stephmodo: Framing Art...Budget Style

Framing Art...Budget Style

• 02 January 2008

I always seem to drag out the framing process, mostly because I subconsciously want to avoid the expense I think. However, no one can deny the impact a framed "anything" has on a living space. The to frame art without spending the same amount as a weekend getaway with the hubby.

Step 1: Buy art or photographs in standard sizes

Step 2: Buy pre-made mats (cost: less than half the price of a custom mat)

Step 3: Buy pre-made frames (cost: one third of a custom frame)

* I like Pottery Barn's Wood Gallery Frames a lot. I know IKEA makes a similar and less expensive frame but the quality is lacking bigtime and framers can't wire super cheap frames like that very easily. PB's are modest in price and high-quality I've found.

Step 4: Once you place the art inside your pre-made mat & frame, take it to a professional gallery to be wired (cost: a few bucks)

Here is my latest budget framing project showcasing pictures taken by the fabulous Ms. Rebecca.

* If you are local here are a few places to check out:

Reuels...not glamorous but they always have sales and an abundant selection of pre-cut frames (Nielsen Bainbridge line). They also carry the Bainbridge Archival pre-cut mats in the Gallery Style that I love. She loves them too.

Evergreen Art & Framing...a beautiful place to visit. I feel refreshed just walking through the door. They only charge a few bucks to wire, but if you've purchased from them before, they will often offer the service on the house. This is where I purchased my first piece of original art. The employees are very nice, especially in-house Art Director Jodi Steen, and they also offer a small basket of toys to amuse the little ones.


  1. Where did you get the frames for the photos of your kids? Love the whole look- and the idea of pre-cut mats- brilliant!

  2. Reuels actually. They had one in store and when I mentioned I needed three identitcal frames and mats, they called the warehouse and sure enough...they had 3 of each frame and each pre-cut mat. I probably saved myself two hundred dollars doing it this way. Good luck on your project!

  3. Thanks for the tip! I have a few gorgeous etchings that I got in Europe that I've been waiting to frame. I usually get the framing done at Evergreen, but I just can't afford that right now- so I'll be going to the craft store for a mat and frame and just getting it wired at evergreen! You have inspired me!

  4. thanks so much for the tips! you've inspired me, and i love the look ( and, yes, reb is a creative genius - love her!)

  5. I love the framing! The photos are gorgeous and the matts and frames compliment them so well. Thanks for sharing.

  6. thanks for such a detailed how-to. definitely some great ideas!

  7. Oooh, they look gorgeous Steph! I'm so glad I finally got to "see" them, even if it wasn't in person . . .


  8. It kills me to spend as much as I regretfully have on framing in the past. This is great info!


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