This Is the Most Creative Item I’ve Ever Framed as Art, and You Can Find Versions of It in Museum Gift Shops or Thrifting

published Nov 8, 2021
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Credit: Sarah Lyon

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love good shut-eye. Sleep? Yeah, I need approximately nine hours of it each night. Naps? If there’s time for one, count me in. So when I was visiting the Hillwood Estate in Washington, DC, and stumbled upon this quirky metal sign in the gift shop, I felt seen. I knew right away I needed this adorable, accurate, and slightly spunky decoration in my life.

At $68, the sign wasn’t exactly cheap, but I felt confident that it would make for a wonderful, worthwhile display piece if I found the right way to showcase it. For context, former Hillwood resident Marjorie Merriweather Post — a businesswoman and socialite who apparently also needed many hours of quality sleep — had a piece like this hanging on her bedroom door, and would open its flaps (which are on simple metal hinges) when she didn’t want to anyone to disturb her precious shut-eye. As a renter, I can’t exactly drill a metal plaque onto the wall in my own apartment, so I decided that framing the piece would be the best option.

Credit: Sarah Lyon

While the flap component of the piece is definitely a cool feature, I was fine framing the piece so that it would sit open at all times; after all, the text is what really spoke to me! I opted to bring it into a local framer who helped me select a fabulous ornate silver border and mounted the piece inside for me. Those who are feeling a little more crafty could easily undertake this project at home or even send your sign off to Framebridge or another online direct to customer framer. The key is selecting a shadowbox type of frame, which will best accommodate the piece’s thickness and add some dramatic flair to your setup.

Because the piece has a bit of a glare, I recommend displaying it leaning. Mine is propped up on my nightstand, where it puts a smile on my face every time I crawl into bed. As a lover of historic homes, my hometown of DC, quirky messaging, and yes, SLEEP, this sign really was the perfect accent for my bedroom. Now if only I could somehow flash it in my noisy neighbors’ faces to get them to take the hint!