The Frame Dilemma
If you’re anything like me, you may have a drawer full of well-loved prints just waiting for the perfect frame. Finding a frame is simple in theory, but like any home project, it's easy to get lost in the sea of options, styles, and price points. Plus, frames are notoriously expensive, adding to the decision-fatigue. I have consistently had customers buy maps from us at craft shows, only to come back a year later and say, “hey I bought that last year, but I still need to frame it! Do you have any suggestions?”
For that reason, we started selling our own frames a couple years ago, made by hand by a local woodworker here in Tennessee. While we truly love our Craftsman frames (over 100 five star reviews) and our Naturalist hangers, sometimes you need to find a quick frame on a budget, so we compiled our favorite affordable frames for all your empty-wall needs.
Target Made By Design Frames
Price: $20-23 | link
If you haven’t noticed, Target has upped their frame game. They now offer a handful of thin modern frames in black, white, and wood. Pro-tip: If you can’t find them in store, order them online here. If you have a Target card, you should be able to get free shipping.
Target Wedge Poster Frame
Price: $15-17 | link
An even more affordable Target faux wood frame with a modern "wedge" design.
Ikea RIBBA Frames
Price: $19.99 | link
If you like a little mat space around your print, Ikea offers the most affordable large frame out there. Of course, with the low price comes that familiar Ikea challenge of driving to the store to pick it up (or paying for unpredictable shipping). For our 18"x24" prints, choose the 19 3/4" x 27 1/2" frame size.
Pro-tip: these frames come with a mat. Place the poster between the mat and the glass. That way, the entire poster is shown and you still get a nice crisp white background.
Ikea LOMVIKEN Frames
Price: $19.99 | link
For a thinner profile and sleeker look, Ikea offers an aluminum frame, similar in size to the RIBBA.
Michael’s Studio Decor Frames
Price: $27.99 | link
With a wider edge and a more rustic look, Michael's carries a handful of framing options, and you can almost always catch these on sale.
Unconventional Framing Options
Ikea Visback Poster Hanger
Price: $7.99 | link
This wood hanger caught our eye because of the super-low price point, minimal design, and the sustainable bamboo material. It only comes in 24”, but if you’re handy with a saw you could cut it to size pretty easily.
Vintage Skirt Hanger
We love this minimal and affordable solution that adds a bit of visual interest to the room. Perfect for large and small prints.
Pro tip: Look for vintage skirt hangers on Etsy. You can search for them here.
Since we use heavyweight card stock paper, you can skip the frame altogether and use something as minimal as a bulldog clip. Plus, you only need a thumbtack or 3M hook to get it on the wall - perfect for apartments. Follow the links in the images above.
The Postery Oak Clips
Price: $12.95 | link
This minimalist Scandinavian design by The Postery caught our attention. A perfect alternative to metal clips, these wood clips can multi-task to hold prints, flowers, to-do lists, or other small objects. We recommend buying two if you plan to hang one of our maps.
Price: $5 | link
We just restocked our rare-earth magnets. This is a great way to get a print on the wall without damaging the paper. Simply flatten out the print (if it comes in a tube), put the thumbtack (provided) in the wall, and place the print between the thumbtack and the magnet. Easy!
Washi tape can be a quick, colorful way to get artwork on the wall. You can play around with different tape designs or even make a faux frame border around the print for an extra pop of color in the room.
Would we recommend no frame at all? Yes! If you're short on time or budget, our prints look great on the wall as-is. The heavyweight paper and acrylic ink add a nice pop of color and texture to any room, even without a frame. We recommend using 3M poster tape.
OTHER GOOD RESOURCES
If you're looking for a wide variety of frames for an affordable price, we love Jerry's Artarama. The site is a little tricky to navigate, but they have some great ready-made gallery frames and solid-wood options.
The Postery offers quality scandanavian-style solid wood frames. They also carry a handful of tasteful prints to fill out your wall space.
Level Frames offers a custom gallery frame option without having to take your print into a frame shop.
Framebridge is your one-stop-shop for framing online. With just about every frame style imaginable, you can send in your art or frame it yourself.
We hope this guide demystified the framing process and made it a little easier to get some art on the wall! Feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions, we're always happy to help!
And if you'd like to check out our hand-made, solid wood framing options, you can find them here.