Creating Custom Size Picture Frames by Art Size or Frame Size

At, it is now possible to design your custom size picture frames by starting with either the size of the artwork you are framing, or to build it by the size of the frame you desire; a feature that is new to our website. Here we discuss the difference.

Creating Custom Sized Picture Frames

2 frames with art size vs frame size

Under what circumstances would you Design by Art Size? When you have a piece of art you want to mat, for example a work on paper or a photograph, we recommend that you design your custom frames starting with the art size.  This option is appropriate for most framing applications and will be familiar to our frequent framers. Our online design tool will guide you through the process, always showing the updated dimensions so you can check them against what you need before placing your order. Under this scenario, enter the exact measurement of your artwork and the website will build your frame “from the inside out,” so to speak, meaning that the art size remains constant as the mat borders adjust the size of your picture frame. Here is an example of how designing a frame for 16 x 20 piece of art would materialize on our website using its art size:


configure a package by art size

Below the image of the frame are all the measurements. In this example, we show the artwork as 16” x 20”, just as it was entered. Next, it shows the mat window opening. The mat window opening is ¼” smaller than the artwork size to allow for overlapping the artwork 1/8” on each side. It also shows our borders of 2” on all sides. By adding the mat window opening (15 ¾ x 19 ¾) and the borders (4 inches on the width and 4 inches on the height) the inside dimensions would be 19 ¾” x 23 ¾”. The outside measurement is the amount of physical space that this frame would take up on the wall. We arrive at this measurement by adding the width of the face of the frame to the inside dimension. In this case, the outside measurement is 22 7/8” x 26 7/8.”

If we happen to change the mat board borders, our measurements will also change:


configuring the mat board borders

By changing the borders from 2” to 4”, we have changed both the inside and outside measurements. The inside dimensions are now 23 ¾” x 27 ¾”, while the outside dimensions are 26 7/8” x 30 7/8”.

Similarly, by altering the frame style, the outside dimensions will change. Again, the art size is 16” x 20” and our mat board has 2” borders on all sides.


a gold frame with a thin face

Instead of choosing a thick wood frame, we chose a thin metal frame. The mat window opening and inside dimensions are the same as they were before. However, the outside dimension is now different. This is because the face of this frame is thinner and will therefore take up less physical room on the wall.

Order by Frame Size: This is a new feature of the website. Ordering by frame size is recommended under these circumstances: your work is already matted, you will be framing to the image (not using a mat), framing a canvas or painting on board, or if you cut your own mats and like to keep your frame dimensions uniform with varying art sizes. This time, our example will show what happens when a 16 x20 frame is ordered by frame size. Enter the exact dimensions of your matted work or painting. This figure will remain static throughout the design process. The outside dimension and art size will adjust with the custom size picture frame choices you make. If you do decide to include a mat board, adjust the borders to achieve the art size required.


configure a frame package by frame size

Here, you can see we entered our frame size as 16 x 20. Under the frame, the inside measurement (or matted size) is now 16 x 20.

Here’s what happens if we change the mat board borders:


changing the mat borders

If you change the borders of your mat, it will affect the art size. This is because your inside dimensions are set at 16 x 20, so to accommodate for different sized borders, the window opening (and therefore art size) gets larger or smaller.

Here’s what happens if we change the frame:


a silver metal frame with a thin face

If you change the frame when ordering by frame size, the outside frame dimensions change because the frame is now a thinner frame than the previous wood frame that was used.
Remember, you always have the option of uploading your work to preview it within the frame before purchasing.

We hope this new website reflects our goals for our customers: an easy and 100% accurate way to order custom picture frames online.

AubreyK | 1/14/2014 12:14:23 PM | 0 comments
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