How to Size Your Picture Frame Mats

Did you know that in 2014, we uploaded around 1.8 billion images every single day? Digital photography and the advent of the camera phone have meant we are taking more pictures than ever. The trouble is, the vast majority of these images stay exactly that: digital.

If you want to get your photos, or other artwork, out into the real world, then framing it and hanging it on your wall is a great way to do so. Sometimes an image may be too small for a decent-sized frame, however, or you might just want to highlight one part of an image.

That’s where frame mats come in. They allow you to frame your images in larger frames or focus on specific parts of your artwork. You need to make sure you use the right sizes, however.

Read on as we take a look at how to size your picture frame mats.

What Are Frame Mats?

frame mat is a thin piece of material, usually paper-based, that sits between your image and the glass inside a picture frame.

The frame mat creates a border around your image so that the visible image is smaller than the dimensions of the picture frame. Frame mats are often included when buying picture frames, but you can also buy frame mats on their own to fit your desired specifications.

Why Use a Frame Mat?

If you have a smaller image, you may not want to frame it in a small frame where it wouldn’t have much impact. A frame mat allows you to frame smaller images in larger frames, which can look visually more appealing, or just fit better with other frames in your home.

A frame mat can also allow you to focus on a specific part of an image. If you have an image of a person for example, then you may wish to obscure some of the borders of the image that detracts focus from the person in the image. A frame mat allows you to expose only the part of the image that you want to see.

Sizing a Picture Frame Mat

There are three key measurements when sizing a picture frame mat.

Artwork Size

The size of your artwork will ultimately determine the size of both the frame and frame mat. Make sure you measure this before you make a purchase.

Outer Size

Once you know the size of your image, you’ll need a frame that fits. The outer size of your frame mat should match the dimensions of your frame. So if you have a 4×6 frame, you’ll need a 4×6 picture frame mat size.

Opening Size

This is the size of the hole in the frame mat. If you’re framing a smaller image then you need to be sure that the opening size is smaller than the image itself as otherwise the edges of the image will be exposed.

It’s then up to you to decide how small an opening you want, depending on how much of the image you want visible. Measure the rough area you want on display and find the closest suitable opening size based on those measurements.

Use Frame Mats to Make Your Pictures Pop

Frame mats allow you to make your pictures and artwork pop. They allow you to frame smaller pieces in larger frames, or focus on a particular part of a larger image.

Getting your frame mats right all comes down to taking the correct measurements. If you follow this article you should end up with perfectly framed images, every time.