Digital Photography Review

Common Picture Frame Sizes – Frame It Easy


If you have been on our site and/or read our blog posts before, you know that our philosophy is that custom framing should truly be custom. That means there are no right or wrong picture frame sizes. Whatever size fits your space, whether you want to frame one item or ten, whatever you envision, we say go for it. The principle of beauty is in the eye of the beholder applies. Everyone has a different perception of what they think looks good for home decor, so decorate with the size you like.

That being said, there are some common (as in standard) picture frame sizes our customers order and we wanted to share them with you in case your visionis not fully formed or you like the traditional framing techniques and don’t want to experiment. And there’s good reason these are tried and true frames. They work and they look great!

When uploading your art size and adding a matboard (or two, or none at all), our frame designer will do the math for you. Simply hover over the “Details” tab next to your art size and it will automatically give you the outside dimensions of your frame. Many times choosing the right picture frame size is more a function of the space you have available or want to fill or the size of your art. But if you have some of these customary art sizes to frame or can be flexible with digital art and photos, here’s some common frame sizes used

Frames for 5″ x 5″ Art (& Smaller)

small art framed
Outside Frame Size: 8 3⁄16” x 8 3⁄16“

We can easily frame any art size 5″ x 5″ or larger; however, if you have an art piece you would like to frame that is smaller than 5” x 5” there are ways to do so with custom matting. Check out our post on how to frame smaller art. Matting is also key when framing artwork that is smaller than the space you are displaying it on. So if you have a photo, painting, or other artwork that is too small in proportion to your space, consider large matting to keep your piece in scale.

For instance, suppose you found a box of old photographs that are in the standard 4″ x 6″ format. These are often priceless photos that can’t be easily replicated or enlarged. Using our matting techniques will allow you to display these treasures beautifully.

Frames for 8″ x 10″ Art

Outside Frame Size: 13″ x 15″

When you have a large space to fill, you don’t necessarily have to fill it with one large piece of art. Several 8x10s arranged together to make a visually pleasing impact without seeming overwhelming. If you decide to use matting, a neutral color enhances the uniformity of your display.

We’ve also noticed when ordering your wedding photos, family portraits, or any other professional pictures, many of you opt for the 8″ x 10″ size. Again, depending on the space you want to fill you can use a smaller or larger mat size for a custom, uniform look. This size also works well on a gallery wall for an eye-catching display. See our post in our learning center for choosing the perfect size for your gallery wall.

If you have school-aged children, the class photos they take each year are offered in standard sizes ranging from wallet sized to, frankly, oversized! Consider purchasing the 8×10 size and creating a display along a hallway or stairway. As your children grow, so will your collection.

Frames for 11″ x 14″ Art

College diploma framed for wall
Outside Frame Size: 19 1⁄2” x 16 7⁄16“

High School diplomas are typically 8.5″ x 11,” which corresponds to a standard size for paper. Most college diplomas and awards are 11″ x 14″. Certificates of achievement and corporate recognition honors are customarily in one of these sizes, too.

When designing a frame for your diploma we recommend adding a double mat utilizing your school colors with a 1 1⁄2″ outer mat and 1⁄4″ inner mat. Your academic achievements should be proudly displayed in style!

For certificates and awards, a simple frame works best. Remember, ¼” of your artwork will be covered by the frame to help hold it in place. Since these items focus on the content in the center of the page, there is no need to worry about “losing” anything behind the frame.

Frames for 20″ x 36″ Art

Three large picture frames above bed
Outside Frame Size: 22″ x 38″

Some photos and artwork require large frames, and we can handle that! Our wood frames can be made up to 42×42 while our metal frames can be as large as 42×62. So don’t be afraid to give your piece the grand display that it deserves. For large pieces, consider a triptych display. Instead of one large frame, separate your artwork into a trio for a stunning arrangement. Many of our customers frame posters of their favorite movies, bands, or most popular sizes are 11×17, 18×24 and 24×36. Because of the size of this art, there is really no need to add matting. With larger pieces, there is no need size-wise, and this also helps to keep the focus on the artwork in the poster itself.

Final Thoughts

As we said, with our many sizing options for your frames, you have all the power to create your perfect custom picture frame, and with our interactive frame designer you can see what your artwork will look like before you purchase it. However, if you have some of the above-mentioned standard picture frame sizes, there’s no need to experiment. Our tried and true methods may be just what you’re looking for.

More Frame Sizes For Inspirtation

Art Size: 11″ x 14″Outside Frame Size: 17″ x 20″
Art Size: 16″ x 20″Outside Frame Size: 25″ x 29″
Art Size: 24″ x 30″Outside Frame Size: 26″ x 32″
Art Size: 8″ x 8″Outside Frame Size: 18 3⁄16” x 18 3⁄16“

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