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Picture-perfect: Get over that mounting anxiety with these expert corner-cutters whose prices won't make you feel framed.

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Custom framing on the cheap may seem impossible, and a high price is worth paying for conservation-worthy art. But for most everything else, we've found less expensive framers who, like conservators, will use acid-free materials (pricier than regular paper, they inhibit yellowing) and pick appropriate backing (dry mounting for paper stuff, picture corners for photos, archival adhesive for old or rare items).

Several Brooklyn-based factories also frame for regular customers and deliver to Manhattan. The most well-known is Park Slope's 20,000-square-foot Yale Picture Frame, a supplier to Sotheby's and the moma bookshop. Framing a two-by-three-foot picture with glass, mats, and backing in a stained, lightly carved wood starts at $125. Similarly, Frame It and Company's main business is mounting art reproductions for hospitals and hotels, but they'll also do single pictures in frames made on-site. Simple wood framing of a two-by-three-foot picture is about $90.

In Manhattan, 14th Street Framing Gallery will frame a two-by-three-foot item (with glass, acid-free mats, and backing) in oak or maple starting at $150 -- and if you don't know exactly what you want, the staff here can help you pick. To frame inexpensive finds, Chelsea antiques vendors swear by Empire Art Gallery. A two-by-three-foot maple frame (with glass, mat, and backing) is about $90.

Yale Picture Frame & Moulding Corp., 770 Fifth Ave, at 28th St., Brooklyn (718-788-6200); Frame It and Co., 767 Third Ave., near 25th St., Brooklyn (718-788-7404); 14th Street Framing Gallery, 225 W. 14th St. (212-691-8156); Empire Art Gallery, 784 Sixth Ave., near 26th St. (212-685-7211).

Picks of the Week

The Cashmere Company's ultrasoft pashminas aren't sold in shops, but they've landed in several fashion mags' fall issues. All are an amazing deal: Shawls are $149-$179; scarves are $69. Parsons School of Design, 560 Seventh Ave., at 40th St., second floor; A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Tues. 9-6:30; 9/13-9/14.

Calypso St. Barth's sale offers at least 70 percent off many summer and fall essentials from Petit Bateau, Plenty, Rebecca Taylor, Cashmere Studio, Petro Zillia, Paul & Joe, Dosa, and Malatesta. Prices are from $30 for bikinis to $200 for winter dresses. 150 Lafayette St., third floor (212-274-0449); A.E., M.C., V.; Fri. and Mon. 9-6, Sat.-Sun. 11-7; 9/17-9/20.

Margo Manhattan is taking 30-60 percent off her chunky, super-stylish silver jewelry. Stud earrings are $25; hefty rings with semiprecious stones are $130-$300; a thick link necklace with a huge topaz pendant is $1,200. 100 Thompson St. (212-925-0735); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 11-7, Sun. noon-6; 9/13-9/27.

Metropolitan Design Group's accessories are up to 75 percent off at the sample sale, including Colette Malouf hair stuff, Meg Cohen scarves, Shaneen Huxham gloves, Angela Amiri and Ursule Beaugeste handbags, and decorative pillows. 80 W. 40th St., eighth floor (212-944-6110); cash only: Thurs. 8-6:30; 9/16.

ALWAYS A DEAL
Is This Your Card?

We all know giving our numbers out on scraps of paper or cocktail napkins is cheesy; cheap business cards are even worse. Instead of longing for pricey engraved cards (upwards of $150 a bunch), invest $40 in Felissimo's "ArtVision," a pack of 100 printed cards and a sleek, silver-toned plastic case. Each card bears a different image (from trippy squiggles to fuzzy landscapes) and five lines of text. The only worry is who gets which card. 10 W. 56th St. (212-247-5656).


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