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What is a Picture Frame Screen?

By Patti Kate
Updated: May 16, 2024

A picture frame screen is a free-standing floor screen, typically with three or more panels, that holds photos. Often used as a decorative part of home decor, it can also be used as a room divider. A picture frame screen can also be used as a type of privacy screen for the bedroom. This allows privacy for sectioning off a small area of the room, typically for undressing. There are many styles of picture frame screens, usually constructed of materials such as wood frames and glass panels.

One well-known style of picture frame screen is the shoji screen. This is a Japanese design, typically using Japanese-style rice paper for the panels and finished wood for the frame. Many of these shoji frames feature hand-crafted Oriental designs, such as bamboo print.

Another type of picture frame screen is one that is double sided. These screens allow displays of photos on both sides of the screen. Most all picture frame screens are foldable. These foldaway designs are convenient for compact storage.

Double-sided picture frame screens may include anywhere from three to six panels. It is typical for a picture frame screen to hold a 5x10 inch (12.7 cm x 17.8 cm) photo. Most hold approximately 10 photos per panel, although this may vary according to style. The hinges on these screens are typically made of lacquered brass, although various other materials may be used.

For practicality, most styles of picture frame screens will be constructed with Plexiglas® material. The Plexiglas® used for picture frame screen panes is considered to be more sturdy than ordinary glass, as it is generally unbreakable. Some common types of wood used for the frame include spruce and oak. Various types of finish and stains are used for making a picture screen frame, including rosewood, honey, black, and natural.

Besides storing and displaying personal photos, a picture frame screen may also be used for displaying documents and artwork. It is a creative way to decorate a room, as well as a tradition in many Asian homes. Over the years, these screens have become widely used in modern Western homes as well. Most styles of picture frame floor screens are approximately 63 inches (160cm) in height.

Many picture frame screen designs feature removable bevelled mats for photos. Whether ordinary glass panes or the safety Plexiglas® material are used, most are made to resist glare. Besides the Oriental designs, some are traditional American designs, while others feature art deco styles.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Ivan83 — On Jan 31, 2012

What is a good price to pay for a picture frame screen? I am not looking for anything fancy but I would like for it to hold at least 10 photos. I want to make one dedicated to my wedding.

Like I say, it doesn't need to be an antique or covered in gold. I just need something that will work. What should I pay and where can I shop for something like this?

By summing — On Jan 30, 2012

I have a very cool kind of deco picture frame screen that has oval picture frame in it. For years I only had large picture frames in my house, usually one a wall to get maximum impact.

But I saw this picture frame screen at a flea market and I fell in love with it. I changed out the pictures regularly and move it to different places in my house depending on my mood. Its great, like a little movie.

By chivebasil — On Jan 29, 2012

My parents have two picture frame screens in their house, one dedicated to pictures of me and one dedicated to pictures of my brother.

Its cool because they have pictures from when we were babies up through all of are childhood and into the present. It is like a condensed chronology of our entire lives.

I hope to do something like this for my own kids one day. I have a bunch of pictures of them but no good way to display them. I also think it works better when you can illustrative their lives over the course of many years. My kids are still very little so I've go some time to wait.

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