How to Frame an Art Print

CatherineFreshley_FramedWallArt

Prints are a fantastic way to bring art into your home. Even when you frame them, prints are often much more affordable than original art, which makes them an attractive option for many people. Because they are less expensive, it can be fun to buy multiples to hang together, or have a couple options that you switch out seasonally.

I offer prints ranging from 8”x10” all the way up to 30”x40.” When thinking about what size print to buy, it’s very important to also consider the frame. Depending on the framing style, a mat and frame can make your art significantly larger. Choosing how to frame your art is all about your personal preference. I have a few options to share with you.

CatherineFreshley_30x40print

Click here to shop this Mt. Hood print.

All of my prints are standard frame sizes which means you can head to Target, or wherever you like to shop, and buy an “off the shelf” frame. Of course, you can also choose custom framing and as with most things, you get what you pay for. Frames from big box stores are much more affordable than custom framing, but you don’t have as many options and while the quality is perfectly suitable for most situations, it is not fine craftsmanship like a custom frame.

When buying a frame, pay careful attention to the size description. If a frame comes with a mat, the packaging will often list the frame opening and the mat opening. For example, the mat opening may be 11”x14,” but if you remove the mat, the frame opening will probably be 16”x20.” This means you can use the frame for either size print. If you want to mat your print, make sure to buy a frame that is matted for your size print.

Below, I’ll give examples of different mat and frames styles.

Some of these frames are from Blick Art Materials and Target and my links to them are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase, I’ll get a small percentage of the sale from Blick or Target as a thank you for sending business their way. You don’t pay any extra and I am only sharing links to frames that I personally have used and recommend.

CatherineFreshley_8x10print

This picture shows a unique comparison between an 8”x10” and an 11”x14” print. The 8”x10” print (A) has a large mat, and therefore large frame, which makes the whole thing roughly the same size as the 11”x14” print (B) below it. The large mat with the thin, black frame is a very contemporary look, whereas B is a much more classic look.

A: 8”x10” print in this frame from Blick.

B: 11”x14” print in this frame from Target.

CatherineFreshley_11x14prints

All three of these prints are the same size, but they have different styles of frames. My personal preference for small prints is to include a mat (A and C), but if you have a small space, skipping the mat (B) can be a great option.

A: 11"x14" print in this frame from Blick.

B: 11”x14” print in this frame from Target. I removed the mat.

C: 11”x14” print frame in this frame from Target.

CatherineFreshley_16x20print

After 11”x14,” the next largest size I offer is 16”x20.” This picture shows a comparison between 16”x20” (A) and 11”x14” (B.) However, the 16”x20” doesn’t have a mat. If it did, you would be able to fill a much bigger space on your wall.

  1. 16”x20” print in a white “poster frame” from Target that I bought in the store and can’t find on the website.
  2. 11"x14" print in this frame from Blick.
CatherineFreshley_30x40print

This is the largest print size I offer; it's 30"x40." I'm showing it in this frame. I like the frame itself, but I DO NOT LIKE the plexiglass that it comes with; it is poor quality and very reflective. I would only recommend using this frame if you are going to hang the art somewhere out of the way and you feel comfortable not putting plexiglass in front of it. Many frame stores sell pre-made frames for 30"x40" art -- this is kind of a middle ground between buying frames at big box stores and choosing custom framing. 

I hope this is helpful! You can shop all my prints here. Let me know if you have questions.