How to Save Big Bucks at the Frame Shop Part 1

How to Save Big Bucks at the Frame Shop Part 1

Have you ever noticed that–oftentimes–framing your new fabulous print/poster costs ten times as much as the print/poster itself? After suffering from this phenomenon for too many years I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. I was buying my prints FIRST and then framing them AFTER. What I SHOULD have been doing is using the frames I already have and finding print images to fit their openings.

Re-use Your Frames


Okay, we all know this, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. You take the measurements of your frame’s opening to the print shop and then sift through stacks of prints trying to find an image you like that’s the right size. You might get lucky here, but more likely you’ll have to settle. This is where AllPosters.com comes in.

The Kid in a Candy Store Phenomenon

AllPosters.com bills itself as "the world’s largest poster & print store," and, after taking a look at the site, you’ll believe it. First they have four primary categories including Entertainment, Art, Subjects, and Specialty Products. These categories then have subcategories. For example, Subjects contain Animals, Architecture, Food & Beverage, & Travel, just to name a few. THESE categories then have subcategories which also have subcategories. So, let’s say we pick on Architecture. And then Bridges. And then City Bridges. You get the picture.

Getting Back to the Point

Now let’s get to the reuse-your-frame part. AllPosters has an advanced search option in which you can refine your search by dimension. So, let’s say we have a frame that’s 26" by 20" and we want a new poster/print for it. In Step 1 we’ll pick–for the heck of it–Contemporary Art for our category in which to search; in step 2 we’ll select the dimensions 25" by 30" for our width and 20" by 25" for our height. (Or course we can run another search flipping those dimensions and make our height our width and width our height as we can rotate our frame 90 degrees.) Now we’re going to click "search" and see what happens.

Jazz Scene II by John Hillman

The Results

All Posters has found 2,318 items that suit our criteria (and 593 more that are pre-framed.) Let’s pick Jazz Scene II by John Hillmer or Femme Etendue, 1988 by Alicia Grau, both of which measure 28" by 22". Okay, this might break our hearts, but when we get the print–shipped to us in one of those cool, hard cardboard mailing tubes, we’ll cut an inch off each side and then the poster will fit in our 26" by 20" inch frame.

Femme Etendue, 1988 by Alicia Grau

Of course there will still be times when we fall in love with a print of our dreams and then have to face the consequences later. But that’s what falling in love is all about!

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Daniel on Jul 31, 2009:

Well after a visit to my local IKEA I also thought why pay a fortune to get an inexpensive print framed so I bought a couple of large frames for under £20 and thought I'll search allposters and find a couple of prints to fit them but ... as far as I can see searching by print size no longer works unless the websites of allposters have regional variations.  I'm using .co.uk site and there is no advanced search facility - if you enter dimensions in the search box the search results returned tend to be low in number and are unlikely to be the dimensions you were looking for.


Ironically enough you get more search results for dimensions returned if you do a search on google using keyword of allposters and your dimensions but even that only returns a fraction of the actual print dimensions that match.


If you can still get this advanced search facility to work could you tell me which regional site you are using and the exact steps you are using to gain access to the advanced search facility if it is indeed an extended part of their search facility.

baconthecat on Apr 16, 2007:

Thanks for this tip! It seems so nonsensical, yet I wouldn't have thought of it.

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