Affordable off-the-shelf frames that look great but won’t break the bank

Top picks on the Aussie market

So, you’ve just purchased a beautiful new print for your home and you can’t wait to hang it up – but there’s a hurdle to overcome, what kind of frame should you buy and how much are you going to spend on it?

Asking yourself how much framing costs is like asking, how long is a piece of string? You can frame beautifully on a budget or roll out the red carpet for your new print with custom framing.

Custom framing

Custom framing is the royal treatment for art prints, but it does come with a price tag and it’s not always necessary for prints, especially when dealing with standard sizes. My range of fine art prints, as well as many of those sold by other artists you love, come in standard sizes from A4 – A1. It makes things easy when shopping for a frame and makes our artwork more accessible for you to enjoy.

Off-the-Shelf Affordable Frames

Let’s take a look at some of the best off-the-shelf affordable frames — an Australian guide with stores that deliver to your door. In this guide the leg work has been done for you. The countless options out there whittled down a select few which tick all the boxes. We’ll look at choosing a frame to make your new artwork sing, where you can find them and of course (what you really want to know) how much they cost. 

Don’t let the idea of framing put your off purchasing a print that you love, or leaving that loved print in a tube for 6 months (let’s admit it, we’ve all been there) it really can be hassle free!

Top Picks for Off-the-Shelf Frames

Here are some of the top picks for off-the-shelf frames from Australian stores. Just click on the store name to go straight to the online listing.

Freedom Frames

About the frames:

The Arden Frame from Freedom. These frames are a classic. Simple, modern profile and comes in natural oak or white. The Arden Frame comes with a white mount board, perfectly sized with just the right amount of white border. The classic frame and white mount board allow your new print to really speak for itself. These frames feature a glass front (unlike many of off-the-shelf options which use Perspex) so its feels expensive without actually being so (expensive look without expensive price – framing jackpot) 

What sizes do they come in? 

The Arden Frame comes in standard A4, A3, A2 and A1sizes. The A1 size is only available to purchase online but the A4, A3 and A2 are available in store. 

How much does it cost?

The Arden frame is an affordable option with all sizes well under $100. Grab these babies when Freedom have a sale for some great savings.

A4 size: $29.95

A3 size: $39.95

A2 size: $49.95

A1 size: $59.95

Temple and Webster Frames

About the frames:

Another classic look frame with a simple, modern profile in natural oak. These frames just go with everything. Like the Arden Frame, they come with a crisp white mount-board to give your artwork its own space to shine. The Temple and Webster frames also come with a glass front and a secure backing which is easy to take on and off. You can find frames in a variety of sizes on Temple and Webster and there is some excellent bang for buck factor here with many frames coming in a pack of 2. Temple and Webster also have some fantastic sales so be sure keep an eye out.

What sizes do they come in? 

Temple and Webster frames come in a variety of sizes, including standard A4, A3, A2 and A1sizes. They also sell square sizes. The white mounts inside are removable, so there is also the option to allow the print to fill the frame edge to edge. 

How much does it cost?

Below are some specific styles and sizes you can search the site for along with prices:

Matte Fairsons Photo Frames (Set of 2) choose from either:

20 x 20cm opening with 30 x 30cm overall frame size: $34.95

or

30 x 30cm opening with 40 x 40cm overall frame size: $49.95

Max Baxburn A4 Photo Fames (Set of 2): $44.95

Matte Burscroft Photo Frame:

A3 opening with A2 overall frame size: $49.95

A2 opening with A1 overall frame size: $79.00

Spotlight Frames

About the frames:

Spotlight can be a treasure trove of frames. You can find a variety of profiles, colours and sizes on their shelves or online. A top pick from Spotlight are the Cooper and Co Paradise frames. These are very similar in appearance to the frames from Temple and Webster so if you love the online options but want it yesterday – pop into Spotlight and see if these are available.

What sizes do they come in? 

The Cooper and Co frames come in A3 and A2 sizes.

How much does it cost?

$65 

Country Road Frames

About the frames:

The Adler poster frames from Country Road give you the look of professional framing without the price tag. These frames have a slim, modern, rectangular profile and come in Natural oak, white or black. The white mount board is included and adds elegance to the appearance of your print.

Like the other top picks in this guide, the Alder frames feature a glass front. A glass front allows you to give your frames surface a spotless clean without scratching or dulling. Best of all, Country Road offers free standard delivery for orders over $100.

What sizes do they come in? 

The Adler poster frame comes in standard A3, A2 and A1sizes.

How much does it cost?

A3 size: $69.95

A2 size: $99.95

A1 size: $129.95

 

How to choose the right frame for your new print? Food for thought!

Now that we have options on the table – how do we choose which one? Have a wander around your space and consider the following points while choosing your frame.

  • The artwork - what are you framing?

The good news is neutral colour choices like natural oak, white and black are safe choices for most prints, particularly those with bright colours. If you have chosen artwork with eye catching colours and interesting features, allow the artwork to be the focal point, not the frame. Keep the frame simple and the colour neutral. Do use the white mount board to create space around your artwork and draw attention to it. White mount boards add elegance to your art print. The simple, modern profiles listed above add style without stealing the show.

  • Where is it going in your house?

Consider the size of the space you are planning to hang your new artwork before purchasing your artwork and the frame. Which size print will make a statement on your wall and compliment your space? For example, a pair of prints above your bed can add symmetry and create a calming vibe. Big, bright pieces to make you smile as you enter your home sets a happy mood for you and your guests. In the kitchen and dining, large pieces that create smooth lines with counters and the tables add elegance to the space and bring the often neutral tones of the kitchen to life.

  • What if my print is not a standard size?

Many art prints come in standard sizes, but there are also those that don’t. This isn’t a problem; the trick is to purchase a frame bigger than the size of your print and then have a custom mount board cut to fit. Custom in this instance does not equal expensive, a professional framer has a nifty machine which makes short work of mount cutting and will cut one for you for around $20 (depending on the size of course).

This little hack can really save dollars, so next time your frame is an almost fit, remember to buy a slightly bigger one and head to your local framer.

Your print from Sarah Migliaccio comes with an extra 5mm white border around the edge which allows you to place it in the mount board opening without losing any of the image. 

Remember, if you wish to use the mount board in your new frame, be sure to look at the opening size, rather than the overall size of the frame.

Want to know more about custom framing?

Even with all these hot tips about off-the-shelf framing, you may still want to opt for a professional, custom job. A custom framing job takes the guesswork out of framing as a good professional framer will suggest what will look fabulous with your new print and then deliver the goods. Winning! You can expect:

  • Advice from a professional about what size/colour mount, frame material and profile will best suit your gorgeous new print. You will have your choice of framing material and even of glass. Professional framers deal with regular glass through to museum grade glass which is almost invisible to the eye. A custom frame is made especially for your print so are recommended if you want a piece that truly compliments your existing décor.
  • Your framer will handle your print with the upmost of care, taking the stress out of the doing the job yourself, or finding that annoying little hair under the glass after you just spent way too much time replacing and closing the back (we’ve all been there!)
  • Your frame is guaranteed to stand the test of time
  • Larger prints, such as A1 or 60 x 60cm square sizes, benefit from custom framing as a custom frame offers premium stability for your print. Some lower cost, store-bought frames at these extra-large sizes can be prone to bowing over time. This is something you don’t have to worry about with a custom framing job.
  • How much does custom framing cost? This question can’t be answered simply as there are countless options of framing materials and glasses, as well as price variations with different sizes. The best way to find out is to visit your local framer with your artwork, explore your options and get an individual quote.
  • Are you a little crafty yourself and love a quality DIY? Why not try your hand at a picture framing workshop? If you are located in Melbourne CAE offers a Picture Framing short course where you can bring in your artworks and learn how to frame them. 
  • If South East Melbourne is your home ground then the fantastic crew at Southern Bouy, Mornington will expertly frame up your prints. Art is their passion and business.

Hopefully this guide has given you some top tips on off-the-shelf frames and some info to take away on custom framing. As always, photos of your Art by Sarah prints framed up are always appreciated and celebrated, absolutely send them through to sarah@artbysarah.com.au You’re welcome and happy framing!