Sometimes we get an itch from being bitten by the DIY bug. Picture framing can be one of those DIY projects that is more difficult than you think. Today we’re going to talk about times when you don’t want to DIY your frame. We’re talking about all the excellent ways a professional picture framer can make your project shine! So here it is, for your entertainment – The high price of cheap frames – DIY not!
We included a lot of examples of stellar professional picture framing as examples. Please don’t use duct tape on anything you care about! 😀
So, why not DIY? Well – many reasons spring to mind. We’ll make a list since lists seem to be the thing to do!
- DIY isn’t as cheap as you thought! Have you ever seen a show or an article on DIY network or Pinterest that says you can make your own project using simple tools everyone has at home, and then find out that one of those tools is, like, a miter saw? Yeah, uh, no – most people don’t have that carpentry equipment laying around. So, miter saw $150, blade $35 = project is already way over budget. Before you buy that $150 mat cutter you might want to be sure you’re going to cut lots of mats (like at least 30 or more to breakeven). Will you use that tool ever again? If you probably won’t then it isn’t DIY – it’s hoarding! If you’re not going to make a hobby out of it, it isn’t worth the investment in tools.
- DIY isn’t always as easy or quick as you’ve been told! Picture framing has a bit of a learning curve. Cutting a mat by hand (and having it turn out beautifully) is difficult. Choosing colors that coordinate and don’t overpower the art can be challenging. Making four mitered corners come together without a miter vise or nail pinner can be dicey. Handling glass can be awkward, shattering (and painful). How do you hold it all together? Does it need a dust cover? Where does the wire go? Should you even use wire??? I don’t want to discourage anyone, but picture framing isn’t as easy as slapping four sticks onto something and calling it good. It is a skill that professional framers train and get certified in doing! Framing a picture at home with basic household tools can take many hours, and they can be frustrating hours… when you find finger prints or hair under the glass and have to clean it for the 18th time, or when the glass cracks and you have to slog back to the glass shop to buy another one, or when your duct tape falls apart on you…
- DIY doesn’t always turn out well, and sometimes ruins things. Don’t believe me? Check out the Pinterest Fails blog. It’s a riot!
But it’s also really brutally honest about the results of some DIY projects… not only did the project fail but even greater damage occurred. A professional should be able to do it right, and have insurance for those rare times something goes wrong. When you’re considering doing it yourself, don’t let price be the driving factor. Ideally you’ll want to learn how to do something well and take pride in the craftsmanship. If you’re ONLY trying to be cheap, consider the long term cost. We framers see artwork, family photos and heirlooms destroyed by duct tape, cardboard and glue every day. So remember to take on the mantle of DIY carefully and consider the consequences if something goes wrong!
- DIY isn’t always the best use of your time. We’re not talking about high finance here. Do you ever think about what your time is worth? Reality is, we all have a limited number of days. How do you want to spend your time? Running around to three or four big box hardware and craft stores to find all the DIY supplies you need, using your day(s) off to assemble the project, running to the store again when you forgot something, receipts and bags everywhere, gas, mileage, snow or heat… You could be reading a book, watching a movie, cuddling your kids, playing a game, painting a picture, looking at cats on the internet… is this DIY project something you really love doing? Great! Call it a hobby. You’ll find though, if you’re not really into it, it’s just going to be a pain in the tuckus. Bring your picture framing project to a pro and go relax with your precious time off! We professional framers are here for you! When that DIY project goes south we can help you fix it. 😉