How To: Tips For First Time Custom Frame Shoppers


If you've never done it before, the idea of custom framing can be intimidating. The choices, the styles and of course - what's it going to cost? But if the last 40 years have taught us anything it's that we know once you've had the experience of participating in the design of a custom piece created just for you - you'll be a convert. If you've never custom framed before, check out our top tips for first timers below. 

1. Work With The Professionals

This is number one because, well, we just can't stress it enough. Working with a talented expert, whether you're framing fine art or a simple poster, will save you time, agony and yes - even money. Your framing consultant should be able to give you suggestions that will not only elevate the piece, but make sure it's preserved appropriately so it doesn't need to be reframed in the future.

2. Bring Your Ideas

Just because you haven't framed anything before doesn't mean you don't have anything to contribute! You know your own style, what you like and dislike and what stops you in your tracks. If you aren't sure how to describe your style, think about what you gravitate towards - what sort of furniture you have in your house, your favorite colors and types of clothing you buy. 

3. But, Keep Your Mind Open

Your consultant may bring up things you hadn't considered or didn't know were important - like glass type or mat styles. Or, they may suggest something you hadn't thought of or didn't know existed - if it's right, you'll feel it when you see it.

4. Talk Budget

Sure, if you haven't framed anything before you may have no idea what to expect cost-wise. We're always happy to talk price or try and give you an estimate, but the final cost really comes down to the elements you choose. (See real life examples in action here.) But, if you have a budget in mind you'd like to stick to, be upfront with your consultant. They can help you maximize your selections so you don't go home with sticker shock. 

5. Frame What You Love, Love What You Frame 

Whatever the piece may be, you're framing it because you love it and want to preserve and display it for years to come. As framers, we want to do justice to that. When done right, the custom framing process is truly magical. At Artists Frame Service, we've spent the last 40 years perfecting our particular blend of magic. Want a behind-the-scenes peek of what that looks like? Check out the video below. 

Ready to experience your own moment of truth? Grab that piece you love and come see us - we're ready to help in Lincoln Park or Highland Park

PS: If you dig the art in the video, check it out for sale in our online shop.