3 Ways to Frame Art That Are Actually Affordable

July 8, 2015 - photo frame

Rocky Luten
Rocky Luten

None of a frames graphic next cost some-more than $10, and all of a art was framed by (a non-professional) hand. Intrigued? Read on to find out how to use thrift-store reserve and a few DIY smarts to support like a pro.

Knowing a reliable custom framer in your city is essential if we adore to hang art; who improved to trust with your favorite new pictures, prints, paintings, and posters than an artist? But that falling feeling when we see a cost tab during pickup is roughly inevitable, generally when framing reduction profitable pieces like printed instagrams and cinema of your friends. If it leaves we wondering if there’s a reduction costly way, a good news is that there is, and — hooray! — it’s by upcycling frames that would differently go to waste.

The initial step in framing leisure is to start looking for quality selected frames — a charge that’s not as fatiguing as it sounds — regularly. When you’re during the local preservation store or flea market, look for bad art in decent frames or even decent frames that are empty, and spend no some-more than $5 on anything (up to $10 for a vast frames). It’s a bit of a mental change from looking for quality art in preservation stores, that can be a needle in a haystack, yet a selected support hunt is consistently more rewarding. Once we start adjusting your viewpoint to see them, good aged frames open adult everywhere. Check for dual things: that the frame is sturdy, meaning when we shake it the corners reason rigidly during right angles, and that it comes with a square of glass, which will save we a cost of carrying a tradition square cut to fit.

Prep an old support for re-use by initial un-framing a existent art: 

  • Flip it over to see if there’s a “dust cover,” that is brown qualification paper that’s embellished to a distance of a support and glued to a back, sealing all inside. If so, use a box blade or x-acto blade to cut around a edges, remove, and drop it. 
  • Now, regulating pliers or a screwdriver, delicately hook behind a staples or steel flaps called “points” that secure a art and any card or thick subsidy in a frame, afterwards mislay a existent art and potion with care.
  • Clean a potion on both sides with potion cleaner and put it behind in a support (cloth gloves make this fingerprint-proof, yet clever hands work, too).
  • Before tossing it, take a demeanour during a “bad art” we usually private and confirm if it can be salvaged. Sometimes beauty is usually a matter of framing — and a vast white matboard, that square of thick paper that mostly separates the art and a frame, can do wonders. 

Once your support and potion are giveaway to residence new tenants, use them to support new pictures (or a art we usually salvaged) one of these 3 ways:

1. Use choice forms of matboard:

How to Frame Art on a Budget Food52
Printing your favorite cinema during home, on unchanging paper or photo-quality, is easy and cheap.

Crisp white matboard competence be the many traditional way to give your art that gallery-quality look, yet don’t be singular by it. Scrapbooking papers (a far-reaching preference can be found during any qualification store), recycled, selected papers (see above!), or even swatches of thick fabric can all be used to mat art and photography. Note that if you’re operative with glorious art or cinema printed on print paper, all matting reserve should be acid-free.

Just cut your preferred matting to a distance of a support and hook a pattern on tip of it using double-sided fasten or framer’s tape, that is archival quality. If you’d like a white credentials to apart a two, a square of plain paper can be cut a smidge bigger than a art and placed between it and a mat. 

Tip: If your support doesn’t have glass, buy a tradition piece (of potion or plexiglass) from a framing store. It’s not that costly or time-consuming to have a square of potion tradition cut for a frame; usually be certain to move a frame with we so they can magnitude a accurate size. The prices below came from a boutique framery in NYC where they’ll cut your glass while we wait, so consider them the high finish of what we can pattern to pay. A incomparable qualification store with a framing dialect should be means to do a same for even cheaper. Choose plexiglass, that is lightweight, scratch-resistant, and flattering unfit to break, if we don’t mind that it’s a tiny some-more costly (see below) and not all-natural.

  • 8″ x 10″: $3 for glass/$4 for plexiglass
  • 11″ x 14″: $6 for glass/$8 for plexiglass
  • 18″ x 24″: $10 for glass/$24 for plexiglass
  • 24″ x 36″ (poster-size!): $22 for glass/$44 for plexiglass


2. Float your pictures:

How to Frame Art on a Budget Food52
In need of easy art? Quirky, selected photographs can be found during many thrift stores for pennies.

Floating a few cinema between potion is elementary and professional-looking, and it’s an generally good tactic when you’ve got a few photographs that go together and a incomparable frame, or for when we don’t wish to worry with a matboard. Even if your support already has a square of glass, you’ll need a second square of a same distance for this DIY — usually have one cut or steal from another inexpensive support of a same size. 

Clean the two pieces of potion and supplement one to a frame. Tack your cinema face-up to the second square of potion regulating tiny pieces of acid-free, double-sided fasten in a corners, afterwards put that potion in a frame so a cinema are stable on both sides. Bend a points to secure, and afterwards hang!

Tip: Sand or paint your support to give it new life. If we find a stout wooden support in a pattern we adore yet it has a cheap-looking finish, silt it! Hardware stores sell sandpaper, yet for improved control we competence demeanour for a “sanding sponge,” that is sandpaper merged to a foam block. Start by easily buffing a front and sides of a frame to see if we like a shabby-chic, rustic look that emerges, or sand all a finish off to reveal a tender timber pellet (as in a support graphic above). Sometimes, unfinished timber is pretty usually as it is, yet if a tone is off or we don’t like a matte look, paint over it. Sanding a wooden support will safeguard that a paint is well-spoken and veteran looking, though, of course, we can paint over steel frames though sanding them during all.


3. DIY a loyal matboard:

How to Frame Art on a Budget Food52
Old maps, like this one of Berlin, are mostly pleasing and make good gifts when easily tangled and framed.

If we collect selected frames frequently enough, you’ll mostly have roughly a right distance on palm when we acquire art (and when not displaying your art, we can use them as decor!). The trickier partial will be removing a fresh, purify matboard to make a square fit usually right. You can have a matboard cut during a framing or qualification store for a reasonable cost (from underneath $10 for an 8″ x 10″ to around $30 for a 24″ x 36″), yet if you’re going to be matting a garland of things and have a clean, stout list to work on, cruise investing in some reserve to cut them yourself — it will fast compensate off!

Armed with a hand-held pad cutter, that is an pointed blade on a hand-held pusher, a pointy x-acto knife, a t-square ruler like a one above, and a cutting mat, you’re good on your way. A hulk square of matboard can be as inexpensive as $10. Just follow these, ahem, professionally-illustrated steps:

How to support a pattern for cheap, slicing pad house step 1

How to Cut a Mat Board Part 2

How to Cut a Mat Board Part 3

How to Cut a Mat Board Part 4

After your art is merged to your matboard, put it in a support behind a glass. Back your art with a embellished square of acid-free froth core (you can cut a vast square down regulating your slicing mat, t-square, and x-acto) to strengthen it, and afterwards hook a points behind in place to secure. If a aforementioned stairs make we nervous, usually buy a custom-trimmed matboard when we get your glass, both of that can also be systematic from online framing companies, which, by a way, are a cost-effective approach to get new tradition frames that we put together yourself.

However we acquire the pieces, framing your possess art is not going to cost scarcely as most as carrying someone do it for you. Of course, framing some art is best left to a professionals: Paintings on thick canvases, fabrics or articles of wardrobe we wish dangling on matting, and anything ultra-expensive is best left to a experts. 

What are your tips for inexpensive framing? Tell us in a comments! 

Photos by Rocky Luten

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