Colorful fabrics, strings of neon beads, and heaps of yarn of all textures adorn Ben Franklin Crafts’ sprawling, dazzlingly colored store, a family owned business for 37 years. Brimming with supplies for any project imaginable, Ben Franklin Crafts outfits guests with rubber-stamping kits for custom-made stationary or sheets of chevron paper to decoupage ready-made frames. The friendly staff circulates the store, and, armed with creativity and know-how, assists guests as they try to pick out the proper washi tape.
The purveyors behind Bellevue Art & Frame and The Toy Place have been honing their artistic eyes and skilled craftsmanship since 1962, when they launched Bucket & Brush—their original paint and home-decorating store. Through the transpiring decades, they elevated Bellevue Art & Frame into a full-fledged behemoth of all things artistic and creative, compiling a diverse collection of art supplies including paintbrushes, clay, and stationery. They work alongside skilled frame designers, who enlist high-tech software to help customers to visualize what custom enclosures will look like when filled with a family portrait or Jackson Pollock’s baby bib.
In 2007, Bellevue Art & Frame opened The Toy Place to meet the needs of the budding artists who kept frequenting the children’s arts-and-crafts department. Inside the toy emporium, tots peruse a bevy of specialty toys, books, and games in a kid-centric space that also hosts frequent art workshops for little ones. Craftspeople of all ages can head in for adult classes, during which knowledgeable artists and sentient _Mona Lisa_s divulge wisdom in such techniques as calligraphy and mat cutting. The shop also organizes regular community events, including gallery showcases that spotlight local artists.
The craftsmen at New Dimensions Frame & Mirror do not mess around when it comes to custom framing. Not only do they handcraft each frame in-house, they use museum standards and conservation materials to protect prized pieces. They also boast a constantly rotating collection of artwork to fill empty frames, as well as custom mirrors that range from ornate to contemporary.
Museum Quality Framing’s staff encases cherished photos, artwork, and three-dimensional objects in materials ranging from polished wood to leather. Ready-made photo frames ($10+) clasp snapshots in a wood-and-glass embrace, protecting them from wrinkles, stains, and the scratchy nuzzles of sentimental lumberjacks. Lackluster walls can find colorful companionship in preframed artwork and a vehicle for deep self-reflection in mirrors ($100+). Ensconce valuables in custom framing packages ($69.99+), which can accommodate sports memorabilia, or preserve fine art with archival mats and backing boards. Handcrafted frames add a Renaissance flair to photos, utilizing materials such as 22-karat gold leaf to create one-of-a-kind frames.
Armed with the inspirational power of more than 3,000 frame designs, the preservation experts at The Framery Inc have everything they need to help clients protect and accentuate their keepsakes. The team utilizes a vast variety of glasses, mats, and other components as they frame items such as photos and artwork, as well as larger memorabilia, such as sports jerseys, baby shoes, and first monster trucks. The image wizards also handle creative projects, such as image restoration, photo-to-art treatments, and canvas or fine-paper printing. And to make sure that each piece fits its surroundings, the shop extends a 30-day guarantee for all projects, vowing to redesign any creation upon request.