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3 Things to Think About Before Frame Shopping
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3 Things to Think About Before Frame Shopping

If you’ve just received your new print in the mail, you’re probably excited to get it framed and hung on the wall as soon as possible. But before you head out to the store, take a minute to think about a few key points that will help make your frame shopping easier.  

Standard vs. Nonstandard Sizes

Before you head out, you will of course need to know the exact size of your print, but you’ll also want to know whether or not that size is a standard size. Standard sizes are the sizes in which premade frames are made. 

Whenever possible we offer our prints in standard sizes to make framing easier, but as we are dealing with a variety of vintage formats, it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes there is simply no way to crop an image to a standard size, so we do have images that are available as nonstandard sizes. 

Framing for standard sizes

A print of vintage photography featuring women working on an airplane, framed and hung with other decor

If you have a standard size print, the world is your oyster when it comes to framing. You’ll be able to find a variety of ready-made frames that will fit your print so you can choose something that fits your preferences. You will be able to choose from frames both with and without mats, in countless combinations of styles.

If you’d prefer to customize your frame, you can always opt for custom framing. You can find a local framer, use the framing department of a craft store, such as Michael's, or even work with online custom framers to put together the perfect frame. Whichever option you go with, you'll be able to work with a framer to find exactly what you need, in terms of both style and budget.

Framing for nonstandard sizes

If your print is not a standard size, you’ll be a little bit more limited in your framing choices. Custom framing is likely to be your best option to make sure you get a frame that fits your print perfectly. 

If full custom framing isn’t in your budget, a cost-saving option would be to have a custom mat cut to fit inside a pre-made frame. Having only the mat custom cut is much lower cost than creating an entire frame, and you can have it made to fit inside any pre-made frame you choose. 

Custom framing options

If you want to opt for custom framing, you’ve got several outlets to choose from. You can work with an independent, local framer, you can use the framing department at craft stores such as Michael's, or you could with with an online framer. The latter would require you to mail your print out and have it shipped back to you in the frame, so you’ll want to consider if that’s something you want to do, or if you’d rather work with someone local. 

Size of Wall Space

Hanging a Frame on the Wall

Even if you know the size of your print, frames also come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to make sure you know how much wall space you have to work with in the spot you plan to hang your frame. If you end up choosing a frame that is more elaborate and has a wide mat, you can easily add quite a bit of size to the print. Having a sense of how much space you have to work with will help you eliminate or highlight options when browsing frames. 

Basic frames to save space

If you’re limited on space, you’ll want to narrow your search to more basic, sleek frame options. Frames with either no mat or a narrow mat will help cut down on extra size from framing. 

Existing Decor in the Room

The final thing you’ll want to consider is the existing decor in the room where you plan to display your framed print. Frames come in all colors, textures, and styles, so whatever your preferred aesthetic, you’ll be able to find a frame that fits in perfectly with your decor. 

Two Framed Prints Above a Green Couch

Frame styles

Frames range from the most basic, thin black moulding, to highly ornate moulding. If the style of your home or office is more subdued, you can look for frames that blend in and don’t attract too much attention. On the other hand, if you have a more eclectic style, you can consider colorful, quirky frame options. 

Pre-made frames, while still offering a variety of styles, will be somewhat limited in options. If you’ve got a very particular style in mind and can’t find something you like on the shelf, consider custom framing to get exactly what you want.

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