What You Should Know About Picture Frame Sizes

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Once you understand picture frame sizes, you will be on your way to displaying all of your favorite photos.Whether you're new to photography or just never understood picture frame sizes, this article will teach you the basics about picture frame sizes and help you always select the right frame size 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 typical sizes available with printed photographs.

Normally with photo frames the size refers to the size of the picture opening and not the exterior dimensions of the frame. In the United States, picture frame sizes are always measured in inches. In most 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 any picture frame there are always two things to consider: 1) the photo size the frame holds and 2) how the frame can be displayed.

1) Knowing the Actual Photo Size Your Picture Frame Holds

It is important to note that the picture frame size is the size of the photo the frame will hold and not the overall exterior size of the frame. This is an important distinction and is often a cause of confusion. If you need to quickly check to see if your photo will fit, you can measure the inner opening of the front of the frame where you see the picture.

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. Always check this because there are some picture frame sizes that are only designed to be displayed in one direction.Most unique shaped frames, like heart shaped picture 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 frames that hold a single picture:

2 1/2 x 3 1/2 - wallet size
3 ½ x 5
4x10 and 4x12 - panoramic picture frames
8x8, 10x10 and 12x12 - scrapbook picture frames
8 ½ x 11

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. All of these frame are available in standard frame sizes and come in a wide variety of styles, colors and finishes.

Picture frames are available in non-standard sizes but there just will be a much smaller selection and will likely be harder to find exactly what you want.If you're shopping for a specific size, you can always check with your favorite frame retailer for help or you can always have a custom frame made.If you're trying to find an inexpensive frame in a non-standard size and want to avoid having a custom frame made, you can use a picture frame mat that holds your photo in a standard frame.

Now with your new knowledge of picture frame sizes, you'll be able to confidently choose your next picture frame knowing that it's exactly what you want.

Autumn Lockwood loves taking pictures and is a writer for YourPictureFrames.com. Your Picture Frames offers a large selection of beautiful silver picture frames and gorgeous gold picture frames in a variety of finishes, styles and sizes. Check out our selection by visiting us at => YourPictureFrames.com

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