Accurately measuring your art is probably the most important step in the framing process. Incorrect measurements will result in everything being off (frame, backing, mat, etc.) and not fitting correctly. For artworks claiming to be a certain size by the artist, always measure yourself to be absolutely certain. Below are some tips to help you get the best results!

How to Read a Ruler

For all the examples in this post, we will be using the imperial measuring system – inches, feet, yards etc. The marks on the ruler vary in length and indicate the different fractional increments. It is important when measuring your art to line it up with the nearest fractional increment for the most accurate dimensions. 

size / visualization guide

 Again, the measurements will dictate the cut of the frame or mat, so be precise as possible. It is strongly recommended to use a standard, straight edge ruler as opposed to a flexible measuring tape.

Measure your Art

Place your art in the orientation you want it displayed, and measure the width and height of your art or photo. 

Size of art = size of the frame you need

size / visualization guide

Images are either displayed in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Portrait = height is larger than width

Landscape = width is larger than height

The standard format for denoting size is to write the width first then height or WxH. For example, 8x10 indicates a portrait orientation, 10x8 indicates a landscape orientation. 

Frame Size

All frame sizes are listed by their back opening dimensions from the outer edge of the rabbet. 

Rabbet = a recess cut in the back for the purpose of holding the frame's contents. It is typically a 1/4" overlap.

The 1/4" overlap is necessary because without it your art would fall through the opening of the frame. It serves as a "grip" to keep the glass, art and backing secure inside the frame.

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Face Widths Explained
Different frame face widths will not change the back opening dimensions. However, it will change the outside frame size which is the measurements from the edge to edge of a frame. It's something to keep in mind when figuring out how much space you need on the wall, though generally not too important. 
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Mat Sizes
Check out our post all about determining the best mat size for your art and frame.

If you have any questions or need advice for finding the correct frame for your art, feel free to reach out!