Custom Picture Frame vs. Off-the-Shelf – What’s the Difference?

Custom Picture Frame vs. Off-the-Shelf Cover image

When it comes to hanging a valuable work of art or a treasured picture, the way it’s framed can make all the difference in how it is displayed, shared, and appreciated. There are hundreds of different frame options on the market – but there are two main options when it comes to picture frames: custom or off-the-shelf. 

If you’re not aware of the differences between the two, not to worry. We’re here to help shed some light on the key features of custom picture frames and off-the-shelf frames to help you make the best decision. After all, if you’re paying a lot for art or have acquired a piece of significant sentimental value, you want to make sure it’s properly cared for and displayed, right?

What’s the difference between a custom and ready-made frame?

Ready-made frames are most often mass-produced in big batches based on common styles that are seen in most homes. You’ve probably seen them around — a standard black-coloured 4×6” frame with rectangular borders. Well, while there’s nothing wrong with using frames that are bought off the shelf, there’s also nothing particularly remarkable about them since they are put together based on a template. 

Custom-made picture frames, on the other hand, are made to order. These frames are designed around the artwork or picture to achieve an ideal spacing and framing effect. While they can be made to match standard picture sizes, they also have the flexibility of being formed into other shapes like octagons or custom silhouettes. 

Which brings us to our next key area of difference — customisation. 

Ready-made frames come in limited sizes, colours, designs, and materials. Unless you’re looking for a simplistic frame, you’ll be hard pressed to find an off-the-shelf frame that perfectly fits your artwork or picture. 

With custom picture frames, you’ll get to change almost every aspect of the frame to your liking. Naturally, you’ll also have a better selection of designs and quality frame material to choose from, such as engravings, matte finishes, and premium hardwoods. 

Last but not least, these two options will differ in overall quality. 

Generally, you shouldn’t expect ready-made frames to be made with top-quality materials — after all, there’s a reason why they are so much more affordable than custom frames. This means that off-the-shelf frames are sadly more prone to breaking when damaged, offering less protection for your artwork or pictures. 

Custom-made picture frames can be quite the investment, but you’ll get what you pay for. With higher quality materials and expert workmanship, these types of frames can last for years without needing replacement, giving you peace of mind and displaying your artwork beautifully. 

What are the standard frame sizes?

The most common sizes for photographs or pictures are 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, and 8″ x 10″. Printed photographs usually come in these sizes, and the framing for them will depend on how much space you want to include around them with a mat, if at all. 

As a general rule, picture sizes 8″ x 10″ and larger should be framed with a mat to create a border around them for best effect. 

Here is the photo frame size list with dimensions in inches and centimetres:

  • 4″ x 6″  or  10.16 x 15.24 cm
  • 5″ x 7″  or  12.7 x 17.78 cm
  • 8″ x 10″ or  20.32 x 25.4 cm
  • 8.5″ x 11″ or  21.59 x 27.94 cm
  • 11″ x 17″ or  27.94 x 43.18 cm
  • 13″ x 19″ or  33.02 x 48.26 cm
  • 16″ x 20″ or  40.64 x 50.8 cm
  • 18″ x 24″ or  45.72 x 60.96 cm
  • 20″ x 24″ or  50.8 x 60.96 cm
  • 20″ x 30″ or  50.8 x 76.20 cm
  • 24″ x 36″ or  60.96 x 91.44 cm

What sizes are available for custom frames?

Custom frame sizes are not fixed — as long as you have the dimensions of your artwork or picture, a custom frame can be built around it with the appropriate mat border. With custom frames, sizing is not much of a concern, allowing you to focus on finding the ideal mat to border ratio to create a stunning display. 

How long does custom framing take?

Custom framing can take anywhere from a few hours to a week to be completed. The more complex the custom frame is, the more time it will take to craft it and fit your artwork or picture perfectly in it. 

Some picture framing companies offer a same-day service where your custom frame can be prioritised to be made, fitted, and ready for display on the same day. 

Cost difference between custom and ready-made frames

The cost for either option can vary based on the size and material of the frame, but custom-made frames will be more expensive than a comparatively sized off-the-shelf frame. The price for a custom made frames will start at atleast $100, depending on the level of customisation you opt for and the size of the artwork

But as we’ve said before, paying for a quality frame is a worthwhile investment, especially if your artwork has significant monetary or personal value. Getting a frame that is specially made for it is the best way to both display it and protect it at the same time. 
With so many options of ready-made frames and custom picture frames, it can be quite overwhelming to choose a frame that perfectly fits the aesthetic and size of your picture or artwork. If you’re still on the fence about which type of frame is the better choice for you, we can help. At Professional Picture Hanging, we are experts at finding the ideal picture frame for any type of photograph or art piece. Contact us today to find out how we can help you frame and hang your pictures with the best results. Better yet – once framed, we’ll also hang it for you!

Hanging Art Safely: How to Avoid Damage to Your Walls and Artwork

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Looking for a way to hang your artwork or pictures without damaging them or your walls? We’ve got expert tips to help you hang them safely and securely. Read on to find out more!

So you’ve got some pictures or artwork that would look great on your wall. The only problem is — you don’t want to put holes into your wall to hold them in place. As professional picture hangers, we’re here to share our expert advice with you so that you can display your new piece effortlessly, without worrying about them falling off or damaging the walls.

In this article, we’ve included some picture-hanging methods you should avoid, as well as the best way to hang them without damaging your walls.

Table of Contents

  • The Importance of Hanging Art Safely
  • Picture Hanging Methods to Avoid
  • The Best Way to Hang Pictures Without Damaging Walls

The Importance of Hanging Art Safely

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Art comes in different shapes and sizes, from quaint 1×1 frames, to sprawling canvases that can span an entire wall. When displaying art in homes, many people opt to hang them on the walls to utilise the empty space. 

However, big or heavy artwork can often prove a challenge to hang due to the potential danger of falling down, damaging furniture, or hurting others as a result. Holding these large artworks up using nails is the most obvious solution, but it’s also one that leaves unsightly holes in the walls. 

Furthermore, those living in rentals or strata won’t have the luxury of hammering nails into the wall to hang artwork or pictures due to the lasting damage it will have on the wall. 

Picture Hanging Methods to Avoid

If you’re looking to hang your pictures or artwork without any damage to the walls, we recommend avoiding these few methods:

Nails or screw-in hooks

Using nails or screws as anchor points for hanging art can work, but they leave holes and damage on your wall that can potentially lead to long-term maintenance issues and frequent repairs. If not installed properly, some nails or screws can also come loose from the wall and cause your artwork to fall unexpectedly and become damaged. 

Wall hooks that you can find at Bunning while more sturdy than individual nails, often require screws or nails to hold them securely into place, resulting in the same wall holes and damage to your walls. 

Adhesive-based hooks 

Avoid using adhesive strips for hooks. The adhesive material can often peel off paint or leave residual marks after a prolonged period of time, resulting in cosmetic damage to the wall. Adhesive strips also vary in strength and holding power, making them rather unreliable options for hanging heavier, high-value pieces of artwork. 


Tape is perhaps the most unreliable tool for hanging pictures and artwork. Due to its flexibility, it does not have the structural strength to support frames for artwork or pictures. 

Tape is also notorious for peeling and discolouring wall surfaces, which results in the need for repairs and paint jobs to cover up blemishes and damage, especially in a rental property. 

The Best Way to Hang Pictures Without Damaging Walls

So, what is the best way to hang pictures without damaging your walls? 

At Professional Picture Hanging, we make use of a specialised hanging system to hang pictures and artwork seamlessly without any damage to walls. Our picture rails are easily removable and customisable to fit any wall material, from gyprock to brick, or even concrete. 

We can mount your picture and artwork securely and safely on your walls, regardless of their size or weight. Plus, our picture-hanging services include placement recommendations to display your artwork for the most stunning results. 

If you live in a rental property and are not able to drill into the walls, we recommend booking us in to remove the hanging hooks and fill the holes with plaster when you are moving out.

Contact our team today to find out how we can help you hang your artwork securely and safely without damaging your walls!

Picture Hanging Tips for Small Spaces and Apartments

Picture Hanging Tips for Small Spaces and Apartments - Feature Image

Hanging pictures and artwork in small spaces and apartments presents a unique set of challenges. From curating the best possible layout, to showcasing key pieces, to utilising the space to ensure your artwork and pictures don’t encroach on the space and make things feel smaller than they are. 

In small spaces, a considered approach to picture placement and art hanging can dramatically improve the aesthetic of compact living or working areas. It goes beyond finding the right spot on the wall to hang, and extends to curating an ambience that extends the visual space and infuses the unique personality of your pictures and art into your space.

To better understand this fine balancing act, this article is tailored for those grasping with special constraints. In this article, we’ll explore the hanging techniques that can be used to make the most of small spaces, make a bold statement, and leverage your art and pictures for maximum impact. 

Table of Contents

  • Picture Hanging Tips for Small Spaces and Apartments
    – Maximising your space
    – Make a statement in small spaces
    – Leveraging narrow spaces
    – Large art & small spaces

Picture Hanging Tips for Small Spaces and Apartments

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1. Maximising Your Space

Limited space doesn’t have to mean limited impact, instead, it comes down to maximising your space to ensure your art becomes a feature, not an encumbrance.  

Creating a gallery wall with uniform spacing between frames is a simple way to increase visual depth, without adding clutter. A symmetrical or asymmetrical display can create a balanced and dynamic atmosphere by paying special attention to the arrangement and spacing of frames. 

In addition to the size and spacing of your art, the colour scheme and colour blocking of your arrangement can have a significant impact on the overall appearance of the art or pictures. In general, lighter colours tend to create a feeling of openness, while darker colours can be used to add depth and create a feeling of cosiness. 

2. Making a Statement in Small Spaces

Making a statement in small spaces can be as simple as choosing a large piece of art or a large picture to serve as a dramatic focal point. This approach to creating a ‘feature’ piece is especially effective when placed above furniture, entryways, or stairways to transform these spaces into captivating focal points – irrespective of how small the space is.

By drawing focus toward a single point, the illusion of a grander space is created. This effect can be enhanced by reducing the amount of visual clutter in the area around the focal point — much like how artwork is framed with matte borders to accentuate its visuals. For that reason, this method is also ideal for those who value simplicity in their space as only a few well-placed art or pictures are needed to achieve a significant effect.

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3. Leveraging Narrow Spaces

Narrow spaces are neglected most of the time for two main reasons: one, space limitations, and two, they don’t get much exposure anyway. While both of these reasons are perfectly valid, there are ways to leverage your narrow spaces for picture hanging. 

The first way is to go across walls. Instead of viewing narrow spaces as isolated areas, you can combine multiple walls with these spaces into one extended canvas for picture hanging. For example, installing a sprawling series of frames across the corner of two walls can create a sense of fluidity between them and make your space feel more dynamic.

Another solution for making the most of narrow spaces is to think vertically. Using the full height of the wall helps to create an illusion of space, making the decorated area seem bigger than it really is, and is also a good alternative when there aren’t long continuous walls in the space. 

4. Large Art & Small Spaces

Got a large art piece that you’d like to hang in a small space? Space constraints are the biggest restriction for large art, so the key to hanging them lies in the arrangement of surrounding objects such as furniture, shelves, or even other picture frames. 

When fitting large artwork in small spaces, don’t be afraid to rearrange your space. Start by finding an area on the wall that can comfortably house the artwork, taking into account the space that will be occupied by framing and borders. Placement for the biggest artwork should always come first, as smaller elements can always be easily repositioned. 

Speaking of smaller elements, be sure not to overlap or overcrowd the area around the large artwork. Give it sufficient space to ‘breathe’ by making use of negative space. 

Final Thoughts

Getting the best outcome when hanging art in small spaces is all about finding the right balance between colour and arrangement. A professional picture-hanging service will be able to achieve this balance using their expertise and the right tools for the job. 

Professional Picture Hanging is the leading picture and artwork service in Australia. Whether it’s a vintage painting or a charming family portrait, we’ll work with you to find the perfect framing and picture hanging placement in your home. If you are looking for a reliable way to hang your new piece of artwork, just give us a call, and we’ll get it done for you on the same day. As well as picture rail systems,  we have art installers across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – we’ve also now got picture hangers on the Gold Coast, Newcastle, and Byron Bay!

How to Display Certificates on a Wall

how to display certificates on a wall

Your certificates aren’t just pieces of paper — they’re enduring testaments to your achievements and milestones. Display your certificates on a wall as a reminder of your accomplishments, adding personality and professionalism to your wall space.

This guide will discuss how to display certificates on a wall. Follow us as we discuss preparation, layout, out-of-the-box ideas, cleaning, and maintenance. Whether you’re hanging a university certificate, diploma, or sports accomplishment, it’s important to hang and display certificates safely to ensure that both the property and the certificate itself are protected.

Preparing Your Certificates for Display

To ensure your certificates look great on your wall, prepare them properly. Certificate preparation includes the following considerations:

Proper cleaning

Set your certificates down on a dry, flat surface and wipe them on both sides with a dry, soft cloth to remove dust and dirt. Depending on how thick your certificate is, water and cleaning solutions can damage the paper — you won’t want to hang your certificate on your wall if it’s smudged, so take care when cleaning!

Choosing the frame

Your certificate’s frame should complement your room, the wall, and the certificate itself. Your choice of frame will depend on the following factors:

  • Material: Solid wood frames provide a classic and durable design for your certificate. Aluminium and other metal frames give your certificate a sleek, modern look. Polystyrene is another affordable and lightweight frame option.
  • Colour: Your frame’s colour should match or contrast the colours in your room and the colour of the certificate. Make sure the certificate is what catches the eye, not the frame.
  • Size: Ensure your certificate fits in the frame with just a little extra room.

Protective Measures

Consider protective measures like UV-resistant glass and acid-free-matting to ensure your certificate stays in good condition. With UV-resistant glass, your certificate will be protected from fading from sunlight exposure, and acid-free matting will stop your certificate from yellowing.

Preparing your certificates for display ensures that they can be hung safely and stay up on your wall for years to come. Your future self will thank you for taking the necessary precautions.

how to choose the right frame for your certificate

How to Display Certificates on Wall: Layout and Arrangement

Before you start displaying your certificates, plan the layout and arrangement. This includes the following steps:

Determine the wall space

Measure the wall space you’ve chosen and each certificate. Decide how many you want to display and which ones are most important. You don’t want too many to be hung as this can overcrowd the space and make it feel cramped.

Decide on the layout

Choose your layout. It can help to draw a diagram on some scrap paper to visualise how it will look or use paper templates that match the size of your framed certificates. Adjust them until you’re satisfied — you can use blue tack or tape to stick them in place on the wall and view them from afar. Try the following arrangements:

  • Grid: Arrange the certificates in even rows and columns for a clean, symmetrical look.
  • Staggered: Create an alternating or irregular pattern for visual interest.
  • Vertical: If you have limited horizontal space, display your certificates vertically.
  • Horizontal: Arranging certificates horizontally creates a sense of continuity and allows you to display them in chronological order.

Take note of which certificate will be at eye level — this is pride of place, so choose the best one!

Techniques for Displaying Certificates

Use safe and appropriate materials and techniques for displaying certificates. Choose the proper equipment for the job.

Mounting hardware

Depending on the size, weight, and material of your certificate frame, you may use any of the following mounting hardware:

  • Picture hooks
  • Adhesive strips
  • Picture hanging wire
  • Wall anchors

Level and spacing

When hanging your certificates, try the following techniques:

  • Use a level to ensure your certificates are straight. Place the level on top of the frame when you hang it to check that it’s straight.
  • Measure the distance between each certificate to ensure they’re spaced consistently.
  • Mark the wall lightly with a pencil and ruler where you want the mounting hardware to go to ensure accurate placement.

Your certificates are invaluable records of your achievements, so it’s vital to ensure their safety. For the best and safest results, consult professional picture hanging services.

how to maintain your certificate display

Creative Ideas for Displaying Certificates on a Wall

If you’d like a unique and creative display for your favourite certificates, consider creating custom frames by painting them in your chosen colours or adding embellishments. You can also combine your certificates with other pieces of art or memorabilia — creating a gallery wall can add visual interest to your room and showcase your achievements alongside some of your favourite visuals.

Maintaining Your Display

After displaying your certificates, don’t just forget about them — to keep your display looking its best and ensure your hard work pays off, maintain the display by following these three tips:

  1. Dust and clean your frames regularly. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe down the frame and glass. Avoid using damp materials or cleaning solutions, as they can seep into the frame and damage your certificate.
  2. Check your certificates for damage. If you notice fading, yellowing, or warping, you may need to replace the frame or glass to protect the certificate better.
  3. Update the display to refresh the space and stay up to date with your current achievements. We’re sure you’re a high achiever, so display the most recent certificates or those you’re most proud of. You can also rearrange the certificates so you don’t get bored of them.

Let Professional Picture Hanging Help You Display Your Certificates

By following the simple steps in this guide, you’ll enjoy a professional and visually appealing display of all your most important certificates. If you need help hanging your certificates, consult the experienced team at Professional Picture Hanging for hanging solutions and system installation. We provide expert certificate framing and hanging services across Australia, so get in touch today to display your favourite certificates and show off your accomplishments on your walls.