Whenever I'm thrifting-sniffing-around one thing I always make a point to look for is old frames WITH matting included - if you find a framed photo that's matted, PARTICULARLY CUSTOM matted - blind your eyes away from whatever shade and texture of ugly the frame is - and how terrible the photo is.
You've struck gold!
Matting is really the element that catapults your framing into a higher level of sophistication - and unless you are crafty enough to buy and cut your own mats, or are fine with purchasing the selection of pre-cut run-of-the-mill-sized mats - it's pretttttty pricey to have professionally and CUSTOM done.
So here we are -- I found a very LARGE CUSTOM matted and framed (puke brown) photo (a duck....from the 80s.....an 80's duck). It cost me $4.50.
Throw in a couple of knick-knack wall-hangings I got over a year ago and quickly fell into hating.....and a cheap gold-framed mirror - ALSO being sold for peanuts.
I gathered up the motley crew and spray painted ALL of them the same glossy black.
Picked up some 89-cent sheets of designer paper from the craft store.......and used old black ribbon I've had laying around to cover the seams of different cuts of paper in an interesting proportion. Tape it up - and you have a COHESIVE group that collectively makes an impressive wall display.
ALL FOR UNDER $25!!!!!!!!