Monday, February 8, 2016

Home Hack: The Best Budget Art Frames (From £2 - Yes, Really!)


Before the ink had even dried on the contracts for our house, I'd already placed my orders for several art prints for our walls. Years of living under unreasonable landlords' thumbs meant that we either stared at bare walls or panicked at using even 3M Command Hooks (I highly, highly recommend those btw, if you're living in rented accommodation and your landlord/landlady has a strict no-nails-in-the-walls rule!) to hang the few pieces of art we did have.

The prints arrived and I loved them, but the task of finding the right frames for each print became quite the chore. Bespoke frames were pricey (these cost us around £300 to frame - gulp!), and I was picky about the color/size.

But after a little research (i.e. hours upon hours spent online) and in-store browsing, I found some surprisingly affordable frames that delivered both on quality and price.

My most surprising find? The brushed chrome frames above from Wilko, of all places, which cost ... wait for it ... £2 each! I was so skeptical about the quality, but they are really beautiful and work wonderfully well with our watercolor whale triptych.

The other place I love for frames is everybody's favorite, IKEA. Their Ribba frames start at around £7, I think. Last time I was there, I grabbed them in every size and color! They're great to have on hand, even if you don't have anything to fill the frames just yet.



They fit a variety of prints and come with mat board, which looks super polished and professional.

If you're looking for frames that are a little more bespoke in color or size, John Lewis is also a good bet, although they're slightly pricier than the ones I'm listing here.

A third favorite of mine is Habitat - during their sales (which seem to happen all the time, so it's worth waiting for!).


Their wooden frames (the ones pictured above are in their 'Leven' range of frames) have plenty of depth and look fantastic on our wall. They're not the easiest to hang (I'm confused about the hooks on the back, which are loose and don't seem to bear any weight), but the ones I bought cost £20 each in the sale, which I think is reasonable for the size and quality.

Finally, T.K. Maxx is always a good bet for frames, if you're willing to hunt and if you don't have something specific in mind. I've picked up a few for £5 or less.

Are you a fan of having art on your walls? Have you found some great deals on frames? I'd love to know (and am always looking for more!).

Also: where to find beautiful, affordable art prints.
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18 comments

  1. Ikea is pretty much the only place I've found to buy frames here in Dublin. I miss Target so much sometimes. (Love that whale, btw.)

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    1. I miss Target SO MUCH too! It's my first stop whenever I go back to the U.S. I could easily spend 3-4 hours there alone. I can't even look at their home furnishing section without getting upset because there's so much I want to take back!

      Glad you like the whale :)

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  2. These look great (as do your dad's sketches in your previous post). I always turn to eframe.co.uk for either bespoke frames or standard frames and have always found them really reasonable even when I'm ordering bespoke stuff (although you do then have to frame stuff yourself).

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! I've used eFrame before too - they're super handy for bespoke frames that don't cost a fortune, but I was a tiny bit disappointed with the quality of frames I bought the first time around. I'll have to try again for future prints!

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  3. Where did you find that beautiful whale triptych?

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    1. Hello! :) It's from Etsy seller QuantumPrints. We bought the vintage coral and seaweed prints from them too.

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  4. We have The Range and Dunelm Mill up here in the north, not sure if they are in the south but we've gotten most of our frames from there. Also Wilkos def have some good ones!

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    1. We do have Duneelm here as well! I looked at their frames but didn't find the size I needed for my prints, although they had some really nice, affordable options!

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  5. I love collecting prints as well - we've finally put all ours up now, having had most of them in tubes for over a year! We have to rely on Command Strips, as we're in a rental place, but they do a stellar job! All of our frames are from Amazon, but will have to check some of your choices out. And Wilko is the unsung hero of affordable homeware, cleaning products and cosmetics!

    Sophie :-)

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    1. Ooh! Where have you found some of your favorite prints, Sophie? I'm always on the lookout for more! Command Strips ARE THE BEST, aren't they? I have never shopped in Wilko before, but after our frame purchase, I'll definitely be checking it out again!

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  6. Thanks for the heads up about Wilko! I've been wondering where (besides Ikea) I could grab affordable frames from. Your whale looks great in those frames!

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    1. Yeah, IKEA is such a pain in the you-know-what to get to, to get through, etc. But it's crazy fun at the same time. Horrible, but fun. Glad you like the whale! :)

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  7. Very helpful! I can't bear to make another visit to Ikea but all the rest sound spot on! x

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    1. WHO CAN, Manasi, WHO CAN? It's so stressful! But necessary, haha! It's good to have options though ... as much as I love those IKEA frames, I can't really face going there again JUST for the frames.

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  8. As soon as I have enough money behind me to move out and get my own place (I ended up back with my wonderful momma after a bad breakup which left me with very little money) I am ordering all the prints. I love adorning my wall with art and positive quotes, and there are some great recommendations for frames here. Thanks Jamie, I'll be keeping an eye out and snapping them up before I even have a house probably! xx

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    1. I am so sorry about your breakup, Kara - I really, really admire you. It can't be easy, but you have remained so beautiful, so strong, and so resilient throughout, it seems! You WILL have your dream house soon for you and Mia and you WILL order all the prints! :) xxx

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  9. This will increase the worth of the house instantly, and if researched properly, may be finished little investment. Home improvement comes that involve transforming got to be thought out, so they are doing not look out of place within the house.

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