How to Determine Frame Size

Home > Tips & Techniques Main Page > Picture Framing Articles

Important:  The words "frame size" refer to the dimensions of the recess (or "rabbet") at the back of the frame into which the matboard, backing and glass are loaded.  For this reason, once you've determined the overall size of your matboard, backing and glass for a given project, you've determined your frame size. 

For help in determining the overall size of your mat board, backing and glass see the box below. ↓
 

How to Determine Frame Size

 

Border Finder

Note: All frames are designed and built 1/8" larger on each dimension than the size called for.  This so called "allowance" is common in picture framing and is provided to make sure the mat and backing still fit into the frame even if they are cut a little too large.  You do not have to factor anything into your calculations for the allowance, just order the frame in accordance with the overall mat size and the allowance will automatically be added.  If you do not want an allowance, you should call us at 1-800-246-4726 and specify "no allowance".   

 

Special instructions for floater frames. Floater frames are cut to the size of the artwork unless otherwise specified. If you want to acheive the affect of the artwork floating within the walls of the frame, add 1/4" to the width and height of the artwork. This will give you an 1/8" space between the edges of the artwork and the walls of the frame. This only pertains to floater frames.

 

Special considerations for shadowbox frames, collectibles and sports memorabilia.  Figure the overall area you need to display the items including adequate area around the items to make for a pleasant presentation and this will be your frame size.

 

Special considerations for mirrors.  If you are framing a mirror to fit a given wall  space, please understand that this is not how frames are typically measured and the measuring in this instance can be challenging.  Note: you are responsible for measuring properly.  Framing4Yourself will not do this measuring for you.  Also be aware, custom frames are not returnable and will not be refunded if ordered incorrectly.  Some advice: when measuring to fit a given wall space, you must add the width of the frame on each side to the overall width of the mirror and then subtract the lip of the frame on each side, usually 1/4" on each side, and then add 1/8" overall to have some wiggle room.  Order a corner sample or chip of the frame to confirm the measurement of the lip.  If in doubt, you may want to consult a professional framer who may do the measuring for you for a fee.

 

For More Detail on How to Measure for Picture Framing Click Here