We Compared 4 Popular Online Custom Framing Services

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If you find yourself constantly scowling at every expanse of unadorned space in your home, you're in luck: Online custom framing has never been easier. Whether you've been amassing art pieces over the years or you just have some IG snaps from the good ol' days you'd like to bring into the physical world, there are a growing number of companies that will accept both your mailed-in art and digital uploads.

This roundup will help you navigate the world of online custom framing, so you can transform your space into a veritable art gallery — because gazing at a wall full of treasured memories and life's best moments is the self-care we all need right now.

Best for variety: Framebridge

Put simply, Framebridge has more frame options than any other competitor we looked at — and its process is simple enough for anyone to get a great result. One of the things I like best about Framebridge's service is something I never expected to rely on — the Designer's Choice option. Mail in or upload your artwork or photo and fill out a short questionnaire about what you're looking for. A Framebridge designer will send you a link to three different frame options, digitally mocked-up with your art inside (great for those who aren't always amazing at visualizing the piece in context) for you to choose from. Not happy with any of them? Your designer will gladly offer alternatives.

Framebridge also offers an option to buy a complete gallery wall worth of art in one fell swoop — something we hadn't seen before. This option is only available for uploading digital art, but if you're trying to make your home look Pinterest-worthy in a snap, you can't do better than this. Just upload your photos and Framebridge will frame them in a variety of complementary frame styles and sizes, then mail you the whole shebang with a life-size hanging guide. It's pretty much foolproof.

At a glance:

Price range: Mail-in artwork framing starts at $85; Digital "Instagram" art option starts at $39 (for a 5" x 5" print)
Max size: 32" x 40"
Offers in-house art printing: Yes
Offers mail-in art framing: Yes
Frame materials offered: Wood
Bonus features: Designer's Choice service, Video Chat Design Consultations, Gallery Wall collections, Curated influencer collections

Best for quarantine projects: Simply Framed

Simply Framed was probably the first online custom framing service you ever encountered. Since its launch in 2014, the company has expanded their offerings in several unique ways — they're the only services we found that offers colorful Plexi frames, for instance, and they're able to frame large-scale pieces up to 40" x 60" (no small feat, especially when you add free shipping to the mix).

But perhaps our favorite offering from the brand is their FIY (Frame It Yourself) option. The Frame Only service is still a custom frame dimension-wise and uses the same high-quality frames as the company's well-loved mail-in service, but without requiring you to be parted from your art. Simply Framed will ship you a frame to fit your item's measurements, as well as a toolkit of everything you'll need to achieve a professional result.

Framing a few pieces not enough of a project for you? Simply Framed's newly-launched Gallery Wall Concierge Service might be calling your name. Upload a few quick cellphone pics of your space, the art you have on hand, and what you're looking to frame, then complete a brief video chat with a pro and they'll mock up a version of what your gallery wall could look like. This service makes it easier than ever to use what you already have on hand to map out the perfect focal point for any room — and even comes with custom links to the frames you'll need to complete the look. "We're seeing people finally tackling framing projects they've been meaning to get around to for a while," says Segal. "That might mean framing a scarf they've had in a drawer, printing an online article they were featured in, or buying framed artwork for an area of their home they are now spending a lot of time in."

At a glance:

Price range: Starting at $62 for an 8" x 10" frame
Max size: 40" x 60"
Offers in-house art printing: Yes
Offers mail-in art framing: Yes
Frame materials offered: Wood, metal, Plexi
Bonus features: Frame Only service, Gallery Wall Concierge service, Large-scale framing

Best for non-traditional photo applications: Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising offers custom frames of digital images — read: premium giclée prints on archival-quality paper — so you can frame up your favorite wedding photos, vacation snaps, or baby pics easily. But where the brand really sets itself apart is with their unique display options. Artifact Uprising offers Floating Frames, which highlight your favorite photos in a fresh and unexpected way. Their deep-set frames are reminiscent of photo boxes, and bring some gravitas to even smaller snapshots. But if you're willing to look beyond frames, that's where things get really interesting. Their brass easel display option, wooden photo ledges, and wood cleat style photo holder bring tons of texture (and infinite swap-out abilities) to your photo displays.

The company specializes in wedding suites including invites and save-the-date cards, and with so many plans put on hold, they're offering free wedding reprints for those who have had to change the date of their big day. Put simply: this brand is looking far beyond the frame when it comes to photos.

At a glance:

Price range: Starting at $49 for a tabletop frame
Max size: 30" x 42"
Offers in-house art printing: Yes
Offers mail-in art framing: No
Frame materials offered: Wood, metal, acrylic (for the floating frame)
Bonus features: Frame-less high-quality prints starting from $9, Wedding suite services, photobooks, calendars, and more

Best for your budget: Frameology

If you're on a budget (or a time crunch — Frameology isn't currently reporting any shipping delays), Frameology is your best bet. 5" x 7" frames start at a truly wallet-friendly $44, including a matte that amps up the size of the final product to 8" x 10" — big enough to make a significant impact on those blank walls or get your gallery wall anchored. Somewhat paradoxically, Frameology also offers some of the most expensive, tricked-out tabletop frames among competitors. Their bejeweled Swarovski crystal option looks fit for Cinderella's castle, and the sterling silver frames are wedding gift-ready. But assuming you're sticking with wall-mounted styles, affordability is the name of the game here.

While Frameology's customization options are somewhat limited, the company prints each image in Digital C, which they explain as a photo-developing processing technique that's both longer-lasting and higher quality than inkjet/Giclée prints. This is definitely an added value, and added peace-of-mind — Frameology isn't skimping out on your memories just because their frames are lower in price than some competitors. Digital C prints are scratch-resistant (when unframed), fade-resistant, and even water-resistant. Also, Frameology's frames all have a pin-back style that allows you to open up the back and access the matte and print. Whether this is a an asset or a drawback depends on your needs: it means you can swap out the artwork, but it's not as "custom" feeling as the craft-paper backings you'd get with a true custom frame. (Just an FYI.)

At a glance:

Price range: Starting at $44 for a 5" x 7" (8" x 10" matted) framed photo
Max size: 11" x 14" (16" x 20" matted)
Offers in-house art printing: Yes
Offers mail-in art framing: No
Frame materials offered: Wood, metal, some specialty materials for tabletop frames
Bonus features: Sterling silver, mother-of-pearl, and jeweled with Swarovski Crystal inlay options available for tabletop frames only

Emily Bihl is a freelance writer and sometimes-songwriter who can invariably be found rearranging furniture in a domicile somewhere along the Mississippi River. She lives with her black labrador Selkie and a small army of homemade ceramics, and has not willingly closed a browser tab since 2011.

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