For a while now I have been wanting to find a way to show off my comic book collection in my office. I had done a lot of searching online for comic book picture frames and have been constantly turned off by the price of them. I have always been turned off by the price of photo frames, but that is a rant for another blog post.
I recently found a safe alternative to expensive comic book photo frames thanks to $1.99 photo frame from Ikea and I want to share my solution with you.
Comic Book Safety
Before I started searching for comic book photo frames I did some research regarding how safe it is to present your comic books out in the open. I was personally worried about UV fading as a result of having the a comic books exposed to light.
I found the answer to my concerns over at the website Frame It Again Sam.
There is a myth about UV protection implying that mysterious UV rays exist in all light and need to be filtered out. The truth is that there is no UV light inside your house unless you have fluorescent bulbs without a UV shield. And that should be a worry for you, not your comics. Remember that UV causes sun burns and skin cancer, and you are protected from UV rays in your home and so are your comics.
That being said, Mylar-D Bags have substantial UV-Protection built-in. The reason I use Mylar bags with the frames, however is not so much for their UV protection, but for their preservation qualities, incredible clarity and their longevity.
UV Rays are line-of-sight from the sun (direct sunlight). Not just any light as seems to be the myth. It has to be a straight line from the sun to your comics to have any UV rays in it. Even with UV protection you should still avoid putting your comics in the path of direct sunlight because infrared, another component of direct sunlight, is harmful to the inks in comics. Humidity, changes in temperature and exposure to fresh oxygen are the dangers you should worry about for your collection. Avoid hanging near doors and windows and under bright lights or rooms. And keep comics out of the path of DIRECT sunlight with or without UV protection!
Comic Book Frames
With my worries about my comic books fading gone I proceeded to search for comic book frames to present my comics in.
A simple google search will result in a lot of options for comic book collectors. A lot of the comic book frames I found that I liked where custom build-to-order. These frames where built with care. I was turned off by the price of these frames from the get go. They would be an option for me if I only had a comic book or two I wanted to hang up. The reality is that I have several comic books I want to hang up. I want to be able to pick out my comics that look great and hang them in my office. That means hanging more than two comic books up.
During a trip to Ikea in Portland I found they where selling $1.99 black photo frames that would be perfect for displaying my comics in. I bought several of these frames and brought them back with me to Alaska.
To complete this project I also need to purchase a few other materials. Black Cardstock Paper and picture hooks. Below is a list of all the materials I had to pick up to display my comic books.
- $1.99 Ikea NYTTJA Photo Frame
- $4.99 Black Cardstock Paper 8 1/2 X 11
- $.89 Picture Hooks
- Comic Book Bags
- A Comic Book
Steps For Displaying Comics Using An IKEA Photo Frame
Step 1. Flipping the photo frame over lift the 6 black metal tabs so you can remove the back from the Ikea Photo Frame.
Step 2. Gently push out the hanger loop tap on the photo frame backing.
Step 3. Holding the back photo frame backing down on a flat surface wiggle the diagonal stand piece until it can be pulled free from the backing. If you are worried about doing too much damage to the backing I also found scissors to be helpful. (Removing the stand allows the photo frame to lay flat against the wall when hung.)
Step 4. Remove the paper from behind the plastic window of the photo frame. You wont be needing it.
Step 5. Remove the Plastic plexiglass like window from the photo frame and remove the plastic wrap coating.
Each side of the plexiglass is covered with a thin sheet of plastic wrap like coating. You can remove it by rubbing your finger gently across the edge of the plexiglass till you can pull off the plastic wrap.
Step 6. Place the plexiglass window back in the photo frame keeping the photo frame face down.
Step 7. Place a bagged and boarded comic book of your choice face down in the photo frame so it is even and level.
Step 8. Take a sheet of Black Cardstock Paper and place it on top of the comic book.
Step 9. Put the photo frame backing back on top of the Black Card stock and press down on the 6 black metal tabs to secure the backing in place.
Step 10. Install a picture hook on the wall where you would like to hang your comic book.
Step 11. Hang your comic book using the hanger loop tap on the back of the Ikea photo frame and you are done.
The Ikea frames are not flawless, but what do you want from a Photo frame that cost less an two bucks? Besides, people who visit me in my office are to busy admiring the comics to care about the frames.
Hamp Freeman contacted me to say he liked my solution for framing comic books. He even e-mailed me some photos. [Link to Post]
Anthony James contacted me to show off his comic books using the IKEA Frame hack [Link to Post]
I have seen that some people are using the black IKEA frames to display their comics, but they are doing so without including the white backing board that most comic book collectors use. This is producing a cleaner look when displaying your comics. I have not don’t it (yet), But I just wanted people to know about that option.
The Brilliantly Easy blog has managed to pull off the same kind of frame hack I have going on, but by doing it with dollar frames. The blog poster found a company that will ship you the frames! Something IKEA doesn’t do. Check out the dollar comic book frame post called: Comic Book Frame.
Paul contacted me from Australia to show off his framed collection: Comics Framed In Australia
Mat showing off his Green Lantern collection and explains how to hang comics on cinder block wall: Framed Green Lantern Comics
Kiley showing off is books on his wall in Chicago: Comic Book Wall In Chicago
Russell showing off his New York Comic Con Framed Comics
Adam Darvish showing off his Framed Avengers Vs. X-Men