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14 Jul 2017
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What You Should Know About Picture Frame Sizes

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Posted By Bryce A.

Once you understand picture frame sizes, you will be on your way to displaying all of your favorite photos. Whether new to photography or just never understood picture frame sizes, this article will explain the basics of picture frame sizes and will help you select the perfect frame for your photo.

Picture Frame Size Basics

There are many different picture frame sizes, but they are typically grouped into standard (also called common) and non-standard sizes. Standard sized frames, like a 5x7 or an 8x10 picture frame, are the most common and are what you normally see hanging on the wall or resting on a table top. The term "standard frame size" refers to the regular sizes that are available with most printed photos.

Normally with photo frames the size refers to the size of the picture opening and not the exterior dimensions of the frame. In the U.S., picture frame sizes are always measured in inches.In other parts of the world they are measured in centimeters.

Picture frame sizes are always measured: width by height.If your picture measures 8 inches wide x 10 inches high you will need an 8 x 10 picture frame. If you have a photo that is 7x5, you'll need a 7x5 picture frame. Keep in mind that 7x5 frames can only be used horizontally, while a 5x7 frame can be used horizontally or vertically. The same holds true for 10x8 frames and 6x4 frames. It will be helpful to remember that 6x4, 7x5 and 10x8 frames can only be used horizontally, while 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10 picture frames can generally go either horizontal or vertical.

When selecting the right picture frame, there are two things you should consider: the photo size your picture frame holds and how the picture frame can be displayed.

1) Determining the Photo Size Your Picture Frame Holds

It is important to emphasize that the picture frame size is not the overall exterior dimension of the frame but instead the actual photo size that the frame will hold. This is an important distinction and is often a cause of confusion. To quickly determine if your frame will hold your photo, you can measure the inner area of the frame where the picture is held. However this will always give you a smaller measurement than the actual size of the photo that will fit. That's because every frame has an interior edge (or lip) that holds the glass and can vary in size. So, if you want a more accurate measurement to know the exact photo size your frame will hold, you'll have to remove the frame backing to correctly measure it.

When measuring a frame correctly, you have to remove the frame backing and open it up. There is a ledge on the inside of the frame that holds the glass and photo. All you do is measure the opening where the glass fits (or measure the glass itself) and you'll have the correct size of the photo that will fit in your picture frame.

2) How You Picture Frame Can Be Used
One of the most important things in selecting a frame is to know whether the frame can be displayed vertically, horizontally or in both directions.You should always verify this because some photo frames are designed to only be used in a specific direction. Most unique shaped frames can only be displayed one way. An easy way to check is to look at the mounting hardware on the back of the frame to see how the frame can be displayed.

Picture Frame Sizes

Below are some of the most common picture frame sizes.These are for single frames that only hold one photo:

2 ½ x 3 ½ - wallet sizes
3 ½ x 5
4x6
4x10 and 4x12 - panoramic picture frames
6x4
5x5
5x7
7x5
6x8
8x8, 10x10 and 12x12 - scrapbook frames
8x10
10x8
8 ½ x 11
11x14
16x20
20x24

If you are looking for a frame that will hold multiple pictures, there are double picture frames, triple picture frames and collage picture frames in a variety of sizes. These all come in standard frame sizes but have more than one picture frame opening.

You can find picture frames in non-standard sizes however the selection won't be as large and may take you a lot longer to find. If you're looking for a specific size, you can always ask a frame retailer for additional assistance or you can look to have a custom frame made. If you're trying to find a less expensive frame for a non-standard size and don't want a custom made frame, you can always use a picture frame mat to hold your photo in a standard frame size.

Now that you have a better understanding of picture frame sizes, you will hopefully save time, energy and money when picking out your perfect picture frame.

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