Choosing between ready-made and custom frames

You’ve found that photograph, print, poster, work of art – or another type of artefact – that you can’t wait to display on your wall.  But how do you know which frame is going to best complement your piece, ie. should it be ready-made or custom designed?

Sometimes, the decision-making process can feel like an art-form in itself. That’s why it’s always best to deal with a professional picture framing service. Not only do they have the technical know-how but they also have a wealth of handy advice at their disposal. 

In this blog, the team at Frame Warehouse lets you in on what to look for in selecting between frames that come ready-made and those that are specially tailored. That’s so you can find the ideal solution for any application. 



It’s all in the contrast

From the moment you think about getting something framed, you need to decide whether to go for something ready-made or a custom frame design. Ready-made frames are very convenient. However, they may not fit all types of items and you might not be able to find the exact one that you envisaged. In short, they are simply not customised

That’s where the specialist services of a professional framer will come into the picture. While you can buy ready-made picture frames at Frame Warehouse, you will, of course, also find them at a range of random retail outlets. The difference between buying from a dedicated frame shop and a variety store (or purchasing picture frames online) amounts to the level of mass production and quality control.

If you desire something truly unique, a custom frame is always your best bet. It allows you to add your own personal touch. However fantastic the ready-made route may be (and with Frame Warehouse there’s absolutely no compromise on quality) it’s like comparing apples and oranges when you stack it up against custom framing.



More than meets the eye

It’s tempting enough to want to focus solely on what your frame will look like. But this approach can neglect the importance of preserving your piece – using the right techniques and materials for ultimate longevity. This is especially significant when you are looking to frame fragile, sentimental, rare and one-off pieces. 

Fragile mediums will naturally require a more specialised approach. Watercolour, pastel and charcoal art calls for the extra care of preservation framing. This uses materials like photo mat boards and spacers. It’s an approach which means that the delicate medium which makes up the artwork won’t rub off on the surfaces that surround it.  

Sure you might go out and score, for example, a large ornate frame at an op shop. This could seem very thrifty. But will this option go the distance from a practical perspective? Products from Frame Warehouse use UV glass to ensure that colours will not fade. They can even offer museum-grade preservation, which is especially suitable for degree and certificate framing.







Getting a clearer picture

At the end of the day, it’s your personal choice whether you prefer a ready-made frame or a custom. Here’s a summary of the main pros/cons of each option:  

Ready-made frames 

  • Pros/cons Fast, convenient and they make it easy to switch up your decor.  Budget-friendly (especially if you are prepared to fit your item yourself). Quality can vary, depending on where you buy from. 
  • Suitable for can be used for anything that will fit. Especially suitable for framing inexpensive prints, posters and similar. 

Custom frames 

  • Pros/cons entirely made to fit whatever it is you need to be framed. The sky’s the limit when it comes to presentation. You can go with any style you like. And you have the opportunity to handpick all the materials that go into your frame. This may take a fraction extra time but nothing too extensive.
  • Suitable for anything and everything, but particularly those items that are awkward/challenging to frame.


We hope we’ve made the question of ready-made vs custom framing  nice & comprehensible. Remember, this is just one facet of what we do at Frame Warehouse (we also have a great number of bulk frames and other speciality services). Like to learn more about the world of framing? Make sure you keep your eyes on our blog page. And if you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime!