Sourcing affordable large scale frames

September 20, 2018 2 Comments

With the purchase of my new printer and finally having the ability to offer large scale canvas art prints in the shop, came the realization that I needed to invest a great deal of my time really researching larger framing options. There are so many beautiful frames out there, but I am choosing to focus on the very affordable ones. This also means that the quality may not be as great as something I would pick up at West Elm or Anthropologie, but affordability being the main focus or driving factor. I'll share those companies here and I am also including a couple of DIY options that can really save you some money. At any rate- you have options! :)

SOURCING LARGE FRAMES BY VOL25DIY 36x48 sized frame with Into The Woods Canvas print

Smallest Cost / Second hand sourcing | Finding larger frames at a second hand store is the best way to score really large frames at a very reasonable price. A little spray paint to the frame (and even the mat) can really bring new life to an old piece. Bonus: The frame will be as unique as the art you put within it. The only drawback to this method is you usually have to allow quite a bit of flexibility with the size. My personal experience has been that it is hard to find second hand frames in standard sizes, and so trimming your art may be required to really use that vintage frame. Buying your frames first, then purchasing the correct size will give you many more options when shopping second hand for your frame.

Minimal Cost / DIY options | Fortunately, there are so many tutorials online for building large frames for your large art. The large frame surrounding the 36x48" Into The Woods print above our fireplace mantel, was a very easy build. We grabbed L shaped brackets and on the back sides used them to join the ends of the wood pieces together. It really was that easy. There isn't even any hanging hardware on the backside, or glass. We attached the canvas print to the wall with clear push pins in the two top corners, and the frame is resting on those. If you look closely you'll see the pushpin! :) For something as high up as this piece is, it worked perfectly and I can easily switch out the art with the changing seasons. While I always recommend using glass to really preserve and protect your art, I have heard from so many customers that the beautiful texture of the canvas paper makes it really hard to want to cover it with glass. This DIY from "A Beautiful Mess" is pretty similar to the route we went when building our frame, except they did add some functional hanging hardware.

Are you needing or wanting something with a more high end look? One of my favorite frame tutorials was posted by Shelley of "A Crazy Wonderful Blog." She built a frame for her VOL25 print, and used hanging hardware and a backer board. It's definitely a little more legit than the frame we built. But Shelley has amazing DIY skills, so I wouldn't expect anything less from her. ;) For size reference this is the Feather Patterns Vol.4 in the 40x50 size. Worth noting: VIP's claim an instant 20% off code and are frequently given exclusive stackable codes on existing flash sales. So it's the best way to score a large piece of VOL25 art at a highly reduced price.

Vol25-feather-artDIY 40x50 sized frame   with  Feather Patterns Vol.4 Canvas print


 Higher cost / Ready made frames | When I consider a frame to be large scale, in my mind it's larger that 16x20". I know the price gets significantly more expensive when you jump past anything larger than 16x20". Also what one person considers affordable is not always going to be the same price point from person to person. However, after searching different shops for hours on end I was left with a small handful of frame sources that seemed significantly cheaper in comparison. These are the sources I'll be sharing! :)

Art To Frames: This is more of a custom framing service. You can choose your trim wood, or color, thickness, width. Whether or not you want glass or no glass, cheaper backing etc. A basic 24x46 sized frame in satin black without any extras was just $27 The shipping was estimated at $8 for the economy speed which was going to be very slow... but there were more expensive options for speeding up the delivery speed. It didn't speed up delivery (in my opinion) enough to justify paying a higher cost.

SnapeZo Frames: I was really intrigued with these aluminum frames. They are essentially what you see displaying movie posters at the movie theaters. They make switching out your art much easier. The sides are hinged and pop open on all 4 sides. There isn't even a need to take the frame off the wall. I invested in two of these for my styled photos. A large 36x48 and a smaller 27x40. I was able to trim down one of my 30x40 sized prints to fit within the 27x40 frame. I paid $99 for the 36x48 Snap Frame because I opted for the cheaper Gold finish frame (at the time of this posting it's $75!) and ended up just painting the frame. You can either spray paint it, or use chalk paint like I did. The 27x40 frame was $77 and it's showing as $69 right now. Just remember it pays to look through the different colors/pricing. The bright colors are sometimes cheaper than the standard black or white... and a can of spray paint might be worth your time for the savings. You can also find sale prices occasionally on their actual website.


Chalk painted frame 36x48 SnapeZo frame with Caribou Antler Study 36x48 Canvas print

Hobby Lobby: If you can hit Hobby Lobby during the week picture frames are 50% off you can save a significant amount of money. This blog post here really explains the system behind Hobby Lobby's sales schedule. The website only shows 27x40" as the biggest size they offer. But I'm pretty sure I've seen larger sizes in the store. When you hit this 27x40 on sale it's only $34.99.

Ikea If you're fortunate enough to live near an Ikea I'm jealous! Hah. I was so happy that they now ship most products and lowered the shipping costs substantially. But I have had the hardest time getting the website to recognize my address, so I can't complete my order. It is SO frustrating. Does anyone else have this problem? Okay back to frames: The Ribba frame is a really weird size at 24x35 but it's very affordable at just $19. I've seen some beautiful gallery walls created with these frames.

I'll try to add to this list as I stumble onto new sources. My husband has actually drawn up plans for a wood frame kit that you could easily put together without any tools. The idea being that we could keep shipping relatively low and ship the frame with your art. Is this something you would be at all interested in? Our inspiration was the beautiful minimalist wood frame that you see in my print listings. I've had several people ask me where to find this frame, and I've yet to find a source.

INTO_THE_WOODS_BY_VOL25Isn't it beautiful?! Okay your turn- Do you have an affordable frame source to recommend? If so - please do tell!



2 Responses

Jessica Rose / VOL25
Jessica Rose / VOL25

May 28, 2019

Thank you for expressing interest Karen! :) We need to revisit this idea!

Karen Goetze
Karen Goetze

May 22, 2019

Would be very interested in simple wood frames if your husband ends up doing this!!

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