How Much Does It Cost to Frame a Diploma? — DIY + Professional Prices

Framing a diploma serves as a tangible testament to one’s academic achievements and deserves careful consideration. If you’re considering to frame this milestone in your life, the cost can vary significantly based on several factors. 

Understanding these aspects will empower graduates to preserve their accomplishments in an elegant display while being mindful of their budget. So, we’ll share what you need to know in this article.

How Much Does It Cost to Frame a Diploma?

Framing your diploma can be both affordable and stylish, with simple frames offering a cost-effective option. These basic frames, without mats, generally range from $30 to $75, depending on size and materials. 

They often feature a sleek, one-color border, providing a clean and unassuming look. For a touch of elegance, adding mats with beveled or shaped edges to complement your diploma’s design may raise the price to around $400 or $500.

What’s in the Process of Framing a Diploma?

Framing a diploma is a thoughtful and meticulous process that involves preserving and displaying one’s academic achievements elegantly. Below are the essential steps and considerations involved in framing a diploma.

Custom framing New England

Selecting the Right Frame

The first crucial step in framing a diploma is selecting the right one. This decision involves choosing a frame that complements the diploma’s size and design while matching the individual’s style and preferences. 

Simple frames with no matting are more affordable, while customized and ornate frames can add a touch of sophistication but may come at a higher cost. It is essential to consider the overall aesthetic and ensure that the frame enhances the diploma without overpowering it.

Choosing the Appropriate Mat

Mats play a significant role in framing a diploma, adding both aesthetic and protective elements to the display. The matting material should be acid-free to prevent any damage to the diploma over time. 

The color and thickness of the mat can be chosen based on personal preference, but it is recommended to opt for a neutral color that complements the diploma’s colors and highlights its significance.

Protecting With Glazing

Glazing refers to the protective covering that shields the diploma from dust, moisture, and UV radiation, preventing fading and deterioration. Common glazing options include regular glass, acrylic, and UV-resistant glass. 

Opening the back side of the frame

UV-resistant glazing is preferred as it safeguards the diploma from harmful rays that can cause discoloration and damage.

Mounting the Diploma

Properly mounting the diploma is essential to ensure its longevity and stability within the frame. Acid-free mounting techniques are employed to secure the diploma in place without causing any harm to the document. 

The diploma can be hinged or mounted with corners, depending on the individual’s preferences and the framer’s recommendations.

Backing and Sealing

To complete the framing process, a sturdy backing board is added to the frame to provide support and protect the back of the diploma. The backing is sealed to prevent dust and pests from entering the frame and causing potential harm. 

The framer will carefully inspect the frame and ensure that all elements are securely in place before finalizing the framing.

Removing all the frame layers

Hanging and Display

After the diploma is expertly framed, it is ready to be displayed with pride. Consideration should be given to the location of the frame to avoid exposure to direct sunlight or areas of high humidity. 

The frame can be hung on the wall or placed on a stand, depending on the individual’s preferences and available space.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Framing a Diploma

The cost of framing a diploma can vary significantly depending on various factors. Understanding the key elements that influence the pricing will help individuals make informed decisions when preserving their academic achievements in an elegant display.

Frame Material and Style

One of the primary factors affecting the cost of framing a diploma is the choice of frame material and style. Basic frames made of materials like plastic or aluminum are more budget-friendly, while high-quality materials such as hardwood or metal can increase the overall cost. 

Ornate or custom-designed frames with intricate detailing and carvings will also be more expensive compared to simple and minimalist options.

Securing edges of the certificate

Frame Size and Diploma Dimensions

The size of the frame directly impacts the cost of framing. Larger frames require more materials and labor, making them costlier than smaller ones. Additionally, the dimensions of the diploma itself play a role in pricing, as irregular or non-standard sizes may necessitate custom framing, which can incur higher expenses.

Matting Options

Matting provides an aesthetic enhancement and a protective barrier for the diploma. The cost of matting can vary based on factors such as the quality of the mat material, color, and thickness. 

Acid-free, archival-quality mats are preferable for long-term preservation, but they may be more expensive than standard options.

Glazing Selection

The type of glazing, or protective covering, also affects the overall cost of framing. Regular glass is the most affordable option, but it may not provide adequate UV protection. 

Acrylic glazing offers better UV resistance and is less prone to breakage, but it can be more expensive. UV-resistant glass, though the costliest, provides the highest level of protection against fading and damage from sunlight.

Putting the top mat of the frame

Degree of Customization

Customization options, such as personalized engravings, embossing, or diploma adornments, can significantly increase the framing cost. These extra touches add a unique and individualized aspect to the display, but they come with additional expenses beyond standard framing packages.

Professional Framing Services

The choice of framing service provider can impact the overall cost as well. Well-established and reputable framers with extensive experience and expertise may charge higher prices for their craftsmanship and quality assurance. 

On the other hand, more affordable options might still deliver satisfactory results, but careful research and customer reviews are advisable when selecting a framing service.

Why Are Diploma Frames So Expensive?

Diploma frames, while often cherished as a symbol of academic accomplishment, can sometimes come with a higher price tag than expected. Understanding the factors contributing to the expense can shed light on why diploma frames are relatively costly compared to regular picture frames.

Quality Materials

One of the primary reasons for the higher cost of diploma frames is the use of quality materials. Unlike standard picture frames, which may be made from inexpensive materials like plastic or composite wood, diploma frames typically employ higher-grade materials such as solid hardwood or metal. 

These materials not only provide a more luxurious and durable look but also ensure the frame’s longevity, making it an investment that can be enjoyed for years to come.

securing diploma with tapes

Customization and Handcrafting

Diploma frames often involve a higher degree of customization and handcrafting compared to regular frames. Each diploma is unique, and customizing the frame to fit the diploma’s dimensions and design requires skilled labor and attention to detail. 

Additionally, some individuals may opt for personalized engravings or embossing, adding to the overall cost but enhancing the sentimental value of the frame.

Preservation and Protection

Preserving a diploma for the long term requires specialized materials and techniques that contribute to the higher expense. Acid-free matting and UV-resistant glazing are essential to protect the diploma from deterioration, discoloration, and damage caused by sunlight and environmental factors. 

These preservation features add value to the frame but also increase the overall cost.

Expertise and Craftsmanship

Diploma frames are often handcrafted by skilled artisans who have expertise in framing and woodworking. The craftsmanship involved in creating a beautifully finished and well-balanced frame requires time and skill, which can influence the pricing. 

place backer behind the mat

Moreover, reputable framing companies may invest in extensive quality control measures to ensure the final product meets high standards, further contributing to the cost.

Brand Reputation and Prestige

Certain framing companies may have established a reputation for delivering premium quality products and services, and their brand prestige can come with a premium price. 

Customers may be willing to pay more for the assurance of exceptional craftsmanship and customer service that comes with a reputable brand.

How to Save Money in Framing a Diploma?

Framing a diploma is a meaningful way to celebrate academic achievements, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. By considering various cost-saving strategies, individuals can preserve their diplomas elegantly without overspending.


Compare Frame Options and Materials

To save money in framing a diploma, start by comparing frame options and materials. Look for reasonably priced frames that still offer good quality. Consider simple and classic designs without unnecessary embellishments, as these are often more affordable than ornate frames.

Opt for Standard Frame Sizes

Choosing standard frame sizes can be more budget-friendly than custom-sized frames. Standard sizes are widely available, making them more affordable due to economies of scale. 

If your diploma fits a standard size, explore a variety of frames in that size range to find a cost-effective option.

Skip Unnecessary Customization

While customization can add a personal touch to the framing, it can also increase the cost. Skipping unnecessary customization, such as engravings or special embossing, can help save money without compromising the overall look and display of the diploma.

place the compilation on top of the glass

DIY Mounting and Framing

Consider a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to mounting and framing your diploma. Purchase a ready-made frame or frame kit and follow online tutorials or instructions to assemble it yourself. DIY framing can be a fun and cost-effective way to create a personalized display.

Look for Discounts and Promotions

Keep an eye out for discounts and promotions at framing stores or online retailers. Many stores offer seasonal sales, coupons, or special offers that can significantly reduce the cost of framing. 

Signing up for newsletters or following framing stores on social media can help you stay informed about potential deals.

Buy in Bulk or From Wholesale Suppliers

If you need to frame multiple diplomas, consider buying them in bulk or from wholesale [1] suppliers. Purchasing several frames at once can often lead to volume discounts, reducing the cost per frame.


The cost of framing a diploma varies based on frame material, size, matting options, glazing, customization, and framing services. By considering these factors and striking a balance between budget and preferences, individuals can create a timeless and cherished display of their academic achievements.


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