Cheap identical frames
December 18, 2003 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone know where i can find cheap, simple black frames for wall hanging in a 4"x4" or 5"x5" format? I'd prefer 4"x4". I'm looking to buy up to 30 of them, hopefully for about $5 each, or less. I've searched through a bunch of sites via Google, but this is pretty much the closest I have gotten. I realize this is a rather specific question, but maybe someone can suggest a good resource for frames in general.
posted by edlundart to Shopping (13 answers total)
While we're at it, I have about 40 8x12" photographs that I'd like to frame. It's an odd size.

Maybe we could do a bulk order. If we use a Canadian dealer the dollar difference might save some good $ for you Americans.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:22 PM on December 18, 2003

I hate to plug a chain, but Bed, Bath, and Beyond has a gigantic frame dept. and cheap prices, if there's one near you.
posted by amberglow at 4:37 PM on December 18, 2003

If you're anywhere near an Ikea, you'll precisely what you're looking for.
posted by JollyWanker at 5:10 PM on December 18, 2003

Do what I do: buy old frames from thrift-stores, and restore them. Simple, black spraypaint can do wonders, and they only cost around a buck apiece.
posted by interrobang at 7:25 PM on December 18, 2003

I do that too, interrobang, but you can't get frames that match and are a specific uniform size that way.
posted by amberglow at 8:37 PM on December 18, 2003

How about glass frames? Would they work? You can order thirty 4" x 4" panes of glass, and fasten them on the sides to cardboard, or whatever backing-material you like.

You wouldn't get a blocked-space around the outsides of the pictures, but they'd be uniform.
posted by interrobang at 8:51 PM on December 18, 2003

I'm always popping into photo stores, literally every photo store I pass, in search of the cheap 4x4 or 3x5 frame. I think there's a market for a .79c fram that is four corners (to hold the photo) and a thin sheet of cheap plastic to protect the print.

I too would buy 30 of these. I don't really want 30 art projects, just a bunch of cheap frames that I can hang but won't efel bad about throwing out, losing, or giving away. I know this doesn't help much, but it boggles mind that this doesn't exist. I remember in 7th grade shop class we would just churn these out!
posted by djacobs at 9:52 PM on December 18, 2003

djacobs, go to Odd Lot (or any variation) or Jack's 99 cent stores (there's a big one on 39th/40th and madison-ish)---they might have them for a buck or 2 each (i see you're here in ny)
posted by amberglow at 5:29 AM on December 19, 2003

There used to be a housewares chain in NYC called Lechter's that had tons of great cheap frames. They went out of business a couple of years ago, and I haven't seen a similar selection anywhere else since.

amberglow, I was in BB&B in Manhattan the other day and their frames were all either garish and fake-woody or (for multi-picture frames) mandated a bizarrely specific set of unusual photo sizes. Maybe they were just understocked due to holiday shopping, but it made me think fondly of Lechter's.
posted by staggernation at 6:55 AM on December 19, 2003

I second the IKEA suggestion. It was the first thing I thought of when I read the question. No telling if they'll have the frames, but, if they do, they'll be cheap and plentiful.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:59 AM on December 19, 2003

Try Urban Outfitters on Broadway & Houston, I just bought 10 8*5 frames and then cut the board to fit 4*4 pictures I took. The frame back is plastic, and the glass is a bit blue, but for US$6 it was worth it.
posted by plemeljr at 7:33 AM on December 19, 2003

I've used Amerian Frame for a couple of non-standard sizes. They're custom-cut and do-it-yourself assembly, and from what I remember, the prices aren't that bad. Price is good too, maybe a little over $5, but worth it.
posted by billybunny at 9:01 AM on December 19, 2003

thanks for all the suggestions! i'll check out IKEA, i actually didn't think of that. and i remember Lechter's, it was good. it's surprising to me how "rare" square frames are. i used to do artwork that fit into the 6x4 type of ratio, but lately almost all my work has been square.
posted by edlundart at 3:29 PM on December 19, 2003

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