Framing Decoded

In the last month, I’ve had a lot of redecorating going on. My husband moved offices and my son moved into a big boy bed. Both required a move, painting and new furniture. Along with, came new art. I am a big proponent of the adage that art makes a room. It can hide imperfections in furniture, decor and lighting, just by drawing your eye away from the bad and to the good. Art gives your room a personality- and is a reflection of your own.

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Pieces framed with the Ikea/Michaels option described below.

As I’m sure you all know, finding the perfect piece of art is no easy task, but then framing it can present an even bigger issue (and expense). So when I had to frame 12 new pieces of art between my son’s room and my husband’s office, I was on the search for good, relatively inexpensive frame options. Here’s where my research led me – hopefully these can save you some time and money with your next framing project:

Framebridge:  This site is almost too good to be true. They frame your pieces starting at $79 (most of the pieces I had to frame were roughly 2′ by 3′ and ran ~$159). You pick the frame and mat size, send them your art, they mail it back all framed and ready to go. The selection of frames isn’t extensive, but they have the basics covered as well as some more creative options. And free shipping.

Ikea: They make great basic, cheap frames (that don’t necessarily look cheap), but the problem is that the mats are all wonky and don’t always fit the image you have.  To work around this, I ordered custom mats at Michael’s to put in my Ikea frame. A custom mat is a little pricey but pales in comparison to what you’d pay to have it all custom framed. My Ikea frames ran $15 and it was ~$35 to have a custom mat made. I assembled them myself with no trouble. All in, each picture was roughly $50 to frame.

Framed and Matted: This website builds a frame, then sends it to you to put your art in. Visit their website, input your artwork size, choose frame and mat. Then they mail the entire thing to you, free of charge, with directions on how to assemble. Fewer good options than Framebridge in my opinion, but also cheaper. For my 13 x 19 prints with a simple white frame and standard 3″ white mat it was $85. (But I did not end up using this option for any of my art, so never saw the quality in person… just FYI).

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