Our Frame of Mind

A collection of tips, framing techniques and artist insights.

Custom Framing Prices

Are You Paying Too Much For Custom Picture Framing?

Figuring the cost vs. the value of custom picture framing is sometimes confusing. We all have seen the 50% off coupons from the Big Box retailers like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, and shopping online you’ll find “Save Over 70%” touted everywhere. But what does that all mean? How does one figure what framing prices are fair? In this article, we will address these questions to help you be a more informed consumer.

First, let’s address the Big Box stores. Low prices and good value on the majority of the products they sell is expected, so it’s not unreasonable for us to trust that the same applies for custom picture framing, especially with a 50% off coupon. In our own studies, we have found their prices to be at least double what we charge, even with a coupon. Now, paying 2-3 times more may be worth it should you want hands on design assistance, but most artists probably don’t need this level of service. If you do, we recommend shopping with a local frame store or art consultant where you’ll find pricing to be more in line with the quality of products, service and expertise offered.

If, however, you decide to delve into the world of DIY picture framing, let the artist in you shine! Design your own frame treatment either online or in our Showroom. See how satisfying it is to be your own framer. Once you’ve broken the proverbial ice and framed a few simple things, you will be amazed how easy it is to do it yourself and save.

Most DIY picture framing companies can be found online, where you’ll find many alternatives that offer seemingly similar services, making the same savings claim like: “Save Over 70%!” Where did that claim come from? Us! Our founder, Ron Mickel, coined this phrase years ago to bring attention to the value of DIY picture framing. The phrase caught on and is ingrained in the online/direct mail picture framing industry. Yet, what really does that mean today? 70% off what? And what does one get for that “70% off”?

Since our industry is very fragmented we can only speak to what it continues to mean for American Frame, and this we promise: we only sell top quality products from top quality manufacturers like Nielsen for metal picture frames, Bainbridge & Crescent mat boards and you will save over 70% on like materials. Our woods are solid woods from a variety of reputable sources like Nurre Caxton and Studio mouldings to name a few. We also manufacture our own proprietary designs here in North and South America to bring you only the finest materials at the lowest possible prices anywhere online.

Learning how to frame your own art is easy, especially with all the resources we make available today. Our website features an easy online design tool that walks you through each step of the process. Upload your image to preview it within the frame treatment as you browse frames and mat boards. All materials are custom cut to the 1/16” and shipped within 2 business days. Each order arrives with simple assembly instructions. Unsure of the colors you see online? Contact us for free samples. Need additional assistance? Call Customer Service or refer to our DIY Guide to Framing FunDaMentals. More of a video person? We have those too.

In any case, rest assured that we respect your framing budget so you can frame more and frame better, for much less, online and off.

May 1, 2014
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