- FRAMES. Your local frame shop is always an option although it will likely be more expensive than purchasing your frames readymade. Smaller frames are considerably less expensive than larger frames.
- MATS. One great idea is to buy your frames readymade (some online options are listed below) and then get custom mats cut for them. This gets you the best of both worlds; a custom look at a reasonable price.
- We are partial to white mats because it really lets your art shine and it gives a collage a unified look.
- We also love beveled mats–they’re just so sigh-worthy elegant!
- Archival mats will make sure your piece lasts forever and won’t yellow, but they also will add to cost.
- Michael’s is a great option for custom mat cutting. See here for store locations.
- GLASS OR GLASS REPLACEMENT. Plexiglass or acrylics instead of glass are great options for several reasons; they’re light so they’re much easier to hang and they’re shatter-proof so they’re safer in the event of an earthquake.
- We especially recommend avoiding glass above beds, couches and in nurseries. Tap Plastics custom cuts plexiglass and Frame Destination offers a wide range of sizes and options.
- A UV-coating is recommended for especially sunny areas to protect the colors in your print for bleaching. It does add significantly to the cost so we recommend it mostly for directly-exposed areas.
WHERE TO PURCHASE FRAMES ONLINE:
One of the advantages of Pottery Barn is that they sell frames with pre-cut, beveled, archival quality mats and with plexiglass. They are a great option if you want a classy, really unified look. They also sell one large square frame.
They offer nice wood gallery frames in white, wood, or black with mats sized for 5×7 ($20) and 8×10 ($23) art prints. Why not mix in a few of your personal photos in their 4×6 size ($16) to complete the wall? Their oversized frame for an 8×10 print measures 25×25 ($55). We love that this gives you three different sizes to work with, which is a great number.
Image: Minted art in Pottery Barn frames
Their Lee Gallery collection is a nice silver option.
This is a nice example of hanging art in an off-set arrangement with lots of movements. It’s very light handed and pretty! Image credit: Pottery Barn.
The Lee Gallery collection also offers oversized mat editions, which are pretty awesome, the total dimensions are 25×25 and it’s sized for an 8×10 print.
Image: Minted Art in a Pottery Barn frame
Pottery Barn also sells a 48″x48″ oversized, black square frame ($159) which will accommodate our 30″x40″ size and ALL of our square sizes with custom mats.
So one revelatory thought is that you don’t actually need a frame; instead mount your art onto a piece of wood. We love this option because A. it’s green B. you don’t have to leave your house! C. they offer almost every size Minted carries. D. it’s super chic!
Plywerks will mail you a blank piece of wood. They offer three thicknesses: 1/2″ maple, 3/4″ bamboo and 1.5″ bamboo. Select the ‘with adhesive’ option and you will be able to mount your print right onto the board. The boards are just slightly smaller than the size of the print so you’ll use an exacto knife to trim it to a perfect edge.
They offer the following sizes in portrait / landscape: 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, 16×20, 30×40. (So all but our largest size: 44×60. They also sell the following non-photographic square sizes: 8×8, 30×30. Prices in these size from $10-$229.
Image: Minted art on Plywerk.
West Elm is a great option for frames with mats for our small to medium size art.
West Elm offers a nice selection of gallery frames in black, white lacquer and silver. Although, you can always do custom mats, their frames come with mats. Their 13″sq. frame holds a 5″ x 7″ photo with mat, their 14″ x 17″ frame holds a 8″ x 10″ photo with mat, their 16″ x 20″ frame holds 8″ x 10″ photo with mat. Although their 18″ sq. frame comes with a smaller mat, you could easily custom cut a mat for Minted’s 8″x8″ or 11″x11″ or 16″x16″ sizes. Their 18″ x 24″ frame with a custom mat could accomodate Minted’s 5″x7″, 8″x10″, 11″x14″, and 16″x20″ sizes. Prices range from $19-54. They also carry a larger line of frames in black and available in 8″x10″ ($19), 16″x20″ ($39), and 30″x40″ ($149) sizes. With custom mats, these frames are great for our: 5″x7″, 8″x10″, 11″x14″, and 16″x20″ prints.
The budget option, Ikea has an unbeatable price point for our smaller prints, starting at just $9.99 per frame, although you will need a custom mat. Make sure to ‘reinforce’ larger Ikea frames to avoid them coming apart. You can do this by using eyelet screws and wire (from your local hardware store) to hold the sides together. Although not actually available online, check out their Ribba collection.
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