need cheap but nice 20x30 frames - any suggestions?


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Sep 18, 2003
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I am doing a county fair display and I am putting up between 12 and 18 - 20x30 pictures. Possibly 27 if I can swing the finances. Due to the sheer number of pictures I cant buy quality frames for them, and considering how damp the building gets each day I wouldn't want to risk damaging that many quality frames.

I read a while back about a guy that buys nice, simple and elegant frames off of amazon in the $6 range *thin black or thin chrome frames* but I cant find anything in that price range.

So I thought I would check here in case anyone had any recommendations? :)
Do a bunch up as gallery wraps... that'll save some of your framing costs. I've never seen a 20x30 frame for $6... if I had, I'd but a shed-full!
The creepiest way to get frames would be to make them yourself. And even then your not going to get them for $6 each. The glass alone for a 20x30 frame will cost you more then that.
check your local craft stores. they always have sales on frames. Michael's and Hobby lobby both had sales this past week, one was buy one get one free, the other was half off. got a 24x36 frame (glass) for 25 bucks. And they look nice for being cheap.
I bought 18 identical 16 x 20 frames at half price from Michael's. They came with glass and double mats - quite suitable for county fair.

Mats were too bright for B&W prints so I am replacing them with mats from - remarkably cheap and very fast.
I made the order and got an email 40 minutes later that they had been shipped.

To protect the pictures from moisture in high humidity, because any cardboard mats will absorb, I finish them in a low humidity environment, then toss a silica packet in the back of the frame and seal it with brown paper and masking tape. Whether this protects from the damp I really don't know but I've never had obvious moisture in a frame or a picture stuck to mat and this makes the framing look professional.
I love Hobby Lobby's frames. They have 50% off sales all of the time. Check them out.
First off, get a mat cutter. They'll pay for themselves in almost no time at all.

I'm not going to name names, but the place I buy frames from has 20x30 frames (with glass) for $20 or so, possibly cheaper. I just searched a couple simple frame types and came up with $20-$25 in a minute or two. They may or may not come with mats, but the mats probably won't be the good stuff. The good stuff may be available for extra.

The mat board, if you buy the good stuff and you owe it to your customers to do that, will cost you at least that much for a single mat.

Figure at least $50/picture for matting and framing, not counting your labor.

You might be able to get it below that, but I don't know how offhand.

Also, you're not getting the good glass. Good glass costs pretty much as much money as you're willing to throw at it, museum grade stuff is.. spendy.. and it's not the best grade.

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