If you want to have something framed, and it’s relatively small, it’s usually not a problem. The cheapest option is just to do it yourself – find a relatively simple and tasteful frame that hopefully fits exactly. If it doesn’t fit exactly, buy a size larger and buy or cut a matte. It’s pretty simple, really, until you get into arcivhal materials and all that.

Despite that, I hear complains all the time about people who paid to have something framed and ended up paying an arm and a leg. The most common complain I hear is “I paid more to have it framed than I did for the print.” I’m not entirely sure what to say about that – if you’re willing to do the job yourself, you can save a lot of money. If not, be prepared to pay.

So, that said, I had a print of this photo made, to 20×30 inches. Now, while that’s not exactly behemoth size, it’s fairly large and it never crossed my mind I wouldn’t be able to buy a pre-made frame. But after vising several art stores and supply sites, I’ve pretty much come up blank aside from some truly crappy poster frames. Utrecht on New York Ave. goes to about 20×24, and Plaza Art down the street does about the same.

So I bought the materials I needed to construct the frame – this should be simple, really. You buy in sets what you need – two lengths of the framing material 20 inches long, and two that are 30 inches long. I bought some backing, some staples to hold things in place, wood glue, wire and eyelets for hanging. What’s left?

Glass. I’ve never bought just glass before, so I spent a while calling frame shops to see what a piece of 20×30 would cost me. About $20, apparently. So, assuming it all comes together, I should get the frame done for about $55 or so. That’s not a bad price, but then a friend sent me a link to some site, or something, and I could have just had them mail it to me for $60…

As long as I value several hours of my time at less that $5, I’m still in good shape.

1 Comment so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 2:30 pm

    You can buy pieces of glass at Michaels’ in several sizes, though 18×20 might be the upper limit. Most of those places will cut it for you for free with purchase if you need something smaller.

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