Affordable Art: Framing Magazine Pages

When I first moved to New York, more than ten years ago, I fell in love with a New Yorker magazine cover that arrived in my mailbox. The illustration showed a young couple kissing on a busy street. I felt like it captured my twenties—or, at least, how I wanted my twenties to be:) I contacted the artist to see if I could buy the print, but needless to say, it was out of my budget.

That following Christmas, I was visiting my family in Michigan, and my mom brought out a gift for me. She had framed the cover of the magazine, along with a lovely pink mat to complement the illustration. How sweet is that? To date, it’s one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever gotten, and it has hung in every apartment I’ve had since.
Then, recently, I spotted this beautiful Beatles photograph at my friend Elizabeth‘s house. When I asked where she’d found it, she revealed that it was actually from an article in The New Yorker! She had simply clipped it out and framed it. On her bookcase, doesn’t the photo look like fine art?

Anyway, I love the idea of finding gorgeous art in magazines and making it your own. The only real cost is the frame!

  1. I loved this one. Nice Idea

  2. Looks gorgeous! What a wonderful gift from your mom. I also do this a lot. If something looks good to you, I believe there is no harm in putting it up where you can see it and where it makes you happy, whether it is actual ‘art’ or not.

  3. I love framing stuff. To date I have framed a shoe horn from Italy that my Mom gave me, a matchbook from the restaurant where my husband proposed, and a photocopy of the head of David from a t-shirt.

  4. Calendars are also great. :)

  5. Oh, and I forgot to say the date of that cover was my birthday.

  6. Joanna!! I had that same exact magazine cover taped to the wall over my bed when I was 21, living in Kansas with my mom, and saving up to move to New York for fashion design school. My boyfriend at the time (now husband Joe) asked me why I had that cover displayed, and I had a hard time putting into words why I liked it so much. You’ve described it perfectly. It made me imagine a future in NY–in love, having adventures and living my dreams. I’m lucky enough to say that all came true. : )

  7. H says...

    I do this all the time! My mom always tore out fashion spreads from magazines that she loved and would arrange them around the house in random fun places that we would see them, like the kitchen, the office, sometimes in the living room. So I started doing that too except I found out that sometimes if you get a really clean tear it really does look as perfect as a piece of art that you can frame! I use spreads from look books sometimes too (like Free People and Anthropologie) as “art” that I frame and hang in my bedroom.

  8. I have that same New Yorker framed. I bought it when I was 17 when I was moving to NY for school, I thought (and hoped, like you) that it looked like me with my short hair :) I was so surprised to see that you have the same one!

    Now that I have a baby on the way, I have been given some of the same baby books twice (in particular, Charlie Harper) So I cut up one and framed some of the animals. Love it, and the cardboard pages make it great for framing! :)

  9. I also do this often :)
    and nice postcards with drawings for little frames!

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  11. I love this idea! Shabby chic.
    I also just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog! I’ve been writing one on and off for about a year, but I’d really like to start being consistent and building an audience. Any tips? I’m thinking consistency, interaction and quality writing. What other bloggong advice might you offer a novice like myself?
    Alison August

  12. Thank you for the fantastic DIY idea! This would be perfect as gifts!

  13. Ha! I also have that same cover framed. I fell in love with that New Yorker cover, too.

  14. I also have a New Yorker magazine cover framed in my living room too (in Perth, Australia)!

    I was visiting New York in 2011 and came across a stall selling covers at a market at a school on the upper west side. I was looking for a little souvenir and a lovely illustration of New York by Roxie Munro caught my eye. Coincidentally it was also from by birth month – 1st Feb 1982!

  15. I have Rifle Paper Co. 2013 travel calendar that I intend to cut up and frame (or at least hang up with fancy clips:) at the end of the year…sorta like These Are Things meets Lena Corwin. Just for the cities I’ve been to or really want to see.

    • Sorry…I have *a Rifle Paper Co. 2013 travel calendar! Haha, I can’t help but correct myself.

      What happens with me and beautiful magazine photos is I end up cutting them out and pasting them into my scrapbooks, like a master magazine/time capsule.

  16. Brilliant idea for us art lovers living on a tight budget.

  17. i have a new yorker magazine cover framed in my apartment too! it’s from the 70’s, it’s mostly yellow, has an abacus on it, and i bought the cover at the brooklyn flea for $5. not as cool as framing a cover from an issue i got in the mail, but still fun (and everyone else knows where to get fun vintage ones too :P)


    p.s. just googled it and found one online for only $7!

  18. What a fantastic idea.

  19. I love this! I’ve done the same thing with old calendars.

  20. My son’s nursery is decorated with framed illustrations taken from a picture book. They look amazing.

  21. I was at a vintage fair once and found a selection of French magazines from the 1920s and 1930s. The front covers had these incredible watercolour paintings of elegant women doing… elegant things! Taking walks in the park in the chicest of French fashion. I bought the magazine and framed the covers, while my friend scoured the magazines for the really aesthetic adverts they had back then, cut some of them out, and made a collage to frame!

  22. has great inexpensive custom frames…and I can help you find great affordable art.
    Love your blog, of course!

  23. I love this idea! I bought some old Life Magazines from an antique store for really cheap that would look nice in a frame.

    Also, I have to say that I feel like I do pretty good job of picking out art and photographs to frame but I’m not that good at arranging them in a room. I always see pictures of framed art sitting on a bookshelf just leaning up against the wall and wonder why I didn’t think to do that instead of hanging it on the wall! Whenever I see photographs like this on your blog I think how nicely the art is arranged! I could definitely use some tips on that.

  24. I tore out that exact same cover and pinned it to my fridge for many, many years. I love the image. You can also go to the New Yorker website and order any cover you want, framed or unframed!

  25. We love doing this as well! Here’s my post from a couple years ago:

    Framing Magazine Art

    My tip would be to remove the mat from the frame and place it on the magazine pages so you can really see what it would look like framed.

  26. its so liberating to frame whatever you want. last year i framed a sheet of stamps that showed 1960s gadgets and a harry nillson record cover. always get compliments on them!

  27. Such an awesome option for those of us on tighter budgets! I’ve been eyeing a few photos from the newest Harper’s Bazaar (namely the Audrey Hepburn photoshoot)

    Another tip – Ikea has great simple, black and white frames for under $10. Pair them together, and you’ve got art!

    Sasha @

  28. K says...

    We have been doing this for years, too! The New Yorker is a great resource. It’s one of my dreams to have one of my photographs illustrate a short story some day.

  29. Ha! I saved that exact New Yorker cover when I was in high school. Hopefully it’s still in my old dresser. I love the idea of framing it now- great idea. It’s still such a cool illustration.

  30. I love this :) At university, I tore beautiful adverts out of editions of Vogue, and essentially wallpapered one wall with them- I got SO many compliments on it! x

  31. Definitely a great idea!
    I do this with cool cards too.

    Manda from Eat Cake

  32. Great idea! You can also do this with pictures from calendars…another cheap art idea!

  33. wow! Literally JUST LAST NIGHT I was looking at a cover of a New Yorker that I’ve kept saving and thinking that I’d like to get the cover framed. Love it. xoxo

  34. My brother and I were both born on a New Yorker publishing day so my mom had the covers from our birthdays framed.
    I loved looking at them as a kid

  35. This is such a GREAT idea! Why have I never thought of this! Thanks for the post. :)

  36. S says...

    I remember doing this when I was twelve with covers of Elle magazine. No frames, just stuck on the wall of my room in a very straight line. I thought I was so sophisticated!
    Maybe I should revisit the idea and buy some cool magazines…

  37. My favorite thing to frame are card prints. We have great stores in Lancaster that sell either artist’s paintings in small scale cards or just regular old cards. Cards are tiny and cheap usually but provide an awesome piece for a wall. I have a wall devoted to 5 x 7 cards of my favorite local artist’s prints. :)

  38. i do this! it’s so cheap and easy. i’m always looking for black and whites or vintage-y looking ads in vogue, elle, etc. for my bathroom.

  39. I’ve never thought of doing this…I’ve framed album covers before but never magazine pages…I’ll have to start!

    Ergo – Blog

  40. Great tip, Jo! I found some Channel ads I loved and did this in college, and I still have them to this day! Another idea we love is framing great calendar pages too! Thanks for sharing!!
    xx Liz and Lo {}

  41. I bought a few gorgeous but small paintings in Mykonos, Greece and Prague and my mom had them matted and put into matching frames. They look so chic hanging side-by-side in out bathroom and remind me of my travels!

  42. Fine for home, but don’t do it in a public place, as you will have copyright infringement issues!

  43. Tiffany ads are always nice as well! Beautiful black and white romantic photos.

  44. This is such a great idea! Getting art on the walls is what truly makes a space feel like home, and this is such an affordable way to make it happen. I am going to have to keep my eyes open for great magazine covers now! (

  45. Great idea. I’ve framed postcards, and meant to frame calendar pages, but never thought to do this with magazines. Love the thought of buying a cheap frame and rotating pages in and out for a “refreshed” art piece every time something catches my eye.

  46. funny you mention this. i framed ‘new yorker’ magazines years ago already… and I still love it!

  47. I’ve framed posters too. And postcards! You can frame anything really. I’m no art historian… I simply believe that if it appeals to you in some way, it’s art. Nothing wrong with framing something you like – it’s your walls. You don’t need to be rich to have “art”.

  48. I frame art postcards too — I recently (well, not so recently any more I suppose) moved to Alaska and there is a lot of wonderful Native American art here. Because the prints are often out of my budget, I have been collecting and framing beautiful postcards or greeting cards with the artwork on it.

  49. My boyfriend and I have a few framed posters we found we found on walls and street posts when we were on vacation in Sweden, mostly announcing concerts. The graphics were really cool and matted and framed they look really great — like true art!

  50. I really thought that cover WAS my 20s. It came out right after I met my boyfriend and it just conveyed everything that the relationship felt like, at the time. Plus, he even sort of looked like that lazy guy in the picture!

    Anyway, we broke up and I met my marvelous now-husband (technically I met my marvelous now-husband and then broke up with the boyfriend). I need a new cover, for my 30s!

    • P.S. I just got the “Jesse” as sunglasses and they are awesome!

  51. I’ve framed calendar pages and maps too. everything looks better in a frame :)

  52. Such a good idea. One of my favorite pieces of art in my house is a photo that cut out of a big glossy art book that I bought at a used book store for $5. Used bookstores are great sources for big coffee table books that cost a small fortune when new.

  53. this is such a wonderful idea! who would have thought!

  54. I recently discovered a new “budget framing” trick that would complement this perfectly. I love the way Ikea frames look– especially their shadow box. But the mat is always beige, flimsy, and never the right size (damn metric system!)Finally, I figured out that if I brought the art and the Ikea frame to my friendly neighborhood framer, she could cut a custom mat for me in seconds. Makes inexpensive art and a cheapo frame look like a million bucks!

  55. I do this with coffeetable books. I have some with great ads from the 20’s and so on – I just make color copies, frame and viola – instant art that no one else has. :)

  56. I have two Kenneth Cole ads from years ago (10+) that I’ve kept in a frame for awhile and I love it. Also good ideas are Jcrew ads of lovely foreign exotic places to inspire you to plan a new trip.

  57. I do this all the time! I hang up silly photos from magazines in our half bath to make people laugh. My favorite is from my husband’s Maximum magazine.. it’s Alex Trebec tackling a bear!

  58. I have a copy of the “Afghan Girl” cover of National Geographic by Steve McCurry saved to frame, as it is one of my husband’s (and my) favorite photographs. Buying a print would be unbelievably expensive!!

  59. I did this when I moved into my first solo apartment. I paid for custom framing, which was not cheap–but 20 years later, I still love the results.

  60. Love the idea!
    I love the New Yorker covers, actually I am a subscriber and I haven’t even been to the US, let alone NY! One day…

  61. exactly! also children bring home (& make IN the home) oodles of art. Another lovely solution to bare walls. xo

  62. I love framing calender art too. we always choose a MET calender for the year and keep rotating the pictures in the frames.