What are the Pros and Cons of Customized Picture Frames?

Dorothy Bland

Customized picture frames refer to picture frames that contain personalization to make the frame unique, and this personal touch can be both an advantage and disadvantage. As an advantage of this personal touch, these picture frames can stand out from the many generic frames available, thereby helping the gift recipient feel appreciated and touched by the extra thought that went into making the purchase. On the other hand, this personalization can lead to problems. For instance, a frame can be engraved to include names and personal messages. Mistakes, however, can occur, and names could end up spelled wrong, leaving the purchaser with a basically useless gift.

Picture frames can lend of touch of individuality or creativity to snapshots and portraits.
Picture frames can lend of touch of individuality or creativity to snapshots and portraits.

Among the advantages of customized picture frames is the ability to match the frame to a particular occasion, such as a frame engraved with a special message to honor Mother’s Day. For a wedding, picture frames could be given out customized with the pictures of the couple and text describing the event and date of the wedding. Most aspects of the frame can usually be personalized in the design process, including the colors, materials, and font choices. Beads, scroll patterns, and even environmentally friendly materials such as bamboo can be incorporated into the custom frame.

Customized picture frames may highlight a special event in a person's life.
Customized picture frames may highlight a special event in a person's life.

With an endless range of customization options, frames can be chosen that complement the style of the picture. For instance, to frame an old black and white photo, a more traditional-looking wooden frame may be the best look. A silver-plated frame design, however, may be preferred for an elegant contemporary look for a full color picture. The look of the frame can also be chosen to favorably represent passions or hobbies, such as choosing a custom frame designed with butterflies or roses.

For businesses, a positive of customized picture frames is the ability to extend brand awareness by designing frames tailored with the business logo and name. Usually, frames are not tucked away out of site, but prominently placed on shelves, desks, and other locations within a home or office by clients and staff. Every time these frames are glanced at, they can potentially create awareness and encourage brand interest.

Frames come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, some companies that offer these customized picture frames are able to accommodate different dimensions. This allows frames to be used to cover images without having to cut down the picture and makes frames ideal for protecting and displaying printed digital art, diplomas, and other important documents.

Before purchasing a customized picture frame, one possible negative to consider is the fact that these frames are not usually available immediately. Most custom frames are available from online stores and generally are not accessible from home retailer stores. Additionally, once an order is placed, the frames may not arrive for several days or longer than a week in some cases. If frames are needed for an immediate use or if the shipment is delayed for some reason, the frames may not arrive in time for a specific occasion.

Maybe the biggest concern with buying customized picture frames is the price. Basic generic frames are sold at fixed prices. The final cost for a frame with personal elements, however, can vary depending on various options, including the total amount of text included, the materials used, and applicable shipping fees that are required when purchasing online.

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Discussion Comments


@bythewell - For those who aren't that crafty, it can be fun to get a customized picture frame on Etsy or another craft website. They have pretty much any kind you can imagine, from ones made with seashells to carved frames or frames made from polymer clay.

I'm planning to get one of the polymer clay ones for my mother for Christmas this year, in fact, since she really likes sunflowers and I've found a place that will make a frame with little subtle sunflowers in it.

I like the idea of being able to give someone a unique gift that they won't see anywhere else, and of supporting independent artists. But you do have to make sure to plan ahead, as it usually takes a while to get the purchase.


@pleonasm - Another suggestion similar to that is to get a frame made from white plastic and color it with permanent markers. I had a mirror frame like that where the mirror broke and I re-purposed it as a picture frame and colored in the frame to match the print.

I kept it for myself, but people are always saying how striking it looks so I could have just as easily given it to someone and it can be customized to suit a particular photo or print.


If you want to make a unique frame for a friend that still has the look of a professional frame, you can use a trick they taught us in an art course I did a few years ago. Basically you get a plain wooden frame and decide what raised pattern you want to put on it. Then you draw the pattern (which should not be overly complicated) with thick PVC glue.

When the glue hardens you just paint over the frame and the raised pattern, usually with gilt paint, and you've got a frame that looks like it could be in a museum.

It was something they suggested that we could do if we needed a cheap but expensive looking picture frame. There's no reason it can't be a cheap but expensive looking gift though.

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