Choosing Frames, Matting, and Sizes for Art Prints
Picking out artwork for your home is the fun part. But how do you go about framing it?
There are a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure you're choosing the perfect frame for the perfect print.
It's much easier to find a great and ready-made frame if your artwork fits a standard size frame.
In my shop, I offer up to several sizes of art prints. If you have a standard size (5x7," 8x10," 11x14," 12x16," 16x20" or 18x24"). I recommend buying frames online from Target or Michael's, which offers a wide selection of sizes and materials.
*If you're ordering online, you can customize your frame + mat sizes with Art to Frame for irregular sizes or colored mats.
IKEA is also one of my top picks for inexpensive frames, but keep in mind that their sizes aren't all American-standard.
Using mat windows strategically is my ultimate framing trick. The mat window is the opening that is cut in a thick paper board, allowing the artwork to peek through.
Mats can accomplish two noteworthy things:
You don't have to find an exact-size frame to fit your artwork. This is especially helpful if you purchased a print that isn't a standard size. 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.
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.
Problem: You've purchased a small print and it feels swallowed by 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. 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 7.5x9.5")
Even easier: You can also buy a frame with a ready-made mat already included and you're all set.
Ornate, lacquered wood? Or a sleek, contemporary surface? The style of your frame can make just as much of a statement as the artwork itself.
I prefer a combination of statement frames and simple, gallery frames.
If you're unsure, I recommend choosing a no-fuss flat frame in either black or white. This allows the artwork to shine and allows for a clean and modern aesthetic.