When we were on vacation in June I picked up three postcards with the intention of framing them and hanging them in our kitchen. Our kitchen is burnt orange, (we didn't paint it), so it is kind of hard to find anything, (artwork, curtains), to match the walls. Everywhere we went in New Orleans there were racks of these cute little postcards and thankfully they matched orange. :)
The only downside to these cool little finds? They were square so they weren't going to fit into a generic matte and frame that I could get for a steal. Instead, I had them framed at Michael's last week so I thought I would do a little guide to framing! Frames are crazy expensive, (I kind of regretted my decision and justified it by telling myself the postcards were three for $5 and we'd have the artwork forever so why couldn't I spend money on the frames, hmm??) so I want to help you figure out how to keep framing costs down! I hope this is helpful to someone out there.
1. Select your matte(s).
I never knew you could have more than one matte in a frame, but you can. This means you can pick colours that are complimentary to your artwork/photo and to your walls. They can help you with this. The first combo we tried was bright green, bright blue, and yellow. The colours coordinated with the postcards, but weren't going to be very versatile. So we went with the more neutral brown and yellowish beige. Another thing to remember about multiple mattes: mo mattes, mo money.
2. The glass - high and low.
Michael's had a "high" and "low" glass option. The expensive glass doesn't have any glare. It really was amazing seeing the difference when both options were side by side. If I had chosen this glass, you would never see a glare from the kitchen lighting and the photos I took wouldn't have a glare from the camera flash. Kind of nice but there was a huge price difference from what I remember.
At Michael's a rubber band was wrapped around each frame with a colour coded price range. This makes a very big difference in your total price. I wasn't aware of the colour coding at first and we totaled the cost with a more expensive frame. When I switched to frames in a different range, the price was drastically different. One cool thing about the frames I chose...they have a swirly detail that mirrors a detail in one of the postcards.
4. The mounting.
There were two different ways they could stick the artwork into the frame. I can't remember the difference but since I was framing postcards, (and not family heirloom photographs or anything like that),I didn't care about the upper end option. Selecting the lower option only saved me a couple of dollars, but why not?
This has nothing to do with cost or choices, but frames from Michael's have a lifetime guarantee. So if we move one day and the glass is broken in the move, they'll fix it for us. I kind of like that. Again makes me feel better about spending all that money.