Picture Framing can take anywhere from the time it takes to purchase a frame at your local department store to a month or more. The time it takes will be impacted by a variety of factors including what quality of frame you want, the actual item you want to frame, the style of frame that you select and the framing shop you choose. All these factors will play a part in how long picture framing takes and these are discussed in detail below. 

A made to order picture frame, designed specifically for the item that you are framing is the best option to choose should you want the highest quality of products and the best frame to highlight the item that you are framing. This option will take longer to frame since your local picture framer will need to make it based on your specific sizing and specifications. The time it takes can differ depending on a variety of factors including what you are framing, the frame you have chosen and also the picture framer that you choose.

The item that you are wanting framed will have an impact on the time it takes to frame. If you are framing a simple photo, print or painting, you can expect to wait a few days to a week for your custom frame to be completed. Items like clothing (football jumpers for example) can take up to two weeks as these take more time to line and secure into the frame compared to a simple print. Other memorabilia pieces like wedding dresses, or a frame with several pieces of memorabilia like a wedding bouquet, jewellery and a marriage certificate for example that is framed together in one frame will take from a few weeks up to a month given the additional labour required to plan and design the layout of the frame, secure the items and complete the frame.

Read More: Is getting your pictures custom framed worth it?

The actual frame that you choose can have an impact on the time it takes to frame your item. Since all custom picture framers make frames to order, they carry very little stock and most frames will need to be ordered from a local supplier and couriered to your framer before work can start on your frame. If the local supplier is out of your selected frame, wait times for your item can increase depending on where the local supplier sources their stock. It’s an important factor to take into account when choosing a frame, especially if you are time sensitive on completing your frame. Its always a good idea to get your picture framer to check local stock levels before making your final decision to avoid any disappoint down the track or having to rechoose a frame.

The picture framer that you choose will also be a factor in how long your picture frame will take to make. A picture framer with a good reputation that produces high quality work could take longer to complete your frame due to their high workload and attention to detail, creating a longer waiting time. However, if you have found a picture framer that you are happy with, always ask for an estimated completion time and if you need your picture frame by a particular date, be upfront with your picture framer and advise when you need it by. Most picture framers will work to your requirements in order to keep you as a customer.

If you can simply not wait the time that a custom picture framer will take to frame your item, you could consider purchasing a ready-made frame. Ready-made picture frames are an instant purchase so with this option your frame will be ready as soon as you purchase it. All you will have to do is simply insert your item into the frame. Ready-made frames are an inexpensive and easy way to get your photos or prints up on the wall. However, ready-made frames only come in standard photo and certificate sizes, so depending on what you are wanting to frame, finding the right size and design can be quite tricky, if not impossible. Ready-made frames are also mass produced, so the quality and materials used generally tend to be of a lower quality. The materials used are also not acid free so your item will end up discoloured over time, which is why it is recommended to only use these frames for inexpensive photos or prints or items that are easily replaceable. Never use ready-made picture frames for expensive items or irreplaceable family heirlooms, these types of items should only be framed by a professional picture framer using acid free materials.

So, to answer the question of how long picture framing takes can be quite difficult if you are looking for a definitive answer. The best advice for getting an estimate timeframe would be to call or visit your local framing shop and discuss your requirements with them. They will be able to give you a good indication of a time frame once they know what you want framed and the frame you want to use. And don’t forget, if you are time sensitive and need your frame completed quickly because you forgot your Mum’s Birthday (whoops!) then chat with your framer and see if they are able to rush your order through.   


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