Five thrifty ways to frame and display artwork

A professional framer can make a piece of art look beautiful, impressive and complete. For original art, it is highly recommended to go to a professional framer as different mediums require different methods of framing and it is all too easy to destroy artwork when framing without the right tools or knowledge.  Other artwork however can be framed easily with some time, a few basic materials and a little inspiration.  Here are five cost effective ways to frame or display artwork yourself.

Second hand frames 

Charity stores, second hand stores and car boot sales are all great places to find frames that will cost next to nothing.  Any minor scratches can be repaired easily and the colour can be completely changed.
The internet is packed full of fantastic free resources, my favourite is this post from Apartment Therapy, browse through some ideas to get inspired before you start searching for a frame.  It might be useful to carry a tape measure with you as second hand frames are unlikely to have sizes labelled on them, remembering to include the mount if there is one. Consider also cheap pictures in frames, even if you dislike the picture you can remove it and keep the frame.

Make your own frame

If you have some basic tools, or are willing to invest in some, making your own frame is pretty simple.  This is an especially good idea for larger pictures for which the cost of even premade frames can be really high.  This post from Yellow Brick Home has excellent step by step instructions that require just very basic DIY skills.

Refurbish a pound store frame

The cheapest of frames can be given a new lease of life with some inexpensive materials and a little bit of imagination.  This blog post from Keep Calm and Decorate has some really great ideas which can also be applied to revamping a second hand frame.

Bargain bins

Frames stores often have a bargain bin filled with frames that have minor damage available at a hugely reduced rate.  These blemishes can usually be fixed up very easily with a little know how from articles such as this one from Craft Leftovers.  With a little luck, you can find some exceptionally beautiful frames using this method.

No frame

A frame isn’t completely necessary to display artwork.  Bulldog clips, plexiglass, wire and even coat hangers can all be used to create unusual and eye catching displays without the need for a frame.  An added benefit is that the art weight a lot less allowing it to be hung in a huge variety of places.  This post from Pretty Handy Girl instructs on the method shown.

Published by gillianussherart

I am a pet and wildlife artist, originally from Ireland but now based in Frome, England with my husband and children, two rescue dogs Rua the Hungarian Vizsla and Ogie the blind terrier, and Jet the cat. I take commissions for pet portraits and draw original animal art, most of which is sold as fine art prints and art cards. I also teach others how to draw through online classes and short courses available through my website. I have been working as a full time artist for many years, and have fulfilled hundreds of pet portrait commissions. My client base is international, and I ship worldwide for free. My work has been featured in publications such as Dogs Today Magazine, Dogs Monthly, The Guardian, Talented Ladies Club and Country Living Magazine. I support animal charities whenever I can, by regularly donating art to various rescue group fundraisers, donating 20% of income from prints to various breed specific rescues and providing wildlife rescues and rehabilitations centres with original art to fundraise and create merchandise. If you are interested in purchasing or commissioning art, or if you just want to connect, you can contact

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: