Inside Our Workshop

All companies have their preferred processes, and after working with wood for the last 35 years, we have ours also.

We choose high-end Baltic Birch in a B/BB grade so that we have a clean face with no footballs (plugs). Each piece is personally inspected before purchase for clean, straight lines, and for a face with even grain. We buy an even higher grade of Baltic Birch when we create hard-wearing items, like trivets and coasters, as these items take much more abuse, such as heat and wet conditions.

Next, we choose the very best paints. We only buy paints that are manufactured in the US, as foreign paints have a tendency to not be as high quality, and many of them contain chemicals that are not safe for your family, nor are they safe for us to work with. We prefer Benjamin Moore Advance paint due to its leveling capabilities and for its wonderful long-wearing properties. If we do use acrylic paint, like on some of our smaller fun items, we use Plaid brand paints, such as FolkArt, or professional artist grade Golden brand. Both of these paints are also manufactured in the US, and both are safe around children (and for us to use on a daily basis.)

Our stains are made from non-toxic mixes that we make here in the shop. Slight variations may occur, as these are hand mixed as needed, but we try to mix to very specific formulations so that we come as close as possible with each batch.

Our top coats range from Wipe On Poly to sprayed clear enamel. Our high-heat paint, used on trivets, is guaranteed up to 2000 degrees by the manufacturer. We also have a paint-on ultra-matte clear coat made by Rustoleum that we use for certain items that look better with that type of finish.

Our items are computer designed, then transferred to our cutting and engraving software packages. We have capabilities to cut designs on a traditional CNC and a full-size laser cutter. Every detail is carefully planned prior to running designs, and any custom work is paper-templated before a final run to make sure everything designed especially for you will fit, be legible, and be of the highest quality.

The photo protectors on the front of the frames are either in professional grade optical styrene or professional acetate. Depending on the size of the frame or collage frame set, the listing will let you know which you are getting. Most of the super-light frames made for fridge and lockers will have the acetate sheet, which is glued in place. You can carefully cut this out, if you desire, once you purchase the item. With the larger frames, you can have the styrene sheet replaced with glass once you purchase them and have them at home, but we find the styrene is much safer for families with pets and children, and it does a superb job of protecting the life of your photo.

The backs of the frames are either made with acid-free professional mounting board, or with Baltic Birch plywood. We try to use the mounting board on the hanging frames as not only is it lighter weight, but it helps to keep the frame from sagging on the wall. Tabletop frames that can be seen from the back will come with a finished piece of wood that matches the frame, for visible aesthetics. If your item comes with an upright easel stand, this will also usually be designed to work with the wooden back piece.

Table top frames will come with an easel, either an upright model that inserts into the back of the photo frame, or a design that holds the frame up but sits horizontally on the table, holding the frame in a cradle. Hanging frames will come with hardware. (Easels are available to be purchased separately, if they are not included with your purchase.)

We take pride in our designs, and we are very glad you chose us to create your special heirloom design. Your patronage means the world to us. Thank you again for your order.


Tammie and Patrick
Papa’s Cottage