Choosing Frames, Matting, and Sizes for Art Prints

Tips for Framing Artwork

Choosing Frames, Matting, and Sizes for Art Prints

Hi there, if you’re anything like me, choosing the artwork is fun but finding the right frame can be daunting.

Over the years I have streamlined my process to make it fun and straightforward and I would love to share my tips and tricks with you.



It's much easier to find a great and ready-made frame if your artwork fits a standard size frame.

Thankfully, in my online shop, I offer up to ten sizes of art prints, each adhering to a standard size. I recommend buying frames from Target Ikea which offers a wide selection of sizes and materials.

I am a huge fan of Art to Frame. It's super easy to order and customize your frame and mat which makes it really easy. 

I am also a huge fan of IKEA for inexpensive frames, but keep in mind that their sizes aren't all American-standard. 



Mat board:

The mat window or mat board as I like to call it is the white portion of the above image, not the frame itself. It's an opening that is cut in a thick paper board, allowing the artwork to peek through and fits snug up to the frame. Mats can accomplish two things:

  1. There is no need to have an expensive custom frame made. Instead, have a mat board cut to fit a standard size frame and cut the opening to your desired size. This is especially helpful if you purchased a print that isn't a standard. All you need to do is buy a frame in the next size (or two) up, then cut a mat board to fit the frame, with a window to showcase the art. Any frame shop can cut one for you and it's not expensive. 

  2. Mats create visual space for the artwork to breathe. Instead of the artwork jutting right up to the frame, a mat provides a border of whitespace and will help make the piece look bigger. 

Problem: You've purchased a small print and it feels super small compared to the wall.  
Solution: Buy a frame a few sizes up, then cut a mat board to fit in the frame and showcase the art.

Your mat board can be any color of the rainbow. The key is to find something that helps the art stand out without being too distracting itself. Personally, I always stick with a bright white mat on archival board. (Choosing archival means that the white won't fade to grey or yellow as time passes.)

Any framing store will be able to cut a mat for you and it won't break the bank which is really nice.  All you need to do is tell them your frame size, your artwork size, and your preferred mat board color. Be sure to leave a quarter inch of extra inch on each side so that the art print doesn't just fall through the window. (For example: if the art print measures 8x10", the actual mat opening should be at least  7.75" x9.75")

Even easier: You can also buy a frame with a ready-made mat already included