Resources for Budget-Friendly Frames with a Custom Framing Look

I’m sharing my resources for budget-friendly frames with a custom framing look, ranging from treasure hunting through your local Goodwill to stores I can always rely on.

Custom framing looks awesome. An immaculately customized frame, a complementing mat, and a sophisticated eye bringing it all together. But, that custom framing price tag isn’t something that is always realistic. Throw in long lead times and someone like me, who values cost-effective options and instant gratification (yes, yes, I know, it’s both my greatest design flaw and asset), and you have a combination that just doesn’t add up.

Finding a Budget-Friendly Frame with a Custom Framing Look

What’s the alternative to exorbitantly expensive custom framing? How do I find budget-friendly frames that still look stylish and intentional? I have 3 not-so secret resources that deliver again and again (both frames in this post came from these spots!). No matter what I’m trying to frame, one of these options always pulls through.

Without further ado, here are my top resources for budget-friendly frames:

  1. Goodwill: You’ll never pay over a couple dollars, with most frames coming in around $1. Yes, there’s some digging involved, but almost every Goodwill store I’ve ever set foot in has a large frame section with options ranging from poster size to tabletop. I have ornate gold frames, delicate floating frames, and everything in between — and I didn’t pay over a $1 for any of them.
  2. Antique Shops: Y’all know I love antiquing for all things home, so it should be no surprise that I look to my beloved antiques malls for frames. As I’m strolling through aisles of artwork, I’m looking at the art, of course, but I’m also looking to see whether any frames are hiding behind a not-so-great piece of art. I’ve gotten an incredibly ornate solid wood frame for just $40, all because the artwork left something to be desired — I tossed out the art and was good to go (sorry to that oil painting…). Same thing happened at a roadside antiques shop in rural Texas. Two amazing bamboo frames were hard to see because of lackluster prints. $12 for both.
  3. Michaels: Yes, this go-to craft store is an incredible resource for frames, particularly if you’re having a tough time tracking down a particular size. They have great options for simple, inexpensive frames, but you can also find frames that look far more luxe. Hint: there’s always a sale, whether it’s buy one, get one free or save 50% on all frames or get 40% off one full-price item. Never pay full price here.

So, next time you have something that you’re putting off getting custom framed, remember: you don’t have to go custom. You can get a professional look for a budget-friendly price, just like I did with this stunning portrait of my grandmother that now lives in our guest room.

P.S. It looks like the 16×20 frame below is now on clearance for $22, so you might want to snag it ASAP! 


budget-friendly frames - cheaper alternative to custom framing - less expensive version framebridge



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