Affordable Framing Options for Artists

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Framing can be a very cost prohibitive thing for many artists that are just starting to show their work at shows and galleries. But should you  forgo the frame?? No. (Well, I guess it depends on the piece, but usually, no.) But, for a long time, I said yes, out of pure necessity. The commission paid to the gallery, plus the cost of the frame and supplies and time made the math impossible to work out. Especially if you're a newer artist that has a lower price point. But I was determined to make it work somehow because I think the frame finishes the piece - makes it look more professional, polished, and done. I would have loved to have learned to cut and frame myself, but my studio is on the smaller side and looks out over our great room in a loft type setting, so saws and giant pieces of wood needing to be cut down really wasn't an option. Another option for cutting out the middle man was to purchase pre-cut wood that is pre-assembled and just needsDSC_0768 the painting to be popped in. I ended up finding two online sources that I really like for custom sized, floating frames for my works on canvas and panels. The first is MetroFrame.com, and the second is PictureFrames.com.  There are so many finishes (with samples available if you'd like to see it before you order),the hardware and wire included, and the turnaround is super fast. Everything arrived bubble wrapped, corners protected and in perfect condition.

frame hardwareThe framing itself is completely easy (not because of the instructions they provide - those were awful-  a little bit of common sense in combination with Google was the way to go). So far I'm still too nervous to try and use them for my paper pieces, because I am partial to the floating paper look and the instructions look a bit complicated. Any suggestions from anyone on doing it yourself? I'd love to hear from someone that has it figured out!

Before and AFter Framing

What do you think? Do you prefer to frame or not frame your canvas pieces?