Apr 11, 2012

off to the framers

as much as i LOVE ikea ribba frames, there are times when i call in the pros when it comes to framing.
i recently got two prints from print collection, and i have been exciting about getting both
of them ready to hang on my wall...

i already had a frame for the running buffalo print. i bought two identical prints at west elm about 4 years ago, because the frames were huge, and they were only $40 each. i like the print enough that i have kept one, but i always knew that i would swap out the second frame for something else.

whenever i am making a swap from one print to another, i like to take the image and frame to a professional framer. they normally charge somewhere between 15-20 for a "setting fee"...which means they will clean the glass, put the print in place, and close the back.

i thought the swap for the buffalo  print was going to be an easy matter or taking the backing off of the print, and putting the new one in, but there was a tiny problem....the print was just a fraction  smaller than the mat. i could have had an entirely new mat cut, but i really liked the thickness of the original  mat, and a new one was going to run me about $70, SO, we came up with the idea to cut a slightly smaller black mat out of a less expensive mat board that will act as a nice buffer between the original mat and the image.

when i went to stick the "g" print into a frame i already had at the house, i realized that although the print itself is 8x10, the image (where the color is) was an odd size. i really want this little print to be a fun addition to grady's room, and after some thought i decided that i didn't want a large mat around it. i wanted the image to just have a frame around it.

if you have never had anything professionally framed, the costs involved can be a little surprising. when we moved last fall, the glass on one of my larger prints got broken, and it was nearly $100 just to replace the glass!
however, i think it is important to have at least a few pieces of art on your walls that have been custom framed. it really makes a huge difference in the way a piece looks!

here is what i had done this time:
new frame for small "g" print + new backing + foam core + glass + setting fee.
new mat cut for large print + setting fee.
=around $140

have any of you ever had any good OR bad experiences with a framer?
any tips to share?
do tell....


  1. I could never figure out why having something framed is sooooo expensive. And if you go to one of the "chain" stores with a coupon, it is still ridiculously high. Do they mark it up only to discount it with the coupon? There used to be places around that you could go and frame your own, they would show you how to use the equipment and you did all the work. I don't know if they still exist, but it was a better deal. I agree with you that sometimes you just need to have it professionally done, but boy does it hurt the wallet.

  2. Two years ago I had a antique map of Sweden framed at Michaels (with a coupon) and it still turned out to cost >$300. Last year that frame started warping and it looks like veneer on the wood is starting to pull up. Very unhappy with it, but don't want to pay to replace it just yet.

  3. There is a family owned frame shop close by to where I live and they do a fabulous job. It is expensive, but they really take the time to help you get the right frame and matting. In the past I have regretted spending too much on some items for the house, but I can honestly say that my professional framed pictures are not one of them.


  4. I love the "G" picture! It'll look so great framed! Although I've never had anything professionally framed, I've always wanted to. I just can't stomach the price. My husband's grandma is an artist, and I'd like to frame the picture she made us for our wedding. Someday! My friend bought a Texas state flag and had it professionally framed. Except the framers put the flag in upside down! "True Texans" could spot it, and it was a conversation starter. :)