Custom Framing vs. Ready-Made Frame

When displaying your artwork, photographs, or even treasured memorabilia, the right frame enhances the item and can transform its space. Deluxe Art explores the world of framing with an in-depth look at custom framing vs. ready-made frames. Understanding the pros and cons of each can guide you in making an informed decision that suits your aesthetic, budget, and preservation needs. Whether it's a museum-quality masterpiece or a cherished family photo, how you frame it can significantly impact its appearance and longevity.

Understanding Custom Framing

Custom framing is a personalised approach to presenting and preserving your artwork. It involves selecting each frame component—material, size, colour, matting, and glass—to suit the item you are framing specifically. This method caters to your unique taste and the specific requirements of the piece, ensuring a result that is as individual as your artwork. It's a craft that combines artistry with precision, turning framing into an art form.

Pros of Custom Framing

Personalisation and Uniqueness: Each frame aspect can be tailored to complement your art piece, ensuring that the colours, textures, and style match your decor and the artwork's aesthetic. This level of customisation allows for a harmonious integration of the artwork within your space, making it a true extension of your style.

Quality and Preservation: Custom frames often use higher-quality materials that offer better protection against elements like UV light and acid, ensuring your artwork stays in pristine condition for longer. This is particularly important for valuable or sentimental pieces you wish to preserve for future generations.

Versatility: No matter the size or shape of your artwork, custom framing can accommodate it. This is particularly beneficial for unique or irregularly sized pieces that would not fit standard frames. Custom framing provides a solution, whether a panoramic landscape, a tiny heirloom, or an abstract piece with unusual dimensions.

Professional Advice: Working with a professional framer means you get expert advice on the best ways to showcase and preserve your piece. They can guide you through myriad options and considerations, ensuring the final product perfectly suits your needs. This collaboration often results in a more refined and thoughtful presentation of your artwork.

Cons of Custom Framing

Cost: Custom framing can be significantly more expensive due to the labour, expertise, and materials involved. The cost reflects the craftsmanship and customised service, but it may be prohibitive for some, particularly when framing multiple pieces or extensive works.

Time: Selecting the perfect materials and constructing the frame takes time, so you will wait to have your framed artwork back. This might be better for those who need quick turnaround times for exhibitions, gifts, or interior design projects. The meticulous nature of custom work demands patience.

Complexity: With so many options available, the process can be overwhelming, especially for those unfamiliar with art framing. Making decisions about matting, glazing, and framing materials can be daunting and may require more effort and involvement than some are willing to invest.

Exploring Ready-Made Frames

Ready-made frames are pre-constructed frames available in various standard sizes and styles. They offer a quick and cost-effective solution for framing artwork.

Pros of Ready-Made Frames

Cost-Effectiveness: These frames are generally more affordable than custom options, making them accessible for various budgets. Ready-made frames can provide a cost-efficient alternative for those looking to frame multiple pieces or work within a strict budget.

Convenience: Ready-made frames are immediately available off the shelf, perfect for quick projects or gifts. This immediacy is ideal for last-minute decisions or those who prefer to complete a custom framing job immediately.

Variety: Despite being standardised, many styles and sizes are available in ready-made frames. This allows for some degree of choice in finding a frame that suits your artwork and decor without the wait or cost of custom framing.

Cons of Ready-Made Frames

Limited Customisation: You're limited to the sizes and styles available, which may not suit all artwork or personal tastes. This can be particularly challenging for non-standard sizes or those looking for a specific look to match their decor or the artwork's era or style.

Quality and Protection: The materials used in ready-made frames may not provide the same quality or protection as those used in custom framing, potentially risking damage to your artwork over time. This is especially concerning for valuable or sentimental pieces where preservation is a priority.

Fit and Presentation: Standard sizes might not fit your artwork perfectly, leading to a less professional presentation. This can make the artwork look cramped or overshadowed by too much matting, detracting from the visual appeal and potentially affecting the art's condition.

When to Choose Custom Framing vs. Ready-Made Frames

Consider Custom Framing When:

  • You have a unique or valuable piece that requires a specific size or protective materials.
  • You're seeking a tailored look to complement your home or the artwork.
  • Longevity and preservation are top priorities.

Opt for Ready-Made Frames When:

  • You need a quick, cost-effective solution.
  • The artwork fits standard frame sizes.
  • You're framing a less valuable item that doesn't require stringent preservation.

Picture Framing: The Impact on Your Artwork

Regardless of which framing option you choose, the method of picture framing itself can significantly impact the visual appeal and lifespan of your artwork. Proper framing draws the eye to the art and protects it from environmental factors. A well-chosen frame can complement the art, pulling out colours or details to make the piece stand out. Conversely, a poorly selected frame can distract or detract from the artwork.

In addition, suitable framing materials can protect your artwork from fading, yellowing, or deteriorating due to UV light, humidity, and other environmental hazards. This protection is crucial for maintaining the integrity and value of the artwork over time. Picture framing is not just about aesthetics; it's a vital part of art preservation.

Ultimately, the framing process is an art, requiring a careful balance of aesthetic and protective considerations. Whether you choose a lavish custom frame with high-quality glass or a simple, elegant, ready-made frame, the goal is to enhance and preserve the beauty of the piece it holds. By understanding the impact of framing, you can make choices that celebrate and safeguard your artwork for the long term.


Choosing between custom framing vs. ready-made frames doesn't have to be daunting. By weighing the pros and cons of each against your needs, preferences, and the specific requirements of your artwork, you can make an informed decision that suits your piece and your pocket. Remember, the right frame showcases and protects your artwork, allowing you to enjoy it for years.

Deluxe Art prides itself on offering custom and ready-made framing solutions focusing on quality and customer satisfaction. Explore our options and expert advice to ensure your artwork, photographs, or memorabilia are best displayed. For more on picture framing and to discuss your framing needs, visit Deluxe Art today.

February 26, 2024 — Donna Far Azin