How to measure a picture for framing, 3 popular styles explained

Have you ever wondered how to measure a picture for framing?
In this article we will explain how to measure your artwork for the 3 most common and popular styles of framing!

The first consideration when measuring a picture for framing is the method you will use. The 3 most common methods of framing are:

  1. Picture with no mount
  2. Picture with a mount
  3. Canvas with a float frame

In order to make sure you work out your measurements correctly, you will need to understand what  “glass size” means. Glass size refers to the internal measure of a frame rebate.

The glass size will differ depending on the size of the artwork and whether you want a mount.

How to measure a picture for framing

The red dash line in the photos below represents where you will find the glass size if measuring a normal frame or a canvas frame.

Glass size is the internal size of a frame

Glass size on a float/tray frame
Glass Size on a normal frame

If however, you are starting with a picture and using our chop service, then choose one of the 3 options below to be shown step by step on how to measure your picture

How to measure a picture for framing in three popular styles

Frames without mount

Frames with mount

Canvas & float frames

Before you start, think about…

When starting, think about the following: creating a clean & flat surface to measure on, trimming any excess paper that is larger than the frame, grabbing a note pad and pen, and using a measuring tape.

Our professional-grade rulers below can help you ensure accuracy in your measurements.

How to measure a picture without a mount

This minimalist style is very popular for certificates, awards, diplomas and artwork that is a statement on its own.

This is by far the most straight-forward measurement to find.

Measure the artworks width and height to the closest mm, remember to be precise (because we will be with the cuts).

*When measuring your art be aware that 5mm either side will be covered by the frame*

For example:
Artwork size: 175mm  x 134mm 
Glass Size measurement will be = 175mm x 134mm

How to measure a picture with a mount

The most common and popular style of framed art, The mount creates a border for the art and enhances the overall framed piece.

Step 1: Measure your artworks width and height to the closest mm, be precise.

Step 2: Subtract about 5mm from each width and height measurement, this is your “aperture dimensions”.

Step 3: Decide how big your mount border will be, remember that 5mm of each side will be hidden by the frame.

Step 4: Add up the measurements to get your glass size.

For example:
Artwork size: 175mm  x 134mm
Subtract 5mm for aperture dimensions: 170mm x 129mm
Mount board border dimensions: 40mm + 40mm 
Glass Size measurement will be = 250mm x 209mm

How to measure a canvas for a float/tray frame

Float framing is different to normal framing as the frame fixes onto the back of the canvas as opposed to the front. The most important aspect to consider is the air (gap) between the frame and the canvas.

Step 1: Measure the Canvas, be precise.

Step 2: Decide on how much air you would like around the canvas. 10mm is standard for each side of the canvas.

(Air refers to the gap between the moulding and the canvas)

Step 3: Add up the measurements to get your glass size

For example:
Canvas Measurement: 250mm x 210mm
Air/Gap: 10mm both sides
Glass size measurement will be  = 270mm x 230mm

Interested in learning more about framing?

Click here to view our framing courses

Chop service

Our online chop service is the easiest way to build frames, enter your required size and our team will cut and mitre your choice of mouldings to ensure perfect framed corners.
Use our router service for an easy joining solution

What is chop service?

Bespoke and custom framing services

We provide custom and bespoke framing services in store, get in touch to book a consultation with one of our framing team to build your perfect frame!

🕻  01494 459545
 9.00 AM – 5:00 PM
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