24x40 poster frame on the cheap and easy?
January 22, 2013 1:38 PM   Subscribe

I have a 24x40 poster that I would like to stick in a frame. I am reluctant to go to our local custom framing shop, because while they do very nice work, the price is usually in the >$100 range, which is more than I can spend right now. I've done some searching online, and haven't found great results, plus it is hard for me to assess the good vs. bad websites to purchase. Any recommendations on where I can get this size frame (or another size that my poster would look okay in - does not need to be super professional-looking), hopefully for less than $50? I can swing by a store like Target, but don't want to get into anything too complicated like looking at flea markets.
posted by rainbowbrite to Shopping (18 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
If you have a Michaels nearby, you could try that. I've found that they have pretty nice, pretty cheap frames.
posted by JuliaJellicoe at 1:42 PM on January 22, 2013

Take a look at your local craft store like Michaels or Jo-Ann. In general though, cheap frames are hard to find, especially in non-standard sizes.
posted by gnutron at 1:43 PM on January 22, 2013

I've always had good luck ordering from these people. A quick look at their metal frames came up with some choices that are comfortably sub-$50 for the size you want, especially if you don't need or want plexiglass on the front.
posted by DrGail at 1:46 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

I use pictureframes.com regularly. Looks like the list price for a basic frame and plexiglass is $50. They have a 20 percent coupon on the front page, which I would probably approximately offset shipping, making the total around $50. You can call the 800 number if you need advice on picking a frame.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:46 PM on January 22, 2013

I've been very happy with the frames I've ordered from American Frame. The 24 x 40 frame itself would be just over $30, not including the mounting board (adds $8) or acrylic (adds $30).
posted by payoto at 1:49 PM on January 22, 2013

Even cheaper is Frame USA. They are cheap frames in every sense of the word, but if you are framing a $5 poster do you really want to spend $50 on the frame? Standard sizes only, I'm afraid.
posted by mr vino at 1:49 PM on January 22, 2013

How about Ikea?
posted by ohmy at 1:51 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you just want a simple, cheap frame with clear plastic cover, Target has them for less than $15. The frames worked fine for me for no-frills poster protection.
posted by liquado at 1:53 PM on January 22, 2013

Discount home stores (TJMaxx, HomeGoods, Christmas Tree Shops, etc.) often have large frames for cheap (like, $10). Finding a specifically 25x40" one might require some serendipity, but you could always buy something a bit larger than your dimensions, then use a mat around the poster itself to bring it up to size (matboard + mat cutter for DIY cutting will run you about $15-20 at a craft store). Goodwill and thrift stores are another good source for large art pieces with readily cannibalizeable frames.
posted by Bardolph at 1:59 PM on January 22, 2013

Best answer: So, here's what you do for cheap plastic poster frames that aren't exactly the same size as the poster you're putting in them.

1) Pick the frame that fits the largest dimension of the poster you want to frame.

2) Keep the paper insert in the cheap frame and flip it over to use as an equally cheap mat. Put your poster on top of that mat, so that it looks sort of vaguely professional. Assemble the frame and hang.

Oh, and make sure to use coupons at most of the big box craft stores -- they routinely offer 50% off all frames discounts, and you know that means they're double-price the rest of the time.
posted by asperity at 2:00 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've been pretty happy with my RIBBA(from ikea) frame, and it seems like the 24 dollar one is large enough.
posted by politikitty at 2:02 PM on January 22, 2013

For another option, this post on the Young House Love blog describes building a frame out of 1"x3" wood and then stapling the poster into the frame. No glass or mat, and you'd have to be ok with putting staples through the poster, but the final effect is rather nice in a simple way and it doesn't get much cheaper.
posted by quaking fajita at 2:15 PM on January 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have had great luck with Frame Destination for non-standard-size frames.
posted by supercres at 2:36 PM on January 22, 2013

For something a little nicer, try out ebay and search by size. Might be harder for the size you're looking for, but you'll find better frames for decent prices, especially if you're into wood frames with a little vintage to them. I've also found sellers on ebay who make wood frames to custom sizes, and they've come out way cheaper than going to a framing store.
posted by homesickness at 3:19 PM on January 22, 2013

Get a decent frame-- IKEA has reasonable ones in the $30 range. Then go to a frame shop and gave them cut a custom mat, then fit it and the poster in the frame. Cheaper than full-on custom framing, and looks just as good.
posted by nonasuch at 3:27 PM on January 22, 2013

I've been looking for something similar myself. This instructable popped up the other day and caught my eye. Cheap, and fairly nice.
posted by daboo at 7:38 PM on January 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

24 x 36 is a standard size, so 24 x 40 is going to be a little awkward. The next standard size is 30 x 40, which will just fit your poster on 2 sides and give you a 3" border on the other. Ideally, as asperity says, the backing on the poster frame you buy (Michaels, Ikea, maybe Target, etc., will all have 30 x 40 poster frames) should be black and should cover that. It's not ideal but it's definitely doable. Take the time to measure so the borders are even and use double sided tape to securely put the poster in place before you frame it - that will help a lot.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:11 PM on January 22, 2013

All the craft stores take each other's coupons, too, so find a coupon and a store and bring along a tape measure.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:41 AM on January 23, 2013

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