Framing Information

This page is about how to frame artwork and not specifically about the options that are available for a work of mine that you would like to purchase. That said, all drawings are available framed or unframed, please ask (shipping is more expensive for framed artwork). I don't frame the posters, as they are then prohibitively expensive to ship. This page was originally created for my own information, but as it is sometimes hard to find this information on internal and external mat opening sizes for standard commercially available mats (in the US), I thought I would post this out there.

Image, mat, and frame sizes (This is for US sizes, not A0, A1, A2, etc. paper)


Frames come in a wide variety of border widths. For pre-made frames, I prefer a wood frame so that I can position the eyelets for wire where I want them and cover the back with paper so that dust does not get into the frame. This is harder to do in an elegant fashion (although completely possible) with metal frames, partly because the way the metal hangers attach to the inside of the frame makes it hard to then cover it with paper and have the wire come out in a neat manner. The type of pre-made frame that I have gravitated towards has been partly dictated by the availability of frames at my local art store (Utrecht on 13th St NW, between Eye St and New York Ave, Washington, DC), but also because the line of frames I have chosen (found online here) is simple, available in black, and doesn't distract from the artwork.

Hanging the frames

Frames with wire attached to the back has eyelets for the wire typically attached 1/3 or 1/4 of the way down from the top along the sides of the frame. The higher up the frame the wire is attached, the less of an angle the frame will make with the wall. I prefer the angle given when the wire is attached 1/4 of the way from the top of the frame.

As an example, the frames that I use for a 9" x 12" drawing have an external size of 12" x 15". If the frame is to hang with the long dimension (15") vertical, I put the hanging eyelets 1/4 of the way from the top, or 3.75" down. I adjust the slack in the wire so that the bottom of the picture hook is 2" from the top of the frame. If the frame is hanging with the short dimension (12") vertical, I put the eyelets at 3" down from the top. The wire in this case has enough slack so that the bottom of the hook is 1.625" (1 5/8") from the top of the frame.

If I get really enthusiastic, I will make a nice graphic illustration of all the dimensions for all frame sizes I typically use and how I tie the wire around the eyelets, but this is all I have time for at the moment. I hope it was useful.

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