TLDR: This post includes economical and quality framing options for your watercolor art prints. The recommendations below include ready made frames that are meant for standard print sizes, as well as affordable custom frame options for unique print measurements.
Adding art to your home is a wonderful way to incorporate personal style into your living space. While art doesn’t necessarily need a picture frame, a frame elevates your walls and takes it from dorm or apartment-style living to make your space more mature and perfectly yours. Gone are the days of posters tacked up with pins, staples, or god forbid, a wall-staining sticky tack! Framed artwork adds an extra element that helps bring a room together, looks clean and polished, and protects the art. Hanging wall frames, also known as gallery frames, come in various shapes, styles, and sizes, so finding the right style that complements the artwork and is cohesive to your room’s theme is key.
Pick a Style
Despite being trendy right now, modern, thin, and minimalist frames are also a classic that allow the artwork to timelessly speak for itself. Some art fits into a specific era so finding a frame to match can help capture the era and work in the art’s favor with gilded, antique, and ornate touches, but even so, it’s hard to go wrong with a simple frame. If your art is seasonal, finding a plain frame will also mean you can use it when switching out various pieces of art too. In the same vein, if you happen to be purchasing frames before your art, keeping it minimal will better guarantee cohesion. A black, white, or natural wooden frame will go a long way. Additionally, if you’re looking to make an art gallery wall, it’s often better to keep the eye trained on the art and not distracted by a frame, so toning down the frame’s flair can assist you in creating the perfect gallery.
Choosing a Color
When looking to frame your artwork, there are a plethora of colors available. You can choose to match the art to the frame, stick with neutrals, or go all out in a vibrant or eclectic style if that tickles your fancy. There’s no right or wrong way to go about decorating your own space. If you do want to make the frame a subtle addition to the artwork, you might think about the colors of furniture, appliances, and finishing that’s already in the room to have the framed artwork seamlessly make everything work together. Pictured right is the Carson frame from Framebridge.com.
To Mat or Not to Mat
Matting artwork is yet another way to take your interior designing up a notch. Most horizontal art prints found in the Easy Sunday Club collection utilize white space within the print, meaning matting is certainly an option, but not a necessity. When considering matting artwork, you decide if it’s worth the extra framing and space needed. Matting will increase the overall cost, physical size the art will take up, and require a larger frame. While some prefer the additional space to let the art breathe, depending on the art and your style, you may not deem this essential. Pictured left is the satin black frame with double mat from Art to Frame.
The Right Price
It’s hard to justify spending more than twice the price of your selected artwork, but also, high quality frames will be a greater investment, especially if they are a custom size. Other factors to consider when framing are the type of glass that will go over the artwork. Upgrades to glass can include protection from light and sun exposure which over time will gently fade your art unless preserved properly. Additionally, some glass will appear shinier than others and reflect glare while others will be reflection-free. This is true of the frame as well depending on the material they are made from. These are personal preferences, so you get to choose what works best for you. Not all ready-made frames will include these types of enhanced options to choose from, but some sites do sell replacement glass if you want these special qualities.
Finding Your Frame
Finding an affordable frame isn’t impossible! Below is a compilation of places to easily find frames for your art.
Target has thousands of frames, so it’s likely you will find one that suits your fancy. 8x10 inch size gallery frames begin at a highly economical $4 and go up through the mid-fifties. Another price-friendly option is to buy packs of frames. If you are looking for three or more identical frames, Target has frame sets and bundles that allow you to save. You can find plain frames, mat options primarily in white, and floating frames that give the illusion of the artwork being suspended within a frame. Pictured above is the Mid Tone Single Image Picture Frame Brown by Project 62™ from Target.
Another store with affordable and wide selection of frames is Michael's. Similar to Target, I love that I can check if a frame I like is in stock at a Michael's near me, so I don't have to worry about driving there and leaving the store empty handed.
Arttoframe.com (custom sizes available) offers hundreds of different framing options that range from wooden to metallic, thick to thin, ornate to simple, and rounded to flat. Not only do they carry standard size frames to choose from, but you can also delve into custom options if you have uniquely sized art. For single, standard, pre-made frames, their selection of 8x10 inch size gallery frames are almost all under $25. If you’re interested in matting, there are many color options, plus if you’re looking for double matting, that’s also available. You are also able to choose from a handful of glass options, including no glass, and can select the hardware style and backing material.
CB2 does not specialize in frames, so their collection is on the smaller side. They offer mat and unmatted styles and generally lean on the modern, slim aesthetic. Prices for 8x10 inch size gallery frames tend to start in the thirties and go up from there. CB2 has a selection of frames with pre-made art already in them, so be sure you’re looking at empty frames if you already have artwork. Pictured right is the Gallery White Frame with White Mat from CB2.
Framebridge (custom sizes available) offers custom-made frames and the option to work with a designer to gain more insight and advice during your framing process. Their frames begin at $39, but for an 8x10 inch size gallery frame, prices begin at the $85 mark. You have various, but simple mat styles to choose from, and also have the opportunity to add personalization like a brass plate or story pocket to the frame.
West Elm, like CB2, does not specialize in frames. You can find 8x10 inch size gallery frames on clearance starting in the twenties, but on average start in the upper $30s at full price. All options include a white mat, so be sure to check the final frame size when purchasing. You don’t want a frame to be too large for the space you’ve chosen! Pictured below is the modern acrylic frame from West Elm.
Whether you’re a burgeoning art collector, or simply looking for a way to spruce up your home, hanging framed wall art is a great way to add some color and personality to a space. Gallery frame options range from the most basic to rather complex, but you can certainly find something that fits your framing needs with the help of understanding the many options to choose from.