures and artwork?

Then read on.

Social media is everywhere. It’s revolutionised the way we think, our communication, how we do business and also take photos – just look at Instagram and the filters you have at your fingertips.

We all have hundreds of pictures on our Facebook profile and other social media platforms. But do you ever look at them? Do you ever print them off and display them proudly in a picture frame around your home or office?

If you answered “no” to either of these questions, then you are in need of a framing intervention, my friend!

We have a simple rule: If you love it, frame it.

Easy. So it’s time to go offline and display your favourite pictures on a real wall and not just on Facebook’s wall.

Not only will it make you feel happy because you’ll constantly be reminded of the many good times you’ve had with friends and family, but it will also help to make your house a home.



Well, here are my top 6 reasons why you shouldn’t leave your beloved pictures on your phone, tablet or laptop computer; but get them printed and framed!

  1. They are no use to you on Facebook. Download them, print them and frame them. How are else will you get to see your beautiful pictures every day?
  2. If you lose your phone, you lose your pics unless you have them backed up. In a picture frame your photos and artwork will be protected, and double protected with UV glass. You want to treasure these keepsakes forever.
  3. They are of no real value to you on your computer. If you’re framing an artwork the frame will add value to it.  People are moving away from canvas now and getting back into traditional picture frames.
  4. A picture frame will add to the image, making it even better. But make sure you see a professional framer because a frame can also detract from a picture and we don’t want that.
  5. More on that…Find the right picture framer. An experienced and expert framer will help you make the decisions that go hand in hand with properly framing your picture or artwork. Can your framer help you if they are on Facebook? No!
  6. Give your picture the frame it deserves. Don’t leave it cooped up in cyberspace. Your wedding photo and family portrait deserve better! So frame them.

Are you one of these people who hides their pictures away on Facebook?

Scott Dawson is the director and master framer, Compliments Picture Framing, Gold Coast. Read more about him here:

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Wedding picture frame ideas – even the dress can be framed!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – frames are the most versatile accessory you can have in your home, especially when it comes to your wedding pictures! Maybe we’ve never said – but we will from now on and it’s true. Take a look at these picture frame ideas when it comes to your wedding pictures, dress and invitations. I’m sure you will be suitably impressed by what is achievable.

It’s our mission to keep pushing the boundaries when it comes picture framing, so we are always on the hunt for new ideas. It’s all part of the wow factor we give our customers. We discovered these while researching (that is, surfing the net!). Take a look.

– Scott Dawson, Director of Compliments Picture Framing on the Gold Coast.







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How to frame an oil painting – everything you need to know


Did you know: An oil painting doesn’t need the glass in front of it like other paintings or artworks do?

Let us tell you why: Oil never completely dries and putting it under glass can lead to moisture and temperature control issues, which can cause mould or cracks in the painting. Air really needs to circulate over the it.

But if you do want a nice sheen to the picture, you can simply varnish it before it’s framed.

Scott Dawson, the director of Compliments Picture Framing, knows a thing or two about picture framing. After all, he’s been picture framing on the Gold Coast for 18 years.

He’s also framed his fair share of oil paintings.

Depending on what the oil painting has been painted on – you can use canvas that’s already been stretched, others use unstretched canvas and some don’t use canvas at all, preferring a piece of thin wood or thick cardboard.

So, if you’ve used one of the latter materials to paint on, you’re going to need to finish it with a frame, so you can hang it on the wall and showcase it to your friends and family – like all professional artists.

Choosing the picture frame

This can be a lot harder than you think. They are so many frames to choose from. That’s why enlisting the help of a professional framer is your best option. They will take care of anything and know exactly how to frame an oil painting properly so it gives you years of viewing pleasure.

Framing your artwork

Depending on how you bring your painting to us will determine how we frame it so it isn’t damaged. We may need to professionally stretch your painting first before it is framed, or if it has already been stretched then we can simply frame it for you.

It is really important that only a professional picture framer stretches your canvas. If it’s done incorrectly it could lead to chips and cracks in the paint.

Either way, we’ll get right down to framing your picture so it is completely finished and looking its best.

We can even give you some tips on how to hang it.

Got a picture framing woe? Let us know. Visit for more information or email

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Have you been framed? Picture framed that is!

Have you ever stopped to think about how a picture frame came to be? No? That’s OK, we are probably the only #framingaficionados around here! Well, Compliments Picture Framing director Scott Dawson reckons it’s high time we shared the history of picture frames with you.

Back in the day – we are talking about 2000BC – yes, you read that correctly – picture frames were simply breathtaking, ornate and extremely detailed, unlike the mass produced frames we see in many shops everywhere today.

It was a true craft and varied from country to country and culture to culture. Only true craftsmen were picture framers and they used all sorts of techniques, ones you wouldn’t even dream of! Most times, people look at the artwork inside the frame – but it is the frame that completes it and makes it stand out. Imagine the Mona Lisa without a frame. We shudder the thought!

So come along with me and step back into picture framing history.

Very first picture frame

The first ever picture frame, or what looks to be a portrait in a wooden picture frame, was found in an Egyptian tomb dating back to 2000BC, according Wikipedia. Frames were also made of silver and ivory for small mirrors and other precious artefacts.

12th and 13th centuries

But it was in the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe that the first carved wooden frames as we know them today appeared on small paintings. They were carved from one piece of timber. The Louvre in Paris has ornate frames on display from about the 15th century.

Of course, over time the framers found that carving one frame one piece of wood was way too costly and time consuming, so they started making them differently by using moulded strips that were attached to a wooden panel.

14th and 15th centuries

In the 14th and 15th centuries, “most European frames were church-commissioned and largely unmovable as they were altarpieces and a large part of the church’s architecture” according to Wikipedia.

But it was the Renaissance of 14th and 15th century Italy that gave rise to the framing of art as wealthy nobles started to have framed art hung in their estates – and it was moveable. The frames used colouring and gilding, and had amazing fine details like angels and faces.  In France, business was booming and this really was the true era of frames as they came into their own as a necessity for all art pieces. Picture frames were popular as was interior design and decorating.

The English Renaissance frames were different; they were broad and flat, still with carved details, but more like flowers.

16th century

The 16th century in France only strengthened the picture framing craft and craftsmen started to experiment with different methods and techniques. They became more and more flamboyant, elaborate and extravagant and all of Europe was getting in on the action, including the Spain, Russia and Serbia. This resulted in the making of many different styles and types of picture frames in the past 500 years.

17th century

By the century, the French had started to use tortoiseshell and brass frames, but heavy wood frames were still the centre of attention.

18th century

Picture framing as people knew it took a dainty twist in the 18th century with lighter and finer designs during the French Rococo period. But the Chinese weighed in too having a heavy influence on the craft and using bamboo to make picture frames.

19th century

The 19th century was full of framing revolution from steam-pressed timber frames to more elaborate twists and patterns to painting on the frame. It was the Victorian period, which meant more and more walls needing more and more decoration and more and more frames. By the end of the century someone had invented a colour printer and offered a cheaper option to have “art” on the walls without it being proper painted art. So followed en masse of simple flat or bevelled polished timber frames. A lot of them had a simple gilded edge. These frames can still be found in antique shops, eBay and garage sales today.

20th century

Frames were affordable and made from just about any material you could think of, you don’t even need glass with Perspex available too. Canvases became popular and framing became cheaper. If you want to know what I think of that, check out this post:

Good quality picture framing isn’t as popular as it was all those centuries ago because frames are so easily available from many different avenues, including the internet. But Compliments Picture Framing on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, believes people still want quality items and big, handmade, ornate frames are very much in demand.

Find out more about what we do and how Compliments Picture Framing on the Gold Coast is changing the picture framing world one rectangle at a time here at

ned kelly

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Picture framing ideas and inspiration

We haven’t put an ideas and inspiration blog together for a while, so we thought: Why not?! The Compliments Picture Framing team could spend all day surfing the net for some amazing picture frame ideas. 

Here are just a few that have inspired us and we hope they will do the same for you!


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