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Topic: Free photo frames??  (Read 7117 times)
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« on: March 08, 2005 03:21:22 PM »

Hello! I worked at a Hobby Lobby in the framing department not too long ago, and would watch... well, encourage people to spend hundreds of dollars on a top quality framing job, with suede or leather mats and beautiful frames...

The secret is, in Hobby Lobby (I don't know about any place else) they have to order the frames from their own personal manufacturer, they don't make them there. So, when an order is mismeasured, the frame can't be used and they order a new one. This happened all the time. We had frames stacked up in the back room, and my manager would sell them to us for $2 or so a piece. There was one instance where I bought what would have easily added up to a thousand dollars worth of custom frames for $20. Many managers are more than eager to get rid of these mismeasured frames, that they otherwise aren't allowed to dispose of. Also, once you purchase the frame, they will do the rest of the work for a minimal price.

Another tip, Hobby Lobby (once again, don't know about other stores) disposes of matt board after it's been used once. That means, if some lady comes in and wants a 4x6 mat cut, they will make that one mat, then dispose of the rest of the 30x40 board. Our store will either sell you this mat as a "bundle" for $10 (a steal for architecture students and kindergarten teachers) or, you can have a mat cut out of it for the "base price", or the price it would cost you to get a plain paper non acid free mat cut (basically add the length and width of your frame, and multiply by .2, that will be your price) So, as long as you don't mind not having a perfectly even border around every side of the picture, this is totally worth it.

Some framing tips in case this is something you would like to do. Remember that the mat really defines your picture. It's always advised (by me personally) to use the nicest mat that you can. All in my house are either suede (usually with a gold or silver lining mat) or fabric. All are acid free. Second, you don't need to have an exact border on all sides of the picture. I really like mats with "weighting" Take for example, you find an awesome cheap frame that is 15 x 19 ... that's an odd size, but it's beautiful and you think it would go great with your 11 x 14 Van Gogh print, have them put a 2" border on all sides, and a 3" border on the bottom. It looks great. Also, if you don't mind having a 2" border on the sides, and a 2.5" border on the top and bottom, that would look good too. The only thing to keep in mind is this = if your picture is longer than it is tall, the thicker mat should be on the sides, if taller than long, on the top and bottom. Also, don't be afraid to cover parts of the picture. We used to fill some of these miscut frames using these same mats and put in whatever posters we felt like it to sell in the "preframed art" section. We would go wild and use all sorts of fun techniques that we would use on our own art (like floating, ripping, multiple mats with fillits etc...) and we often would only use a portion of a print.

If you have any questions about framing, let me know! Also, if you do plan on buying your frames custom, never pay full price, most places will have half off custom sales!
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2005 05:18:38 AM »

I have no idea what hobby lobby is, but I know someone here in Aus who worked for Bunnings, and they often got lots of cheap or free frames when they were overstocked. Unfortunately, they gave them to staff BECAUSE they couldn't sell them - so I might get down to my local framing store and see if they have any misaligned frames? I don't know ... thanks for the idea, at least - I think off centre frames just look more original.

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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2005 11:00:48 PM »

Hi all,

juz wondering where can i get free or cheap photo frames.. well, those erm factory rejects or anything like that? excluding free cycle and the salvation army...

thankz  Smiley

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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2005 11:26:51 PM »

Hi amberiq-  I  worked as a custom framer for quite a while, and we often got stuck with rejects, or unwanted frames.  These would go to the trash or home with lucky employees like me.  Wink For example, frames that were damaged (finish marred/dented) beyond repair or built to wrong measurements, customers' old frames that they didn't want anymore.  Some shops get more than others.  I would either get friendly with a framer or go dumpster diving-  you're bound to find *something*.  Hope this helps, I'm sure they would be more than happy to find a good home for their trash!  You may have to purchase glass separately, though, as the glass in usually being used or shattered.   Best of Luck!   Grin
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2005 02:54:50 AM »

thankz daisymae!

*im off to ask..nicely though  Wink *

actually i juz want the frame .. no glass needed!  Grin

For fashion, photography, DIY postings: http://mayotuna.blogspot.com
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2005 01:12:11 AM »

i dont know if this would be cheap enough, but ikea sells 4 for a dollar. have you considered places that are going  out of buisness? maybe you could find cheap stuff there.

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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2005 08:29:01 AM »

yard sales and thrift stores.  They may think they're selling the picture.  But you can toss that out and keep the frame.  In fact, if you see a framed picture at a yard sale, you can negotiate for the frame only.  If they believe that the picture is hot stuff, they'll probably let you have the frame for almost nothing.


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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2006 06:54:39 PM »

i know this hasn't been posted in in awhile, but at garage sales, you can usually get frames for $.25 to $.50

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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2007 08:32:44 AM »

The only place I've ever found free frames was at a frame shop... and I had to work there to get them. It's an awesome job, and now I have a closet full of mis-cut and antique customer's frames Smiley All of my walls are full of beautiful pictures.

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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2007 06:15:38 PM »

If you're willing to go the cheap route instead of the free one, Dollar Tree has fun frames for $1 up to 8.5 x 11  I buy the tiny ones to frame things for doll houses (they even have some that would work for ATC's)

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