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32 Different Types of Picture Frames

Picture frames were first used in Egypt in AD 50-70, and many have been discovered in Egyptian tombs. Some museums today display elaborate handcrafted wooden frames that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries as examples of early period décor. Wooden frames of varied types are still quite popular today.

There are myriad frame designers and sales venues available today, both online and in frame shops and shopping centers worldwide. These venues enable you to view picture frame designs that vary in materials, shapes, features, textures, displays and picture capacity.

After examining these different types of frames, you will be prepared to select the ideal frames for exhibiting your photos, prints and artwork, enhancing the beauty of your home interiors.

Thirty-two stylish and practical picture frames to brighten and enhance your home interiors include the following selections:

By Type:

Standard

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This modern brown wood picture frame is ideal for framing photographs, prints or drawings. Designed for use in both home and office interiors, its simple modern lines never detract from the photo or artwork being displayed. Wood frames are also easy to maintain with regular dusting and light polishing when needed.

On the wall of your workplace or home office, this frame will make a handsome display of awards, certificates, academic degrees and other honors or accomplishments. The warm tones of the wood will complement any item that you choose to exhibit. Attractive picture frames in natural wood tones also add pure beauty to your room décor.

Shadow Box

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This natural pinewood design creates a shadow box effect around the picture, painting or collage that you want to display. Although this particular design is rather shallow in depth, it still allows room to include some 3D items in your display. This style of box frame is a good choice for exhibiting low-relief collages that are not too thick.

Pieces of assembly art are often attractively framed in these shadow boxes. In addition, you can create an attractive exhibit of old theater playbills, concert programs, cards, photos and small items of memorabilia in this type of box frame. Small sports medals and trophies are also attractive as wall exhibits framed by shadow boxes.

Poster

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As the perfect frame to set off the poster’s message, “Be Happy, it drives people crazy,” this streamlined natural wood frame lends simple style. The frame has a raised white wooden inner frame that serves as built-in matting around your poster. The extra frame thickness, although thinner than a shadow box, emphasizes any poster display.

This square frame is large enough for an effective poster display on the wall over a desk or credenza without overpowering other wall décor. In this setting, the desktop beneath the wall-mounted poster displays greenery, a vintage light aqua alarm clock and an abstract flower petals ceramic piece.

Collage

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This bright blue frame is the perfect complement for this cheerful, lighthearted collage. The scene depicted includes a young woman wearing a hat and surrounded by fluffy clouds, birds, origami designs and other colorful creative items. The turquoise background represents a clear blue sky on a carefree day.

The collage frame in brilliant blue enlivens the scene without limiting it visually. Its slightly inset area surrounding the collage gives depth to the scene. The width of the overall frame also lends pleasing stability to this whimsical, fantasy-land display while emphasizing the simple yet attractive and compelling colors of the collage.

Document

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This simple slender black wooden frame style is traditionally used for framing and displaying documents. Typical documents often displayed are diplomas, certificates, and other credentials or awards. Since you want the viewer to focus on the document without any other enhancements, this simple frame design is best.

Although you can have them custom-made, many frames of this type are sold in sizes to fit most modern documents. They can either be mounted on your wall or displayed as standing desktop frames. If you choose to display your documents in recessed wall shelving with lights, this frame is ideal since it will not reflect light or cast shadows on your display.

Floating

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This bluish-purple decorative holiday bulb is suspended in a free-hanging white floating frame. The frame creates an attractive display, setting off the bulb when it is displayed on a Christmas tree or as part of another holiday display. In this setting, the framed bulb is on display with a bright rose-pink wall for a background.

Floating frames are frequently used as part of suspended sculptural mobiles. Since these frames can move freely around the item or items that they display, they add to the overall artistic effects of a 3D art or craft piece. Floating frames are used often in party and event decorations as well, since they can frame and display many different types of decorative items.

Digital

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Surrounded by bright portrait and scenic photos, this digital frame displays a pair of human hands cupping a small bird-like design. The image background is a brilliant blue sky on a beautiful day. A light stream of jet smoke from a now past flying plane decorates one section of the sky.

The handsome flat black frame enhances the stunning colors of this simplistic scene. Since the digital image exhibits the true coloration of all aspects of an image, it offers a true-to-life artwork to exhibit in your home, office, college dorm or other venue. This digital frame is also quite well-constructed and less fragile than some other frame types.

By Display:

Hanging

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This square retro hanging picture frame is made of handsome walnut wood and hangs on a light gold natural cord from a simple nail in the wall. The wood finish has a slightly aged appearance, which can give character to the photo, print or artwork that you mount in it.

Hanging frames come with chains, wires or cords attached, ready for hanging on your walls. All you need to do is secure your image to be displayed firmly in the frame and hang it in a desirable location at home or in your workplace. This type of wooden frame is sometimes made of repurposed wood and often has attractive wood grain.

Leaning Against a Wall

Leaning Against a WallPin

These three black picture frames of varied sizes are leaning against a textured wall surface. All three are rectangular, although the smallest one is almost square in shape. These streamlined, sleek frames are ideal for showcasing photos and artwork free of any decorative distractions.

Slender black frames of this type are ideal for displaying black-and-white photographs or monochromatic prints. They offer subtle bordering and emphasis for portrait photos, scenic shots or abstractions without creating a strong framing effect.

Tabletop

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These ornate vintage tabletop picture frames are perfect for exhibiting your favorite photos of family and friends. They display any type of smaller photos beautifully, and the gold and silver hues the frames are compatible with all colors and shades of photos or painted images.

Since they are small and compact, these tabletop frames require very little space and will complement your other desk décor. They stand steadily in place, supported by a folding back stand and brace. Many people enjoy displaying their favorite pictures on their office desks in the workplace or in their home offices or study areas.

Floor

FloorPin

This large rectangular natural wood picture frame is empty except for light blue matting and white backing. It rests on a polished parquet floor, propped against a light blue wall. The slim wood frame aligns visually with the varied hues of the flooring.

At the same time, the soft blue inner matting of the frame complements the soft hues and tonalities of the wall behind it. The room is well-lit with well-balanced yet gentle streams of lighting. This scene demonstrates the visual presence and power that a floor-positioned picture frame can have, even as the single item of décor.

By Material:

Wood

WoodPin

Made of a charming combination of vintage wood, this rough-surfaced picture frame can be a major point of focus in your room décor. It is formed by several sections of wood, one of which has a distressed white finish. It is mounted on a colorful rustic timber wall with wood hues ranging from light beige to dark mocha and sand to deep gray.

This unique picture frame is well-suited for displaying photographs, prints, drawings and paintings in strong, bright colors or soft pastels. Regardless of its rough construction and surfaces, this frame’s wide array of different wood hues and tones can complement and enhance many varied styles and eras of photography and art.

Bamboo

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Displaying creative handcrafting skill, this sturdy square bamboo picture frame surrounds artwork and images with a variety of attractive wood hues and shades. Large bamboo stalks form the outside of the frame, while tightly aligned small strips create the recessed frame area surrounding the art item or image.

The characteristic bands of bamboo that bind the frame corners closely are familiar to anyone who has or admires bamboo furnishings and items of décor. The warmth of the bamboo makes this frame design a versatile choice that can be used to frame many different types of art or photography. Simple posters can also be enhanced when placed in this frame.

Plastic

PlasticPin

This bright spring-green modern picture frame has antique styling and ornate embellishments. It makes a colorful and cheerful decorative frame for family rooms and home entertainment areas. Many children also like this frame because of its dynamic color and unusual design. It can also be the perfect lighthearted frame for displaying humorous artwork in your home office.

Its plastic construction makes this frame easy to care for and long-lasting. It can be wiped clean with a damp cloth when dusty, and the bright plastic is color-fast, so you need not worry about it fading or streaking. If you have vintage photos or artwork, it can be fun to experiment with placing them in this frame design for display. Surprisingly, this playful plastic frame showcases older art and photos just as well as contemporary items.

Metal

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This elaborately decorated rectangular metal frame has an antique gold finish with a detailed carved floral style design. Traditional oil paintings, watercolors and prints are ideal artworks to display in this frame. Vintage photographs can also be attractively displayed in this antique-style frame.

The metal surfaces of this frame should be relatively easy to care for. If mounted for exhibiting works of art in a well-kept, dry environment, this frame should last for long-term use and enjoyment. Although some people may think of antique gold frames as old-fashioned and austere, this frame design offers warmth and charm for brightening art, photos and room interiors.

Leather

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This black leather picture frame has the traditional alligator skin design. It is the perfect frame for small-scale sophisticated drawings, prints and photographs. Small, simplistic posters can also be attractively displayed in this stylish frame.

Some modern documents can also be shown to advantage in this streamlined leather frame. On the wall of your modern business office, a certificate of merit or achievement award will look handsome and impressive in this contemporary frame. The leather of this picture frame can be easily maintained with dusting, wiping with a damp cloth and by applying leather polish.

Ceramic

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This beautiful light gray oval-shaped ceramic frame has delicate gold decoration. As a fashionable example of vintage elegance, this frame is a stunning decoration for an antique-style wedding photo or a vintage scenic painting or print. A traditional-style family photo collage can also be quite effective when placed in this frame.

If wall-mounted vertically so that the oval shape is elongated, this elaborate design can also the ideal frame for a cameo-style portrait photograph. This stylish retro ceramic design is also a good choice for framing oval-shaped mirrors. Both modern and vintage mirrors will reflect a glamorous ambiance when displayed in this fashionable retro ceramic frame.

Crystal

CrystalPin

This stunning heart-shaped picture frame is lined with large, sparkling crystals. It radiates light around it as well as shining light on the image or artwork that it frames. Of course, this makes a fabulous and fashionable gift on Valentine’s day when it contains a photo of you and your special significant other.

A lovely crystal picture frame like this one is also the perfect gift on birthdays or holidays. It brightens any wall with its precision cut, shimmering crystal insets. If you like, you can also have a heart-shaped mirror cut to size for framing in this glittering frame as well.

Glass

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This elegant glass picture frame has metal bordering that resembles the traditional leading used in making stained glass pieces. The design of this stylish frame has qualities of fashionable Art Deco style. Beside the frame is a small glass container spilling over with colorful green glass balls.

Frames of this type are the ideal style for exhibiting photos of those special people in your life. Portrait photos of spouses, children, significant others and close friends all look fabulous in this high-fashion frame. This particular glass and metal frame is a desktop model with a folding stand support on the back for stability.

Mirrored

Mirrored picture framePin

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This contemporary mirrored picture frame design is typically created by attaching a mirror layer to a picture frame base made of plastic, metal or wood. This produces a 3D effect that expands the framed image, expanding it outward into the room.

The beveled design of the mirrored frame expands the visual range of the image and its color tones. At the same time, the frame is no longer a fixed border of color surrounding the photo or artwork that is framed. The mirrored surface of the frame also disperses the light shining on the framed display, enlarging it and its effect throughout your room interior.

By Shape:

Rectangle

RectanglePin

This detailed brown and gold picture frame has the shape of a horizontal rectangle. The complex decorative designs on the outer cocoa-brown frame give the appearance of boldly and precisely stitched leather. The inner soft gold frame offers a more subtle, understated pattern and a soft, pleasing glow.

A rectangular form of this type is perfect for framing a landscape painting or an abstract painting or drawing with a horizontal orientation and design. The earthy tones and warmth of the frame’s brown hues are sparked and enlivened by brighter gold shades. Images with subdued tones also come alive with new variations when surrounded by this empowering frame.

Square

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Made of antique dark walnut wood, this square picture frame has a classic simplicity and subtlety that can accent and complement visual artworks of many genres. Traditional drawings, prints and watercolors will be enhanced by this frame. Vintage photos and printed memorabilia can also be effectively displayed in this frame.

Square works of art and other visual presentations have dynamic qualities unique to their equalized dimensions and visual balances. Surrounded by a simple yet stylish and supportive square frame, these square artworks become even more powerful visually and aesthetically.

Oval

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This simple, unadorned gold oval picture frame transcends all genres and eras to present a frame style that can display any and all visual presentations that align with the oval shape. Whether you want to exhibit antique etchings, impressionist style watercolors or contemporary minimalist graphics, this streamlined frame can highlight them all.

Throughout the history of picture frames and their use, gold has remained a favorite frame finish. Gold frames with bright, smooth and simple finishes like this one are always in demand. This is most likely because they lighten and enliven images and artworks without being in competition with them for style or dynamic appeal. Oval frames continue to have a unique charm and appeal among people of all ages.

Round

RoundPin

This stunning round picture frame made of glowing red oak offers a sleek finish and radiant ambiance without overpowering the visual works that it exhibits. The wood’s subtle grain lends character and depth to the frame’s appearance. When mounted on a pristine white, light gray or beige wall, this frame can add subtle highlights to an entire room’s décor.

This frame is ideal for displaying abstract artworks with bright colors, simple line drawing in ink, or scenic watercolor sketches. It can also be an effective frame for simple posters or children’s photos and artworks. Children are often as fascinated by a specialized frame design as they are by the photo or artwork being exhibited.

Novelty

NoveltyPin

This large freestanding outdoor picture frame is constructed to rough-hewn light wood. Its rustic appearance aligns well with natural scenes and plant life. This frame was actually created for the purpose of taking pictures of mountain views while looking through the frame. This results in the finished photo having an attached visual frame around it.

This idea can also be used for indoor photography as well. With a smaller scale frame standing in front of your living room fireplace or in your gaming room, you can take great photos of your family and friends while they relax and enjoy tall beverages and snack foods together.

By Feature:

Engraved

EngravedPin

This antique gold frame displayed on a black background has elaborate engraving that gives it a delicate look. However, it is quite strong and durable for exhibiting your vintage photography, prints and drawings. As a handcrafted frame, it gives the appearance of a customized work made by fine artisans.

Yet although this frame has the look and overall style of a vintage design, your contemporary images and artwork can be showcased well in this frame. The gold of this frame has a bright, luminous quality when viewed empty and by itself. However, when you place a favorite work of art in the frame, it illuminates the art beautifully rather than overshadowing it.

Personalized

PersonalizedPin

These smooth, handcrafted pinewood desktop picture frames can be designed and made to your exact specifications by your expert frame crafting service. As you can see, these frames that were fashioned to display casual family photos, have very sturdy, simple construction.

They offer a relaxed, comfortable picture presentation that focuses specifically on the photo in the frame. The natural light wood of the frame is warm and offers a pleasing subtle border for your images or small artworks.

With Mat

With MatPin

This charming natural light wood frame has a spring-like olive green. The mat borders and emphasizes a cross-stitch needlepoint design featuring a hovering hummingbird and brightly colored flowers.

This green earth tone is an ideal complement to both the soft beauty of the frame and the vibrant hues and textures of the needlepoint image. Mats can be very influential to the viewer’s visual perception of your frame and to the photo or item of art that it displays.

Slide-in

Slide-inPin

This attractive bright blue picture frame offers space on the side to slide your favorite image or item of artwork into place inside for display. A frame design of this type is very useful and practical since you can easily change the art or photo that you want to display frequently.

This particular frame in its current setting is surrounded by seashells and starfish. The frame’s brilliant blue color make it a natural choice for exhibiting seaside photos of friends and family. Scenic views of the water and beach are also very attractive items to display in this bright, appealing slide-in frame.

Folding

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This pair of identical light wood picture frames folds with the aid of a side-attached hinge. When closed, the images displayed in the frames are secure and protected from potential damage. These frames are easy to fold and pack or carry to another destination.

Folding picture frames are also a popular choice for displaying two different photos of the same group of family or friends. They are also frequently used for exhibiting pictures of couples and young siblings. These frames are also a good choice for displaying two images or small paintings by the same photographer of artist.

One Picture

One PicturePin

These picture frames are designed to exhibit one image at a time. You may have a series of three pictures that you want to exhibit together. If so, you can place them in three separate identical frames and display them side-by-side.

This enables the viewer to give full attention to each different image in your series while still seeing all three together, as a related set. One picture frame designs are the most commonly used for exhibiting images, works of art, documents and awards or certificates of achievement.

Multiple Pictures

Multiple PicturesPin

This attractive pinewood picture frame is designed to hold and display multiple pictures simultaneously. This type of frame is a wonderful space-saver if you have limited wall space for hanging pictures in your home or office interiors.

The creative design of this multiple pictures frame offers space for displaying eight different images of various sizes. This frame style is a great choice for exhibiting photos of children engaged in their favorite activities as an overview of fun shared with their siblings and friends.

If you and your partner or family like to travel frequently, this frame design is ideal for exhibiting your exciting photos from different fascinating travel destinations. You, your family and friends can enjoy viewing them on the walls of your entertainment room or den once you are back home again.

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