So you found your new favorite artist, picked a print from our collection and it has arrived in a tube at your door. Now all you need is a frame!
There are tons of options for framing art out there but we’d love to help you get the best bang for your buck. If you don’t want to go the professional frame shop route, the easiest and most affordable way to custom frame a print is to use a pre-made frame with a custom mat. You'll find that this allows for many color, trim and style options at a very reasonable price if you know where to look.
STEP 1 - Buy a Pre-Made Frame
Your first step will be buying a pre-made frame. Look for a frame that you love that is larger than your print, ideally 2 or more inches wider and higher to allow for a gallery style mat. Target has some affordable and basic options in their Room Essentials® frame line. The Aaron Brothers Signature frame line is another affordable option. Art supply store chains such as Utrecht or Blick tend to also stock reasonably priced frames in a variety of colors and finishes. Glass or Acrylic is up to you but for larger prints, we’d recommend acrylic for durability. Always be on the lookout for sale events as many of these stores do annual or bi-annual “Frame Sales”.
STEP 2 - Find Frames Online
Want to grab a frame online? After you figure out the size frame you want, do a search for the dimensions and see if you can find a deal online. For example if you have an 18x24 inch print, try a search for a 24x30 inch frame to get a dramatic 3 inch mat. Amazon.com has some great options in various sizes or check out some of our favorites:
STEP 3 - Buy A Custom Mat
The next stop is getting a custom mat fit for your piece. Many store bought frames come with a mat but don't worry if it doesn't fit your print perfectly. Getting a custom mat cut allows you to show off every awesome inch of your new piece. National chains like Michaels, Aaron Brothers, Hobby Lobby and the Blick’s Design Center should be able to cut custom mats for between $10-50 depending on the size. Be sure to bring both your art and your frame into the shop to ensure a perfect fit. The thickness of the mat is up to you but we’d recommend an 8 ply thickness and 2+ inches of mat to add extra dimension to your framed piece. Get an archival quality mat if your budget will allow to guarantee that your print will last for decades to come. When in doubt, stick with a white mat for any color frame to get a clean and classic gallery finish.
* Notes on Limited Editions
If you are framing a limited edition print, allow for the white margin of the print to show and leave extra room to display the artist's signature and edition number. We include a Certificate of Authenticty with every Limited Edtion Print that we sell and it is common for that to be mounted on the back of the framed print for safe keeping.
STEP 4 - Finish Your Framed Artwork
Now that you have a mat custom fit to your artwork, the final step is to piece it all together. First wash your hands to get off all dirt and oils that might transfer to your print or mat. Then in a clean, dust free environment, carefully tape your artwork to the mat on all 4 sides. If you are nervous about this step, it might be worth asking your mat cutter to mount your art for you. From there, it should be easy to fit the mat into the frame and find a perfect spot to hang it and enjoy.
If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help! We have a team of expert framers at Eyes On Walls with decades of experience so just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Eyes On Walls Team