DIY Photo Framing Tips for Budget Decorating

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Photo framing is not just a hobby, but a great way to personalize gifts and make memories more “homey.” Taking your pictures to get them framed professionally can get expensive too, so many are looking for ways to frame their own photos on a budget. Here are 5 DIY photo framing tips for budget decorating you can use to complete your projects:

1. Start with What You Have

Some of the best material you can use for DIY photo framing is somewhere in your apartment or storage. You can make your frames out of all sorts of things, including:

  • Pieces of wood
  • Felt
  • DVD cases
  • Fabric
  • Belts
  • Old laptops

It takes creativity on your part and some research to find out how others have successfully recycled materials for their photo framing needs. However, with patience and the willingness to take risks, you can have a great project at little to no cost.

2. Scout Craigslist

If you can’t work with what you’ve got, then it’s time to start looking elsewhere. Begin your search online at Check your local listings for art supplies to see if anyone is selling items you can use for photo framing. The best deals are found at moving and yard sales posted on Craigslist, so you’ll want to check those listings as well to see whether people will be selling items. The key to success on Craiglist for budget decorating is your ability to negotiate. Sellers and buyers expect to haggle on prices unless it’s extremely fair or cheap upfront, so don’t feel timid about beating down prices in order to fit your budget.

3. Cut Your Own Mat

One of the aspects of photo framing that makes it so expensive is the mat. Once you learn to cut your own mat, you can avoid the costs of buying pre-cut mats or having a professional do it. There are various mat cutters available for purchase, including the Logan cutter. Only take this step if you plan to do a lot of photo framing for yourself and others, because it costs a little over $100. Once you make the investment though, you can take care of all your mat needs.

4. Check the Lumberyard

Wood frames are a great option for a classical look. Your local lumberyard or home improvement store will have wood for sale that you can purchase inexpensively. You can even get someone to cut the dimensions of the wood for you if you don’t have your own tools. Some lumberyards may also have scraps available for cheap. Tell the owner or manager what you’re working on, and ask them about any deals or “giveaways.” Also check the price of builder’s moulding, which are suitable for photo framing as well.

5. Collect Free Fabric Scraps

Whether it’s due to a move or spring cleaning, people like to give away fabric. Keep an eye out for fabric giveaways on your favorite message boards, local newspaper or You can use fabric for the mat or the frame itself to give a personal touch to your photo framing.

Saving money on photo framing can free you up to spend money making the memories in the first place. You’ll also leave a lasting impression with DIY photo framing, and the process of making it yourself is more rewarding.

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