Dorian Gray and a guest
November 24, 2009 8:00 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend and I are planning to give photos we had taken of us to our families (and some friends) for Christmas. We have a few questions.

The most important—in my mind—is frames. We need at least 4 (probably more) frames for these photos. We'd like them to be innocuous and uniform without being too generic (no crystal). We'd like to order them all from the same place. The cheaper the better (since this will not be the main present) but we're willing to spend $20 each if we have to (we won't quibble on an extra buck or two, but $10 is the actual target). The pictures are 8x10. We're hoping for answers that are more creative than "Walmart/Target have good cheap frames." We also have way too little time for the "This kit is cool." We're not making any frames.

Secondarily, should we give them all the same photo? If we decide to give each person different pictures should we provide them with access to the pool of available options and offer to swap? Would asking something like, "If you like one of these better let us know, and we'd be happy to swap yours for it. Or, if you want them all, we can order you a set at the cost of X."

posted by cjorgensen to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've found this list of cheap sources for frames to be useful.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:08 PM on November 24, 2009 [4 favorites]

I always found a good inexpensive variety of frames (not kits) at craft stores - Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.

Whenever we give photos we pick out our favorite and that's the gift. We don't even introduce the option of other pictures for them to choose from. No one has ever complained.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:35 PM on November 24, 2009

I just bought a bunch of frames today for a similar set of gift photos for my Dad. I was at Bed, Bath & Beyond and not only did they have a decent collection of good looking frames totally within your price range, they had "seconds" which were painted wooden frames that usually had a small ding or dent in them. This could be easily touched up. They were easily half off. I don't know how skin-flinty you are, but this appealed to my sensibilities. Also I think it's worth the extra buck to go for frames that have some matting built into them. Looks nicer.

When I gave people photos I picked a set that I liked and gave them a few photos [hey printing is cheap] and one frame that would hold any of them. I think I gave them one photo framed but some others to have if they wanted more.
posted by jessamyn at 9:19 PM on November 24, 2009

I frame a lot of my photography, both for my own display and for gifts. Michael's has always been the most consistent place to get my frames for a good price.

For 8x10 photos, you will probably want an 11x14 frame and a mat with an 8x10 opening. There should be no problem getting each set for under $20. They often have half-off all frames as well.
posted by The Deej at 10:10 PM on November 24, 2009

Ikea has lots of frames in generic/ nice designs for cheap, many under $10.This one even includes a mat, but they don't ship small items like these, so someone will have to trek out there.

It's totally fine to give everyone the same photo. Before digital cameras and good home printers, all you got was a big sheet of the same photo to cut up and hand out. I'm not sure about offering to let someone buy a set of your photos as a gift to themselves? This seems backwards to me. Send them digital copies, or set up a private flickr pool. Even my grandma can manage to put a photo on a flash drive and take it to the photo kiosk at CVS if she wants a hard copy.
posted by fontophilic at 11:32 PM on November 24, 2009

i have never tried these but i think they look really nice. if you buy the blank 8x10s they are within your price range
posted by nanhey at 4:08 AM on November 25, 2009

I've always been able to find great frames at Michael's. In fact I have three of them on my desk right now that were $5 each. They're always having some kind of sale, and you can find coupons online as well.

Just make an executive decision and choose the pictures. The easiest thing is to pick the same one for everyone.
posted by radioamy at 1:02 PM on November 25, 2009

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