Yay! You collected a fine art canvas print! Now what? Canvas prints are easy to display and a lower cost way to collect art you love. This post will walk you through how to frame your Giclee canvas print for a customized look that'll fit your home decor and budget.
I prefer framing my prints with a simple white mat and picking a frame that matches the style of the room I'm hanging it in. The mat really helps to elevate the look of the print to a gallery ready presentation.
If you'd prefer to frame your print without a mat that's fine too! This is all about the end look you like most.
Working with mats: The first step is to measure the image area of your print (don't include the white margin in your measurement as you'll mat over this and maybe even trim it down to fit your frame.)
Once you know the measurement of the image area you're ready to buy a mat that has an "image display window" also called the "picture size" of the same dimension.
If you're having a custom mat cut, I suggest asking the mat cutter to come in 1/16" of an inch towards the center on all four sides of the window area to guarantee it will slightly overlap your image area.
Once you know the image display window measurements you can decide how wide you'd like the edges of your mat to be.
To make a bigger statement with a smaller piece of art look for wider mat margins. These wider sides act like a border around your artwork. The wider the sides the bigger the boarder which means the bigger the frame, and that all creates a larger "footprint" on your wall.
Many frames even come with mats which can make the framing process even easier. Once you know the measurement of your artwork you'll simply look for a frame that comes with a mat that will fit your artwork.
Examples + Mat Math: All examples feature the 8x10" canvas print, Luminous. By using different mat sizes the overall display size of the print changes from 11x14" (birch and white frames) to 14"x18" (gold metal frame.) Same art print size with different final sizes based on the mat margins and the thickness of the frame itself. Please note your frame will cover a small portion of your mat (usually 1/4-1/2" in every direction) and your mat covers a small portion of your print.
The birch wood and white frame versions shown in this post both feature a white mat with 2" boarders. This 2" boarder on all four sides adds 4" of length and 4" of width to the total size that will fit into the frame.
The gold metal frame with the wider mat shown in this post adds 4" to the top and bottom edges and 3" to each side. This adds a total of 8" to the display height and 6" to the display width within the frame.
Frame + Mat Sources:
Buying your mat and frame is easy once you know your "mat math."
Michaels regularly offers major discounts on their in house framing and they also carry pre-made mats and frames at an even lower cost.
Target has some great frames that keep up with the on trend styles found at pricier retailers. The gold frame with the thick modern mat I used in this post is from Target for $20 and the mat is included. Here's the link!
West Elm is another awesome option for modern frames. They have SO many great options! Here are a few of my favorites: I love how these black rimmed frames feel fresh and modern for a gallery wall yet classic at the same time. These warm wood tone frames would work beautifully with the soft colors in my artwork. This metal frame comes in a variety of finishes including, Polished Brass, Antique Bronze, Rose Gold, Polished Nickel. (Yes, I said Rose Gold!)
Jerry's Artarama is my current go-to place to buy mats and frames but I listed them last because the best rates are only available for members. They have an in-house framer trained to cut high quality mats and there are extensive framing options. The best part is the framing price is essentially wholesale if you're a member. Even if you're only buying a custom frame the membership would likely pay for itself so it may be worth looking into.
Alright! If you made it through this post you're now in the know on all things mats and framing. I hope you feel confident now to go out and select your frames for your fine art prints! Stay in the loop for upcoming print releases by joining the newsletter here.
Still have questions? Shoot us an email: email@example.com and we're happy to help!
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