The Pros and Cons of Ready Made Frames Vs. Custom Picture Frames

Jan 8


Autumn Lockwood

Autumn Lockwood

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Learn how to become an educated consumer when it comes to buying ready made vs. custom picture frames. In this article you'll learn the basics between these two types of frames so you'll always know exactly what you're buying.

Knowing the difference between custom frames and ready made picture frames is important when you're shopping for frames. Having a good understanding of these two types of frames will help you get the right frame without spending more than you want. So,The Pros and Cons of Ready Made Frames Vs. Custom Picture Frames Articles what is the difference between ready made frames and custom frames?

A ready made picture frame is just that- a frame that is ready to be used right out of the box.  Manufacturers of ready made picture frames assemble and package them so all you need to do is open the box, insert your picture and it’s ready to be displayed.

Ready made frames usually come in standard sizes. You can find ready made frames for pictures, standard sized art work, small keepsakes or documents, like diplomas. Ready made picture frames come completely assembled in the box. They include glass, backing and some hardware for either hanging on a wall or for displaying on a table. Not all ready made frames include an easel back stand or frame hardware for hanging. Ask your frame retailer to make sure you have everything you need to display your framed picture.

There are many different frame retailers that offer ready made frames online and in stores. With so much available you should be able to find exactly what you want.

Custom picture frames, on the other hand, give you more options than ready made frames. Custom frames are measured, cut and assembled specifically for you. If your framed item is not a standard size, or if you need a unique depth or dimension for your artwork or keepsakes, a custom frame is the answer. With a custom picture frame, you can select the protective surface you want such as glass, acrylic, UV glass or UV acrylic and you can even choose a unique shape like a flat pane, convex or dome shaped covering.

Custom picture frames let you create a unique look and choose the style of the frame, color, size, picture frame mats and the layout of your picture. Some customer framers refer to these as “ready made frames,” because they are cut to a specific size, but this process really is a custom made frame as they’re hand assembled.

Why should I choose a ready made picture frame over a custom picture frame?

The answer to that question depends upon what you plan to frame. Original artwork is best suited to a custom picture frame since size sizes are usually non-standard and can vary wildly. A custom wood picture frame can accommodate a wide range of thicknesses and unique dimensions. There are many options to choose from with custom frames so you have a lot of flexibility to find a frame that goes well with your artwork.

Something to consider is that ready made picture frames are usually a lot less expensive.  Custom frames are created and assembled by hand which adds to the cost of your framing project.

So, to decide between a ready made frame and a custom frame you need to ask yourself a couple of questions.

Is it a standard picture size?  If so, then you’ll have lots of options with ready made frames. Ready made picture frames come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, materials and sizes. You can find frames in everything from wood and metal to gold leaf, sterling and basic black picture frames. If you are looking for an efficient way to display your pictures without costing a lot, a ready made frame is your best choice.

If you have a photo that doesn't fit into a ready made frame, one thing you can do is to use a picture frame mat that fits your photo and place it into a standard size frame. This is a great inexpensive option to avoid the cost of a custom picture frame.

However, as convenient and economical as ready made frames are, sometimes you need a custom size or look for your photo or artwork. If you have a unique piece of artwork, whether it's a standard size or not, you may want the extra choices that a custom picture frame offers to best showcase your piece.

Once you have determined whether a custom frame or ready made frame best suits your framing needs, you are ready to start shopping for your frame. No matter what type of frame you decide on, you’ll know the difference between these two types of frames so you’ll always get exactly what you want.