How to Know What Size Picture Frame You Need

How to Know What Size Picture Frame You Need

Any room can be brightened up and feel more like home if you hang artwork, posters, and photographs on the walls. With so many styles and sizes to choose from, picking the right frame for your precious pieces isn’t always easy. Here are some answers to your questions about what picture frame size will suit your interior. 

What Size Picture Frame Do I Need

A few simple yet effective steps can reach you to the perfection of photo hanging. Among them, one of the primary steps is to select the right picture frame. How do you know what size picture frame you need? This is exactly the topic we will be talking about today. So, let’s start straight away.

Measure Everything

The space where you plan to hang your picture or art should be measured before you decide what frames to purchase. The next step is to make sure the frame fits the space you plan to display it in by measuring its outer edges.

Whenever you plan to put a photo inside a frame, remember that the frame will have a larger outer edge than the photo inside. In contrast to what many people believe, all frames are measured by their inside dimensions and not their outer edges. To prevent your picture from falling through the frame, don’t forget to make sure the frames get overlapped with your photo by 2-5mm.

Consider Matting

A mat will affect the size of your frame if you choose to add one. One of the benefits of matting is that you can frame your artwork and show off your whole image convincingly. Additionally, it offers endless colors and textures to choose from to add additional decoration to the frame.

Envision Your Space

If you intend to display framed photos or artwork in a room, think about the space. What size is the blank wall or how confined is the room? Adding a frame to your decor can add some style to your space, but if not designed properly, it can also detract.

There is a feeling of clutteredness in smaller spaces. If you’re making a gallery wall, try arranging the frames in different ways and cutting different sizes of paper frames to see what you like the most.

Type of Photo or Artpiece

Choosing the right kind of frame will depend on the kind of photo or artwork you are framing. For example, you should use a simple frame to display the photo itself where you and your friends were posing after graduation. If you are framing a simpler piece of art, on the other hand, a thicker and more complex frame would be more appropriate.

Keep your photo or artwork on a flat surface. Ensure you write down your measurements using a tape measure to prevent taking the miscued measurements. 

Match Your Dimension with the Picture Frame

Picture frames are available online or in stores, so you can find one that best complements your artwork. Find a frame that matches those dimensions using the height and width you measured earlier. You can guarantee they fit by measuring the dimensions on the inside, not the outside, of the picture frame.

  • It is customary to have either inches or centimeters printed on the front of picture frames.
  • A custom frame might be needed to support your artwork if it is an irregular size. A matting might be needed to fill any gaps.

Finally Choose Your Style

According to some interior experts, the best frames for older pictures are often antique and wood-stain.

On the other hand, contemporary prints and modern photographs look great in metallic frames, polished wood frames, or plastic frames. By placing the picture next to a wall color sample, you will ensure that it truly stands out.

If you do that, you will have a good understanding of how the picture will appear in your wall.

Do you know? More than 4,000 years ago, borders on vases, tomb paintings, and mosaics gave rise to the concept of frames!

Picture Frame Guide

Picture SizePhoto Frame Size
4×66×8, 8×10
5×78×10, 11×14
8×1011×14, 12×14
16×2020×24, 24×28

How to Frame a Picture

Step 1: Take Measurements

A flat work surface is ideal for laying out your picture or print. Take measurements of its height and width. To ensure the final measurement is accurate, prior to taking your measurements, be sure to trim your picture so you don’t see its white border.

A mat, as you already know, is a thin, colorful paper that enhances and adds color to photographs and artworks. As a result, the photograph or art is less likely to slip or separate from the art. To keep it secure, you can tape the object to the back of the mat so it overlaps the photograph slightly. 

Notably, the first step in determining how large a mat should be is determining the interior dimensions. By subtracting 1/2* from the height and width of the artworks or photographs, you will arrive at the correct height and width. Thus, you can determine what mat size to get.

Step 2: Select a Frame that Will Fit the Picture or Mat Size

When choosing a frame, make sure you take into account the outer dimensions of the mat border. Each side of the border will be equal, so the photograph or artwork will not be overshadowed. Think about what you want the final photo to look like. Choose a picture frame that shows the matting well, if you want the picture neatly framed. Make the impact of the matting even greater by opting for a larger frame. Traditionally, mat borders should have a thickness of 2” – 4”.

The standard picture frame sizes show you how large the interior of the frame will be, so you can select the right frame to accommodate your photo. If your picture is too thin or too thick, choose a frame with a width complementary to its width. As I have told you already, in a simpler frame, a family photo stands out best, while artwork can choose from fancier frames to look like it belongs in a more formal setting.

Step 3: The Final Touch

That’s all you have to do. Drag your photo into the frame! That’s how simple it is!


Before ordering a picture frame, check the mount type. Usually, frames are built to hang, mount, or do both.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size picture fits in a 8×10 frame?

A store-bought 8×10 framed photograph will have a mat opening of 7.5 x 9.5. Afterward, the mat will have a 1/4-inch overlap on all four sides. Additionally, it keeps the image in place.

How about an 8×10 frame for A4? Either way, it’s a no-go. Originally, the answer was no, but I did measure the printed area, cutting it down and finding that it was slightly larger. This suits my purposes.

What size frame for 8×10 print?

I recommend an 11 x 14″ frame with a mat for an 8 x 10″ art print.
So at a glance, all the measurements for 8×10 print will be like:

  • Frame opening: 11″ x 14″
  • Frame width: 0.5″
  • Mat size: 11″ x 14″
  • Mat width: 2.25″ (top and bottom), 1.75″ (sides) 
  • Mat window: 7.5″ x 9.5″

What size frame should I get for a 11×14 picture?

The below table will help you to get a thorough idea about all the large-size photo frames.

Frame Size  Mat OpeningImage Size  
11″ x 14″7.5″ x 9.5″8″ x 10″
16″ x 20″10.5″ x 13.5″11″ x 14″
20″ x 24″15.5″ x 19.5″16″ x 20″
24″ x 36″19.5″ x 29.5″20″ x 30″

What size frame do I need for 11×17 pictures?

Typically used for event posters, playbills, and digital prints with a margin of white, 11×17 is a size that is very popular today. 3.5-inch mat border makes it a perfect fit. Frame Recipe for an aesthetic gallery look:

  • Take a digital photograph of 12×18 inches in black and white 
  • Then, add a cut mat of 18×24″ followed by a black Colorful Contemporary frame of 18×24″ 

Final Words

Frames can better serve as decor than just holders that hold a picture on a wall or a tabletop. You can use them to turn special memories into wall art and office decor. Moreover, the right frames can add that special finishing touch that makes a picture pop and brings the colors to life. The fun begins once you find the perfect option.

With this guide, you’ll find it easy to frame a favorite print or a photo with your best friends and family members. However, for snapshots, selfies, and aesthetic photos, a photo holder is an excellent alternative to frames. 

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