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DIY Custom Picture Frames on a Budget

Custom Framing, Wood Frames

Framed photos and prints add a touch of personality to a room. However, custom framing can be expensive. Even at craft stores or “do it yourself” framing stores, you could easily pay over $60 for a small framed photo or print.

Creating a professional framed look for your prints and photos does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Here is how you can frame on a budget.

Select photos or “artwork”

It’s best to work in standard sizes to save money. Select posters or photos that are 5 x 7, 8 x 10 or 11 x 17. Choose photos of family or friends you have taken using your digital camera. Use photo editing software to crop, remove red-eye, and even change to black and white if you desire.

Go Shopping

Head to your local thrift store and go straight to their artwork section. Look at the frames and try not to be too judgmental. Don’t worry if one is black and the other is pink. The frames do not have to have the same kind of molding or look. Find things you like, that will work with the size of your prints.

You can also try mass retailers like Target or Wal Mart who often have discounted frames in simple styles. Finally, craft stores will often sell unfinished wood frames at a great price, but they come with out glass.

Become a Spray Paint Artist

Once you have your frames, remove the glass and picture, if there is one. If there is a mat that is in good shape, hang on to it. Clean the frames with a damp rag to remove dust.

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This is the part where your “eclectic” group of frames is going to get a unifying look. Using spray paint to match your room’s décor, give all of your frames several coats of paint following the directions on the can.

There is a wide selection of spray paint colors and finishes available. Try gold, bronze, silver, copper, or other metallic colors. There are hammered metal spray paints available as well as other creative finishes that are applied using one can. Check out your paint or hardware store and you might be surprised to see how big the selection really is.

Clean and assemble

Clean all the glass that will be used in your frames. Try using a microfiber cloth that won’t leave streaks or “paper towel” lint. You can either use the mats that came with your frames or buy coordinating ones from a craft store. Frame stores can also custom cut mats for you. Or , you can chose to leave the mat out altogether.

Assemble your photos in your frames. If the frames don’t have a substantial backing, you may want to add a piece of card board, cut to the size of your frame.

Display your framed pictures

Your custom framed pictures will look great hanging on a wall or leaning against a wall on a mantel or an architectural ledge attached to your wall. You will get a professional look with out having to spend big bucks.