Measuring for a Frame

Before you start customizing the frame of your dreams, here's what you need to know to buy a frame that fits.

Measuring Artwork for a Frame

When purchasing a frame, measure and order the artwork size or the image included inside. For example, if you have a 6x8" photograph, you will want to order a 6x8" frame. Please note: the frame moulding typically covers a slight edge of the artwork on all four sides. 


Measuring a mat

A mat grounds your artwork and can add elegance and focus. It also helps press the image flat against the backing to avoid curling from prolonged heat exposure. When adding a mat to a frame, the artwork will sit centered under the mat and overlap the edges of that artwork slightly (usually ¼" on all four edges) to hold it in place. 

Adding this mat will add to the overall dimensions of your frame. For example, mats are sold using the dimensions of both the image and the frame. 

Size of artwork

When entering your artwork's size, you should enter the size of the artwork you want viewable, not any paper sizes it might be printed on.

Overall frame dimensions

 When purchasing a frame, it's important to be aware of its overall dimension to ensure it will fit in your space. The outside frame size will vary due to the moulding and mat widths chosen. To calculate the overall size of the frame, take the moulding width and double it. Then add that value to the artwork opening of the frame. For example, if your image is 5x7" and your desired moulding is 1/2" wide, the overall dimensions of the frame will be 6x8".

Rabbet depth

 The rabbet depth is an important measurement, especially when creating a shadowbox frame for 3-dimensional objects or keepsakes and canvas frames when framing a stretched canvas. The rabbet depth is the space between the frame's front and back that holds your artwork (or keepsake), backing and acrylic in place. Typically, the acrylic and backing take up ¼" of the listed rabbet depth for a frame, so you should subtract ¼" off the rabbet to get the usable depth.