Guide to Framing Artwork in Pittsburgh

Originally published January 2nd, 2018.

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Food? Yes. Day trips? For sure. Travel advice? I got you.

The process of getting artwork framed? Not so much, but let's give it a whirl. 

This holiday season (which is now over, sad emoji), I needed to get something framed and didn't have a lot of time for a custom job, ie: We were in the December 18-25 zone. 

I wanted a high quality, fairly priced frame, and I just couldn't bring myself to go to one of the giant craft superstores. I asked on Instagram if anyone had a suggestion and WOW. Yinz came THRU with the suggestions. I had about probably around 40 people message me suggestions? It meant so much... thank you!

Because I had so much trouble finding this information online, I thought I would pay it forward and compile the information everyone send me....

Note: This post is about getting artwork (ie: larger pieces) framed. If you just need 5x7, I personally suggest Tj Maxx


Where to buy vintage/recycled frames:

Center for Creative Reuse

Point Breeze
214 N Lexington St

Wagon Wheel Antiques

Valencia (North of the city)
1399 Pittsburgh Rd


125 51st St

Red White & Blue Thrift Store

935 Ohio River Blvd

890 Saw Mill Run Blvd

Other Goodwills/Thrift Stores

Various locations include: South Side, East Liberty, Harmar, Lawrenceville


Custom framing in Pittsburgh:

Panza Picture Framing

115 Sedgwick St

There are a lot of custom framing shops in Pittsburgh, but my personal recommendation is Panza. Once I found my vintage frame, I needed to get some matting cut. I went to Panza on a whim because they are my Millvale neighbor.

They are SO great! They worked with me for days (with a lot of back and forth) to find the best solution for my picture, and gave me time to explore other options without pressuring me to buy anything.

In my experience, custom framing can cost a fortune, but Panza seems to do quality work and is happy to help you find an affordable solution.  

Tips I've learned:

You can always buy a bigger frame and have matting cut to fill up the empty space (at Panza it will likely be less than $20)
You can buy a bigger frame and have it broken down/cut a few inches
Try to find a frame with glass already in it, or you'll have to get glass cut
If you get need to get glass cut, try taking glass from another, inexpensive frame and have them resize that glass. This will be much cheaper. 

Chain stores that sell frames:

Big Lots
TJ Maxx
Michaels (get a coupon online)
Jo Ann Fabrics (get a coupon online)
Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Pat Catans (get a coupon online)

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