Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Custom Framing

Once upon a time, the Bargain Huntress browsed a thrift store and happened upon this framed picture.

Fortunately, she only had to pay $8 for the frame. Unfortunately, the picture in the frame was forgettable. Fortunately, the $8 frame matched this frame (below) that the Bargain Huntress already had hanging at home.

Unfortunately, she had no art to put in the frame. Fortunately, in their basement the Bargain Huntress' parents found her grandmother's charcoal drawing.

Unfortunately, custom framers wanted too much money to frame it for her. Fortunately, she could purchase the supplies to do it herself. (Please forgive the sideways picture. I couldn't get it to turn the right way.)

Unfortunately, the custom framers discouraged her from doing it herself. Fortunately, she didn't let them intimidate her. Unfortunately, she was a little nervous to make the first cut.

But fortunately, things went well, and fortunately it turned out great, because fortunately she is the Bargain Huntress.

Total cost: $32

(including the mat cutter that I can use in the future on other projects)

  • Practice beforehand. Find some scrap pieces of matboard to practice on before cutting the real thing.
  • Don't let the pro's intimidate you. Of course they don't want you to think it's possible to do it yourself, because they want more of your money!
  • If you like my story, you might like "Fortunately" by Remy Charlip.


  1. That looks AWESOME!!! I have a print that I want to mat and frame, but have been deterred by the cost. I might just try to do it myself now. THANKS!

  2. it's great to create things on your own for cheaper, but as a true artist knows, there's a reason you pay those professionals for some things-- archival quality, the special tape that you attach the artwork to the mat, or if your piece needs mounting... what you need is a mother who's an artist and knows how to do that professional job for non-professional prices! Guess was pretty lucky growing up. The final product looks good, though.