Interior Design

How to Affordably Frame Your Art

I’m very nearly ready to do a before and after update of my bedroom. You can see a few new additions in this photo, but I’m waiting on one more arrival, and then I’ll be ready to do a post to give you the full scope of how far this room has come! (Spoiler alert: VERY FAR)

In the meantime, I wanted to talk through some tips for framing artwork because I just framed my Debbie Carlos sheep photo and I know how off-putting and expensive the framing process can be. Let’s talk through it…

This print is very big, and not a standard size so going to Ikea, Habitat, or some similar place to get a pre-made frame was out of the question for this piece. I have purchased the Ribba frame from Ikea for the Cocoa Eyes print in my living room, and it’s okay quality. You can’t ask for much more that that for £12. You will have fewer options than a fully bespoke framing job, but if your artwork is a standard size, it can greatly simplify your framing process by using pre-made frames. Tip #1: To save time and money, use pre-made frames where possible.

I already mentioned that my print is not standard-sized and is also massive, so what then? As an interim measure, I DIYed these hangers to hold my print– you can see it in the left-hand image just above. This is a cute (and cheap) way to display prints, but turned out not to be the best option for this print because it’s too large. I had to Blu Tack the corners down at the top because they flapped down otherwise. This DIY is better suited to a smaller print that’s closer to the width of the hanger. A similar interim trick is to use metal clips on the corners to hold the print to the wall (again, a trick I’ve used in my living room). Just be sure that you put some kind of padding between the clips and the paper so it doesn’t leave marks. I used a folded piece of cardboard. Tip #2: If you can’t afford a frame yet, use clips and DIY tricks.

If you buy your artwork online from someone like Society 6, Easyart, or Art.com, they have the option to frame your artwork right there– should you do that? I think so, yes. If the print is not a standard size and you know that you want to have it framed, I would suggest using that service if you have the money right then. Society 6 has limited, but modern framing options, and Easyart and Art.com both have a plethora of frames to choose from. You’ll be hard-pressed to get your print framed at a cheaper price if it’s not a standard size. Framers can be hard to find these days, and the prices can shock you out of your socks. These companies are able to give you slightly better prices due to volume.

I bought the frame for my Debbie Carlos photo from a site I discovered, eFrame.co.uk. They function a lot like the services that these art sites provide, so if you already have your artwork, you can use this site to get your frame and mount online. I discovered this site over a year ago when I was looking for an odd-sized frame and I bookmarked it to try later because the prices were so good! You can create custom frames in almost any kind of style you can dream up. This frame is around 36″x48″ and was only £65. It’s done to my exact needs, down to the millimeter, and I can tell you that I’ve been quoted more than that for smaller prints in framing shops. Framing can be expensive, so you have to think smart. Tip #3: Take advantage of online framing resources.

I’ll just leave you with one more tip on this subject, but I’m thinking that I should maybe do another post on how to choose a frame style. Okay, last tip…

Tip #4: Do you really want that mount? Typically, people will get a mount and a frame. The mount is an additional expense, and will also add to the cost of your frame because it will need to be bigger to accommodate it. In my mind, mounts are a less contemporary look, so when I frame art I tend to go for a simple frame and no mount. That’s what I like stylistically, but if you’re trying to find a way to cut down framing costs, you may want to ask yourself if you really need that mount.

What are some of your tips for framing art in an affordable way?


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  • Reply
    June 18, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Love your room! Just found your blog, can’t wait to keep up with you!

    • Reply
      Ferren Gipson
      June 18, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you found me!!

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