The Art of Perfectly Framing Your Memories with Michaels

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Finding the Right Custom Frame to Showcase Your Artwork and Photos

As an amateur photographer and art enthusiast, I have quite a collection of pieces that are meaningful to me. From photos of friends and family to prints and paintings I’ve acquired over the years, having these visual mementos displayed around my home is a top priority. But simply sticking a nail in the wall doesn’t do them justice. Framing is key for both aesthetic and preservation purposes.

After some less than stellar experiences with cheap, poorly-made frames from big box stores falling apart, I decided it was time to have my special artwork and photos framed properly. I wanted them to look professionally done, as if they were newly purchased pieces worthy of gallery walls rather than just random snapshots. That’s when I discovered the vast world of custom framing options at Michaels.

With a varied selection of frame styles and materials, specialty services like matting and conservation-grade options, and in-store expertise, Michaels offered everything I needed to make my artwork really shine. Here’s an overview of my experiences using Michaels’ custom framing services and why I’ll be a repeat customer.

Frame Styles Galore for Stylish Display

A big draw of choosing custom framing is getting to select a frame that complements the visual piece rather than settling for a genericmismatch. At Michaels, there is a diverse array of frame material, finish, and style options to fit any decor or art aesthetic.

For most of my casual photos printed at home, I opted for simple modern black and white frames with clean lines. The neutral palette works well for virtually any image while providing some nice contrast against my light wall color. The thin profile gives them a sleek, contemporary look.

But for some scenic lake photos I took while on vacation, I wanted something with more natural character. The rustic wood frames in various stained finishes were just what I was envisioning. The raw texture and visible wood grain paired perfectly with the nature theme. I also appreciated that the solid wood construction and sturdy joining make these frames built to last.

Beyond the basic rectangular frame, Michaels offers more unique shapes like circular frames that I thought would really spotlight some of my favorite candid photos of my nieces and nephews. And for my boyfriend’s prized autographed sports jersey, only a shadow box frame would do for safely displaying the 3D item.

No matter your decor style – modern, farmhouse, industrial, traditional, rustic, or eclectic – Michaels likely has just the right frame to make your art or photos shine. Their selection is expansive enough to match the frame to the visual piece rather than settling for what’s on hand.

Matting Creates Visual Interest and Enhances Presentation

Another element that can really elevate an art piece or photo in a frame is matting – the decorative paper or cardstock that sits between the visual piece and the frame. At Michaels, there are tons of matting colors, textures, and thicknesses to choose from.

For some floral botanical prints I had framed, I asked the in-store framing expert for advice. She suggested choosing an acid-free cotton rag mat in an antique ivory tone that wouldn’t detract from the muted watercolor shades but would still provide nice distinction. I loved the results – the matting made the colors in the prints really pop.

I also had them frame a family photo in a black frame, but to soften the look, went with a double mat in creamy neutral cardstock. The extra layer of matting makes the black frame less harsh so the portrait is the focal point rather than the dark framing. It looks chic and polished.

Matting can make all the difference in accentuating your art rather than the frame competing. Trust Michaels’ knowledgeable staff to help select the perfect colors and even textures like velvet or metallic.

Choosing the Right Glass for Optimal Viewing

Of course a key part of the framing equation is the see-through glass or acrylic cover over the visual piece inside the frame. At Michaels, you’ll find various options to suit your display needs.

For most standard prints and photos, the basic clear glass works well to provide an undistorted view. But I opted for UV-protective glass on items particularly susceptible to fading over time, like some watercolor prints I have in bright colors. Blocking UV rays will help preserve the original vibrancy.

I also paid extra for non-glare glass on a couple pieces. One is a dark graphic print collage that I have hanging in my home office. With light streaming in from the windows, the special coated glass cuts down on brightness and reflections so I can see all the details clearly while working.

For a framed certificate I have displayed in an area open to a hallway, the acrylic panel made more sense than glass for safety reasons. Acrylic is shatter-resistant, so I don’t have to worry about an accidental bump or ball bouncing into it. Bonus – acrylic is also lighter than glass, making it easier to hang securely.

Think about lighting, potential reflections, and location when choosing glass or acrylic protection. Michaels’ experts can explain all the options to select the best fit.

Custom Framing Consultations Offer Expert Guidance

With so many choices involved – frame, matting, glass, etc. – custom framing can feel overwhelming. I worried about making the wrong decisions and ending up with results I didn’t like due to my own poor visual judgment. But the friendly and knowledgeable framing consultants at Michaels put my mind at ease.

Rather than hastily pointing me to a few basic ready-made frames, they took the time to discuss my vision for the pieces I brought in. I told them about the room décor, ambiance, typical lighting, and other contextual factors.

With me bringing in the physical pieces themselves, the consultants could analyze the colors, dimensions, and any unique considerations. They offered recommendations on frame finishes and styles that would not only look attractive but also durably support and protect each item.

For family heirloom pieces in particular, I depended on the consultant’s advice to provide archival, acid-free matting and UV blocking glazing that would prevent deterioration over decades. They guided me through each decision while staying flexible to my preferences.

Do take advantage of the knowledgeable Michaels’ picture framing staff. Describe your vision and needs and let their expertise steer you toward the ideal frame to showcase your piece.

Ready-Made Frames Offer Convenience and Savings

As much as I love the complete customization of hand selecting each material and option through Michaels’ framing department, the reality is that it comes at a cost. For mass framing a collection on a budget, ready-made frames are a great option.

Michaels stocks ready-made photo frames in every standard size from 5”x7” to 16”x20” and beyond. You’ll find sizes to fit everything from small candid snapshots to large canvas gallery wraps. The frame interiors include a paper mat with a cut-out to display images without needing glass.

For my wall collage of travel photos, using ready-made 8”x10” black wood frames allowed me to frame ten prints for a fraction of the price of custom framing each one individually. Though the mattes are single sheets of white paper, which is fine for the casual arrangement.

If you want to add a little more style, Michaels has an array of poster frames ready to hang in metallic finishes, colorful paints, distressed wood looks, and contemporary thin profiles. They looked so much more polished than flimsy plastic poster frames for displaying art prints and old movie posters in my home theater.

Ready-made frames won’t offer the same range of specialty matting, glass, or customization. But for straightforward framing jobs, they provide a fast and wallet-friendly solution.

Shadow Boxes Safely Showcase Memorabilia

As much as I love decorating with photos and art prints, some of my most meaningful pieces are memorabilia like sports jerseys, tournament ribbons, and souvenir ticket stubs I want to preserve and display.

Shadow box frames are ideal for these types of dimensional objects. The deeper inset box provides space to carefully arrange the items inside while fully enclosing them behind a glass or acrylic cover.

I brought my dad’s high school wrestling jersey to Michaels along with some medals, pins, and an old team photo. Their custom shadow box framing turned these cherished mementos into a meaningful wall collage for my dad’s 65th birthday. The jersey looks like it’s ready to hang proudly in a locker room, not languish in a closet.

For my brother’s military service items, I knew only archival-quality materials would do. Michaels offers museum-grade shadow boxes designed specifically for memorabilia preservation. Acid-free matting and backing boards along with UV glazing will keep these memories intact for generations to come.

Shadow box framing transforms random trinkets into professional displays and preserves them for the long haul. An ideal way to respectfully showcase special collections and souvenirs.

Specialty Services Handle Unique Items

While photos and paper prints are the most common framing jobs, Michaels actually offers specialty framing services to handle a diverse array of items. Here are some examples of pieces I’ve framed there beyond basic arts and pics.

  • Needlepoint wall hanging my grandmother stitched
  • Antique quilt square from a family heirloom
  • Toddler handprint clay imprint plate
  • Wedding veil with decorative rhinestone edge for preservation
  • Set of four hand-painted wine glasses to prevent dust and breakage

The experienced framers know how to handle delicate, irregularly shaped, or three-dimensional objects with care. Be sure to ask them for advice on specialty items to ensure they are displayed securely.

For example, for the wine glasses, rather than setting them on a flat mat, the framed box has slots to sit each glass in securely. And the needlepoint wall hanging was set into a deep frame to keep the stitches from touching the glass front.

Don’t be afraid to bring unique items to Michaels for custom framing. Their expertise goes beyond basic prints and photos.

Pricing for Premium Results

When it comes to custom framing services, the adage “you get what you pay for” often holds true. Higher prices typically come with higher quality materials, construction, and artistry. Michaels offers fantastic quality results across a range of budgets.

For basic 8×10 photo prints, you can likely get a custom-framed piece for $40-$60. Opting for simple matting and basic wood or metal frames keeps costs down. Add a few extra bucks for specialty glass or matting upgrades if desired.

For larger prints like 24×36 canvas gallery wraps or art prints, expect custom framing to run $150-$300. The bigger size plus chunkier frame materials drives up the base price. Complex multi-matting arrangements also increase costs but can really make the art shine.

Museum shadow boxes for memorabilia easily hit $300+. The specialized archival materials and meticulous assembly labor justify the price for protecting cherished heirlooms. Take advantage of sales and coupons whenever offered.

For a fully customized frame using top-grade solid wood, ornate finishes, premium matting and art glass, the sky’s the limit. Elaborate framing with intricate details brings costs into the thousands for oversized, one-of-a-kind projects.

While Michaels offers frequent sales and coupons, framing remains one of their premium services. But you see the stellar results that warrant the higher-than-average prices.

Completion Times Vary by Project

With many in-store crafting services from custom framing to specialty cake decorating, Michaels doesn’t produce the finished products on the spot. Larger projects require completion at an offsite production facility before shipping final orders to the store for pickup.

When dropping off framing projects, the staff will provide an estimated completion timeframe, usually 7-10 days for basic pieces needing just simple assembly. More complex designs with extensive matting details or specialty treatments might take 2-3 weeks, especially during peak seasons. For specialty items requiring extra handling care, allow 3-4 weeks.

During my consultation, they assessed each piece I brought in and gave me realistic turnaround estimates I could plan for. I dropped them off early to allow ample time before I needed framed pieces for gifting or displaying in a new home.

The production facilities also likely batch projects by type for more efficient assembly. So completing all frames in one go rather than separate trips prevents staggering multiple delivery dates. Just plan ahead.

Satisfaction Guarantee Offers Peace of Mind

Given all the details involved in custom framing – dimensions, colors, materials, arrangement – there is certainly potential for imperfect results. A frame that looks amazing in your mind might feel underwhelming in reality.

That’s why I appreciated Michaels’ satisfaction guarantee on their framing services. If the finished piece just doesn’t look right when you see it assembled, they will work to make it right.

For a beach sunset photo I had framed in blues and tans, the hues ended up feeling too cold once completed. I brought it back, explained that it just wasn’t giving the warm, tropical vibe I wanted. They tweaked the frame and matting colors and adjusted the balance until I was happy with the revised version.

If a frame comes back from production with damage or flaws in the assembly, Michaels will repair or replace it. And if you simply change your mind on a custom piece, they offer returns within standard policy time limits. Check the policy for your specific location.

Michaels aims for framing customers to feel confident in the end results. Take advantage of the guarantee if needed.

Frequent Sales and Coupons Lower Costs

Between the premium materials and labor involved, custom framing comes at a significant cost. Even ready-made frames add up when doing multiple pieces. That’s why I always keep an eye out for Michaels framing sales, coupons and promos to take advantage of.

The ubiquitous “40% off one regular priced framing item” coupons found in mailers, emails, and apps help offset the expense on an individual custom piece. I also stock up when I see “Buy One, Get One 50% off” sales on ready-made frames to save on bulk orders.

Around the holidays when I’m framing lots of gifts, it seems Michaels always offers “20% your entire framing purchase” which really adds up over multiple pieces. Signing up for their Rewards program emails ensures you’ll be notified of all framing promotions.

Even if you’re getting quality moulding, mats, and glass, paying full price on custom framing still stings. Be diligent about seeking out Michaels savings opportunities before you order.

Online Convenience, In-Store Perfection

These days, we expect the convenience of doing just about everything online from grocery ordering to doctors appointments. But when it comes to something as specialized as custom framing, I found the in-person experience at Michaels really pays off.

I did appreciate that Michaels allows you to start online by browsing frame styles and matting options and potentially uploading images to visualize. Their site also provides size and configuration recommendations and estimated pricing.

However, seeing and feeling the actual frames and mat boards in person made a huge difference in selecting components that worked with my pieces. And the experts in store also noticed intricacies like odd sizing or texture that required adjustments I wouldn’t have thought of.

Being able to have hands-on guidance in choosing colors, handling delicate items, and having framing components fitted to my pieces resulted in frames that far exceeded my expectations. The online tools provide helpful guidance – but in-store fine-tuning takes it to the next level.

So start online to scope out ideas and pricing, but finish up with an in-store framing consultation. You’ll walk away much more confident in the final outcome.

Preserving Artwork and Photos with Conservation Framing

As a photography hobbyist, I take thousands of photos of travels, family, and events that I print and display in albums or frames throughout my home. While I treasure these memories, most smartphone snapshots printed at home have little monetary value and I’m okay if they fade or deteriorate over decades.

But I also have some cherished vintage family photos, valuable artwork given as gifts, and a couple of pricier limited edition fine art prints that I want to preserve and potentially even pass down. For these, I didn’t want to take any risks.

That’s when Michaels’ conservation-grade custom framing came into play. Their specialists recommended specialized matting, frame construction, glazing, and hanging materials designed solely for long-term preservation. Here are some key elements:

  • Acid-free matting and backing boards. Regular mat board contains acids that can leach out over time, discoloring photos and artwork. Acid-free boards prevent deterioration.
  • UV protective glazing. Exposure to light causes fading. UV-blocking glass or acrylic glazing filters out damaging ultraviolet light.
  • Museum grade materials. From solvent-free adhesives to durable solid wood frames, museum-grade components last for decades without off-gassing.
  • Climate controlled framing. Breathable tape and spacers allow humidity and airflow and prevent condensation damage.
  • Limited direct light. Avoid hanging irreplaceable art in direct sunlight. Low light conditions slow reactions that weaken materials.
  • Dust protection. Tightly joined frames maintain a dust-free environment to prevent particulate abrasion.

Conservation framing principles prevent age-related damage like yellowing, cracking, peeling, and fading. Though more costly upfront, it protects precious art and photographs to retain vibrancy and value over generations. An investment for cherished pieces.

Helpful Resources Offer Guidance for Newbies

When I first ventured into the world of custom framing, so many options and considerations simply overwhelmed me. What types of materials best complemented certain art mediums? How do you balance mat colors? What is acid-free paper and does it matter? Designing a quality frame felt out of my depth.

Luckily, Michaels offers tons of framing educational resources online and in store to help demystify the process for novices. I spent time reading through their framing guides to understand the impact small details can have.

Their illustrated visual glossaries of frame styles, mat configurations, and common terms gave me the vocabulary to better communicate my aesthetic vision. Reviewing general framing principles and best practices prepared me to make more informed design decisions.

In person, the Michaels associates guided me through hands-on learning about handling matting, properly joining frames, installing hanging hardware, and other techniques. Their tips like using mat borders to subtly influence color perception gave me new context.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and access Michaels’ framing knowledge base. Their experts enjoy sharing guidance to help customers frame with confidence.

Framing Gift Cards Give Creative Control

Many people ask me for gift recommendations when they know someone who needs framing services. While it’s thoughtful to offer to pay for the framing of a meaningful piece as a gift, choosing the specific frame can feel like overstepping.

Framing often comes down to personal style – the frame that I might pick could seem all wrong for someone else’s taste. That’s why Michaels framing gift cards make such perfect presents for art and photo lovers.

Giving a set framing budget empowers them to create the custom frame of their dreams for a special photo, art print, or object. A gift card also enables conveniently timing the project for their schedule rather than feeling pressured by your own gift-giving timeline.

Maybe they’re moving and waiting to decorate new walls, or need to save up artwork to group multiple pieces together thematically. A framing gift card gifts them the freedom to frame at their own pace.

Simply add funds to a Michaels gift card and include it as a tangible present or e-gift card. Then they can frame to their heart’s desire!

Understand Frame Finalization and Return Policy

When giving any custom framing gift card, it’s thoughtful to mention a key Michaels framing policy detail to avoid confusion or disappointment for the recipient.

Since the store facilitates full customization, once a recipient finalizes a custom frame order, they cannot return or exchange the materials they selected. After weeks of production time, reusing components impossible.

This means if the frame they envisioned looks different in reality once completed, they can’t simply swap it out as with most store purchases. They can pay to have adjustments made, but exchanging isn’t an option.

I make sure framing gift recipients understand to take their time finalizing orders they’ll truly love, and utilize Michaels’ satisfaction guarantee for any needed tweaks. An extra trip reviewing choices with the experts ensures no surprises.

So they can frame freely but with awareness that custom means commitment. I also share my own tips from experience to set realistic expectations that avoid regrets.

Rewards Membership Offers Framing Perks

Beyond browsing for frames or art supplies now and then, Michaels devotees who regularly shop there should absolutely enroll in their free Rewards program. The perks are so worth it – especially for framing fans.

Just for signing up, you get a 20% off total purchase coupon that can make a huge dent in a sizeable custom framing order. The discounts continue with member-only preview sales access and targeted offers.

Twice a month, Rewards members receive 20% off total framing purchase coupons in their accounts to redeem. Try timing a major project to align with these coupons for maximum savings.

Members also get advance notice and exclusive coupons for special sales events like Buy One Get One 50% off ready-made frames – perfect for stocking up.

Beyond discounts, Rewards members earn 1 point for every $1 spent that adds up to $5 gift certificate rewards you can put towards framing splurges. Plus free shipping online helps offset costs.

If you frame often, the Rewards program easily pays for itself. Sign up before your next project.

Custom Framing for Special Events and Milestones

Beyond decorating my home with everyday art and photos, I also leverage Michaels’ framing expertise to commemorate special events and milestones with one-of-a-kind framed mementos.

For a wedding gift, I brought in the happy couple’s invitation suite along with a photo from their engagement session to frame together in bridal white and silver accents. For a mom welcoming her first grandbaby, I framed her daughter’s sonogram print with a “Promoted to Grandma” announcement – her tears of joy were thanks enough.

For recent grads, I preserve their commencement ceremony program along with senior portraits. My dad nearly wore out his framed retirement countdown calendar, proudly displaying the completed artwork as his badge of freedom.

Meaningful events merit lasting displays. Bring your special occasion artifacts and favorite snapshots to Michaels to frame a lasting memory.

The consultants can suggest creative frame enhancements too like custom matting in school colors, engraved nameplates documenting details, or themed decorative filigree trim. anything you can dream up to personalize the piece.

Protecting Precious Artwork and Photos Over Time

As an amateur shutterbug, I have thousands of casual smartphone snapshots printed for albums, frames, and gifting. And while I’d be sad if these generic prints faded over decades, I took most with the knowledge that they were destined for my stock photo archive, not gallery walls or museums. The images alone hold more meaning than any fine art mystique.

But I also own a handful of truly precious photographs and artwork that I intend to treasure as family heirlooms and hopefully pass down someday. Those require preservation treatment.

My great-grandfather’s antique portrait photograph from the 1920s. An original pastel still life painting created by a beloved aunt. Several vintage black and white family photos documented our lineage over generations. For these I wanted custom framing designed to protect against deterioration for posterity.

That meant archival-grade acid-free matting and boards. No cheap wood pulp that could off-gas over time. UV-blocking glass to filter out aging light. Secure joins to keep out humidity and particulates. Low-acid adhesives. The works.

I trusted Michaels’ fine art framers to advise on conservation best practices. The last thing I wanted was to damage an heirloom with my poor DIY skills or ignorance of materials science.

Though costly, the peace of mind knowing my most precious pieces are protected in their custom frames lets me sleep easy and proudly display special finds, confident they’ll persist to become future family treasures.

When your priceless art and photos merit museum-level care, Michaels can provide it. An investment today preserves enjoyment for generations.

Michaels is My Framing Go-To

After too many experiences with flimsy big-box store frames practically falling apart, it became clear that quality custom framing requires specialized skills. I’m so glad I discovered the experts at Michaels for all my artwork and photo framing needs.

Their incredible selection of stylish, durable frames with versatile matting options and premium glass upgrades takes display from ho-hum to gallery-worthy. With frequent sales and coupons, the prices become accessible for elevating meaningful pieces.

Knowing my keepsakes and special gifts are handled with care by knowledgeable associates provides peace of mind. And seeing stunning outcomes reflecting my personal vision keeps me coming back.

Whether you’re looking to add polished finishing touches to your home décor, preserve precious items for posterity, or create memorable gifts, Michaels offers the custom framing quality and service you’ll love. Their creativity coupled with my cherished visuals turns random snapshots into conversational art.

When you want the complicated process of perfectly framing photos or artwork to seem easy and hassle-free, make Michaels your framing destination as I do. Their expertise consistently exceeds expectations to display my memories and styles with vision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *