At I Heart Wall Art, we sell a lot of unframed prints and we know that our customers are looking for bang for buck when it comes to finding frames to put their new artworks in.
There's now a large range of budget frames available on the market and arguably the lowest priced option is Kmart's range of frames.
With these frames flying off the shelves and onto walls around the country, we've put them through their paces to see how they stack up.
Kmart Frame Prices:
Obviously it's hard to fault Kmart on those low, low prices. That's what they're famous for, after all.
Kmart frames are sized in standard paper sizes and start at $12 for an A3, going up to $20 for an A1 size.
That's crazy cheap! Imagine all the labour and materials that have got that frame to get them from the factory in China to your local Kmart for only $12.
If you're doing a quick restyle of your home for sale or are on a tight budget, obviously those prices make these frames a quick and appealing option.
Kmart Frame Appearance
Kmart frames are available in white, black or oak colour. I actually love the look and feel of the Kmart oak frames - they're slightly rough and feel more like real timber, unlike a lot of the very smooth other options on the ready-made market.
They have a slightly more rustic feel which is very modern. It's also hard to capture in a photo, but we tried.
They also come with white mats as standard, unlike a lot of other cheap frame options out there. I love the look of a white mat in a frame, and know it does usually add significantly to the cost of manufacturing them, so this is also great news - particularly for the price.
Like some other more affordable frames, they come with perspex fronts rather than glass or acrylic.
I personally think the Kmart perspex is a little less reflective than the perspex Ikea put in their frames, but I may be clutching at straws - it's not a huge difference.
Kmart Frame Quality:
Here's where things get a bit more questionable for the Kmart frames...
First, the good points.
I've road tested a lot of the smaller A3 framed over the last few years and haven't had too many issues with them. They seem to do the job, particularly if you stand them on a picture rail or mantlepiece.
It's hanging cheap frames from the wall that often causes them to warp and become misshapen over time. And, given the whole job of a frame is to be hung from the wall, that's not a great thing.
Now, the bad points.
Almost every one of the larger size frames we've brought home to test has fallen apart almost immediately. If not immediately, then certainly within a year or so.
A lot also have damaged corners from the word go, with the frames not well lined up. You can't necessarily see this in the store, because they're covered with plastic corner protectors.
The frame above and below was brand new - it didn't even make the wall in our 'test' frame room before it fell apart.
Our experience with these frames has seen a lot of them fit only for landfill within a few months of being bought (or even straight away).
That means terrible news for our environment, and it's not great news for your hip pocket either. A bargain is only a bargain if it doesn't fall apart soon after purchase.
If you're styling your property for sale or don't have a lot of cash to spend, Kmart frames may be an option- particularly if you choose the smaller options and display them on a picture rail to ease the pressure.
However, if you've bought a gorgeous print you know you want to keep hanging around (pardon the pun), it's probably worth investing a bit of extra money to get frames that you won't end up binning in six months (or six hours) time.
If you're looking for solid timber frames in large sizes, we now stock a range of A1, A2 and A3 solid timber frames in our collection.
To read more about about I Heart Wall Art, head here.