Want to buy a custom picture frame but don’t know how to begin? Don’t worry! This Custom Picture Frame Buying Guide will take the mystery out of the process – which is much easier than you might imagine.
Things to Think About
A bespoke picture frame is made to measure your picture, so it’s the ideal option if you want to frame something unusual, or a favourite photo you’ve cropped some unwanted edges from. There are just a few things to think about before you place your order.
Whether it’s real-world value, sentimental value or artistic value, make sure you know what your picture is worth to you. If it’s irreplaceable, think twice before cropping any edges. For valuable items, consider a larger, more ornate frame and/or an internal mount to really show off the image in style.
Generally speaking, a larger image needs a thicker frame, so try to choose a frame style that suits the dimensions of your picture. Remember the picture, mount and frame will add up to give the outer dimensions, with usually a few mm of frame rebate and mount overlap to subtract – if precise outer dimensions are needed, get in touch directly for advice.
Think about what you are framing, what it is made of, the inks or paints used, and so on. It’s unlikely these will have a major impact on your choice of frame, but it’s worth being aware if, for example, the materials used mean you cannot easily trim the image to fit.
Choosing the Frame
The frame itself offers a few more things to think about, and this is where the process should be fun, as you consider how different frame styles might suit your picture and the place where you intend to hang it.
There are many different frame styles to choose between, ranging from classic and ornate picture frames, to modern and minimal picture frames, and from decorative frames to ‘flat’ black frames that allow your image to really take the spotlight.
Again, remember to consider the thickness of the frame. A thicker frame usually suits a larger image. By choosing a different thickness, you can affect the overall size of your framed picture.
Made to measure picture frames come in many colours, from primary colours and every main colour in the rainbow, to metallics and wood effects. Choose a frame colour that suits the image you plan to frame – brighter colours are better suited to fun family photos or for display in children’s rooms, or anywhere you want to brighten up!
Choosing a Mount
An optional mount can add an inner rectangle or oval to the frame, which is a popular way to enhance the impact of framed documents, portrait photographs and other important items. On a bespoke picture frame you can specify the size of mount you want, choose from the standard default overlap of 4mm on all sides, or you can choose to give an exact aperture size allowing for an overlap yourself if it is critical for your artwork/image.
Hanging Pictures Safely
Whether you are hanging a picture in a child’s bedroom, playroom or anywhere else, you might want to consider the safety of any young people, or even of older people for that matter.
The fixings on your bespoke picture frame should be reliable and subjected to quality assurance checks – a bespoke product should, if anything, be higher quality than a standard picture frame. Reliable fixings mean you can securely hang the picture on the wall, without the risk of it falling due to a flaw in the frame itself.
Just in case, it’s sensible to choose a frame with Perspex or acrylic ‘glazing’ rather than glass. You can even order a frame with no glazing at all, just MDF backing board, if for example you want to frame a picture with 3D elements, or an actual physical object.
Your Perspex or acrylic sheet will normally be supplied with its protective films still attached, to prevent any minor scuffs, scrapes or scratches during delivery. Make sure you remove these at the appropriate times during framing and hanging your picture – don’t hang it with the protective film still on the inner face of the Perspex!
Choosing Your Dimensions
Last, but by no means least, make sure you choose one set of units or dimensions for your measurements, and stick to that unit throughout the design process to keep it simple.
You can choose between inches, cm and mm, so pick whichever feels most familiar, or which you think you can measure most accurately, and make sure when ordering your frame that you have selected the same units – or your frame might be 2.5 times bigger or smaller than intended!
With just some common-sense precautions like this, and a bit of forethought about the best bespoke picture frame for the image, artwork, photograph or 3D item you want to frame, you can sail through the design process and soon have your picture in pride of place on the wall.