Custom Framing by Mail Order

We provide custom framing by mail order. In fact, the quality of our frames and our custom framing design approach have earned us orders from nearly every state! Much of that is for mirrors and frames, but a large and growing portion of our business is for mail order custom framing from people who appreciate the extraordinary quality of our work as well as our particular design sensibility.

Although custom framing by mail order seemed at one time like a dubious proposition, it now works very successfully – in part because the modern shipping industry as well as digital and Internet technology have made it more feasible and sensible. In large part, too, our simple, understated approach, which involves fewer elements (complex and multiple mats and moldings, for example) than many framers like to use, lends itself well to this arrangement.

There are basically three ways in which we provide custom framing and/or design to customers who aren’t local:

  1. When visiting the Bay Area, bring your work, and when your job’s complete we’ll ship it to you. While you’re here, we can work together, considering frame and mat samples, discuss the picture and your framing preferences, as well as the picture’s meaning for you, and the setting in which it will hang.
  2. Send us your pictures to frame. While it obviously minimizes your participation in the design process, with the work itself in the shop we are best able to choose the right frame for color, profile, proportion, etc., sending you, if you like, digital images of our suggestions. Understand, of course, that shipping original art means accepting some risk. Pack your work with sound materials and utmost care (consider having it professionally packed; if including existing framing, remove any glass), use expedited service, and insure it. We rarely see damage to shipped items, but the risk should never be ignored. Once the work’s here, we can call you and, using the online catalog and emailing images, work with you to choose or design the right frame. Then we’ll ship it back to you all framed and ready to hang on the wall.
  3. Send us digital or print images of the item you’re framing. In many cases it’s enough for us to have an image of the item you want to frame. Often our customers work with their local framer to choose a mat and do the careful measuring necessary for us to make the frame the right size, and then order the frame from us. This method also, of course, minimizes shipping risk and cost. The completed frame can be shipped either to you or directly to your local framer for fitting, glazing, etc. (Some items, especially those that don’t involve glazing, may be easily fit by you at home.)

When placing an order, it is best to call so that we can ask you all the pertinent questions. But if you already know what you want, please be prepared to supply the information below. If anything is unclear to you, we’re here to help.

  • Frame design
  • Size and orientation — Specify what the dimensions refer to – i.e. glass size, outside dimensions, exact rabbet size, etc. (call if you’re unclear about this). Tell us whether the orientation is vertical (portrait) or horizontal (landscape).
  • Wood and stain (or clear finish)
  • Special details — Include any custom options (corner treatment, beveled or plain glass, extra frame depth, custom stain, etc.)
  • Quantity
  • Shipping address
  • Payment — We accept Visa and MasterCard, or you may send a check. We take a 50% deposit on order, the balance being payable on completion (prior to shipping).

We welcome your inquiries — inquiry@holtonframes.com or (510) 450-0350.