The Lakeview location of DIY chain the Great Frame Up isn’t off to a great start. I arrive geared up to frame a cartoon of a flying pig. Unfortunately, I have to wait a week while the shop orders the right-sized glass. I go back after work on a Wednesday and find a dark store: It closed at 7:30pm. The next day, a full hour of DIY “fun” involves strips of double-sided tape that stick to my skin, a stubborn sander, sharp wire and a power drill that refuses to cooperate with a novice.
At full-service Flax Art & Frame (32 E Adams St, 312-431-9588), I pick out a frame and mat, leave, and return two weeks later to pick up the finished product. Easy as pie.
So why am I endorsing the Great Frame Up? Because the Flax frame cost $109, versus GFU’s $43 for the same size piece and similar materials—and my mother would kill me if I advocated paying an extra $66 to avoid a little work.