Remember back in the day, in the years prior to social media, before the word “phone” was synonymous with “camera,” when you’d go to your local pharmacy and develop photos off your disposable camera or SIM card and frame the best ones? We’re aware that this concept might sound foreign to younger generations, but even still, we’re convinced picture frames will never go extinct. Partially for nostalgic reasons, but also because they’re just relatively cheap and elegant pieces of home decor. You just can’t beat them in that respect.
Picture frames are also super meta: They are pieces of art you put on display to display other pieces of art. Whether you’re showcasing selfies of you and your longtime BFF, family portraits, candid snapshots of the kids, professional photography or your child’s paintings, picture frames offer a tangible platform to show off a piece of yourself and family that only the camera (or a good box of crayons) could capture.
What’s more, they encase memories for all your loved ones to gaze at and fawn over when they come to visit, and in some ways give special photographs even more of a sentimental air because they were special enough to take off your phone and become part of your home. So browse through your photo library and scroll back through your Instagram account, pick out a few you love and then pair it with one of the best picture frames to put them in.
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1. Lil Davinci Child Artwork Frame
Have a budding artist on your hands? This picture frame was made to display the works of your artist-in-training. Designed like a display cabinet, parents can easily swap one drawing for the next masterpiece their child creates. It can be hung horizontally or vertically on your living room wall, in their bedroom or displayed on your desk at work. Best of all, there’s plenty of room in this made-for-display portfolio, so you can store their best pieces in one place — perfect for showing off when friends and family come for dinner.
2. CECINNION Shadow Box Picture Frame
Rumor has it two is better than one, and we couldn’t agree more when it comes to this double frame from CECINNION. The stunning hinged frame stands vertically and holds two 4×6 photos side by side. Its gray coloring gives the frame a homey, almost rustic feel — one that would add warmth to a coffee or bedside table. It can also be used as a shadow box that can be filled with sentimental trinkets such as a birthday card or wedding invitation.
3. Maiden International Designs Expressions Picture Frame
Let’s hear it for the boys! If you live in a male-dominated house, this frame will be a perfect addition to your household. But don’t sweat it if you have a house full of sisters. There’s a frame for the girls, too — and Dad, and Mom, and Grandpa, and so on. Consider this Maiden International Designs pick as a live version of an Instagram photo: it already comes captioned. This picture frame in particular is made from wooden and metal materials, and holds one 4×6 photo. Just choose your inscription and add a photo to match. Pro tip: Grandparents love these things.
4. Golden State Art White Frames
If wood and metal finishes aren’t your style, maybe you’ll enjoy this frame from Golden State Art. This set of two smooth, white molding frames display 8.5×11-inch drawings, 2D and 3D artworks, pictures, documents, certificates and more. It also comes with an easel stand and sawtooth hangers for display, as well as plexiglass covers to protect your artwork.
5. Melissa & Doug Press-On Rhinestone Frame
If your little one loves a project, this kit should keep them occupied for a little while. Teach your child how to bedazzle with this Melissa & Doug Press-On Rhinestone Frame that’s giving all the ’90s babies some serious nostalgia. The DIY kit includes one 4×6 photo frame, one strip of large and five strips of small dazzlingly colored peel-and-press rhinestones, and design suggestions (though we have a hunch your kid can muster enough creativity on their own). FYI: Not for little ones. The set is meant for kids five years old and over.