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Carry on as you were.
So you're making your first trip to a Second Hand store (aka, thrift store) and you have no idea what you should be looking for in the piles (and PILES) of stuff.
NEVER go without at least a general idea of what you're looking for
You know you have a limited amount of time and money to spend.
Say 30 minutes and $10.
If you stopped into a mega thrift store, you should ask the first kind soul where all the picture frames are.
They will point you to some dim, dusty place in the back of the joint.
There, you will find that 30 minutes and $10 will take you far.
But remember Mistake #1?
Heading to a frame aisle and not having a specific project in mind OR
a general theme to go off of.
Easy enough to remedy.
For a specific project, rather then trying to match everything in your house up,
tackle a room (or even a corner of a room or a specific wall) at a time
For a general theme, remember that you can always break out the paint to create a theme
and everything does NOT have to match perfectly.
Case in point, this DIY Easy Frame project.
Frame 3.99 from Value Village | "Found Letter Art" free from Flicker
Photo (c) b3 home designsI just started collecting.
Anytime I saw a silverish looking frame with this thin mount edge
Thrifting collection of thin mount edge silver frames
Photo (c) b3 home designs
I snapped it up.
You can set whatever kind of rules for your collection as you want.
Because I'm married to an Aaron's Brother's Frames photographer junky
I know big frames are expensive
So I generally look for 11x14 or larger.
And I flip them over and see if they have the screw slot corners
Because that there is a good frame.
I don't really care about the condition of the glass because really, sometimes, glassless frames are good
I don't have a hard a fast "nothing over $5 rule" in this realm.
I don't buy smaller than 11x14
I usually buy at least two, if not three at a time.
I tend to shy away from giant poster sized frames at this time (because prints that size are PRICEY)
I almost always use these types of frames to actually frame something.
My favorite source of all times for "stuff to frame" on the cheap is:
The Internets. Of course.
If you have never been to Vintage Printables you must RUN and get your free on.
They have all sorts of great images, most of which, at the time of press run, you cannot see.
Because they are, evidently, technophobes and can't figure out how to run their blog.
But they are working on it.
And I downloaded all sorts of awesome from there.
Like for instance
these jazz posters:
Jazz Posters downloaded from Vintage Printables
Printed at Costco
Framed with Thrifted collection of frames
Photo (c) b3 home designs
Which, of course, I used some of my collected frames to...well...frame.
These 16 x 20 frames cost me $1.99 each
Prints were $6 each at Costco
$16 for a wall of awesome.
Pricier than most of my DIY projects which is one reason why this is DIY Medium
I'm also handy with the Photoshop (so I could prep them for optimal Costco sizing/cropping printing
It took half a minute to find stuff I liked at Vintage Printables because, well, I liked it all.
If you need frames that match identically, you can easily bump this to a DIY Hard
lugging around your one frame as you search the region for it's twin is a bit much
If you loath photo editing and can't figure out how to crop right at Costco, that could start to be hard
But for general, cheap, DIYers, this should hit medium.
Only because you often need patience
or a handful of cash to amass a decent collection