What Sizes Do Picture Frames Come In?

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Decorating your home or office with framed photos can be an overwhelming prospect with endless options for print sizes, frame dimensions, shapes, and layouts.

But understanding a few key details around the standard photo and picture frame sizes used in the US, the image resolution needed for quality prints, tips for selecting frames for group photos or individuals, the creative frame shapes available beyond just rectangles, and recommendations on mixing frame designs for eclectic gallery wall displays will give you confidence in choosing the perfect frames to showcase your cherished memories and art.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll share insider tips and interesting insights about selecting and showcasing framed photos and art.

You’ll learn the ideal frame sizes to accurately display standard photo dimensions without cropping or distortion, recommended image resolutions to ensure stunning print quality, approaches to arranging assorted framed pieces for maximum visual appeal, and much more.

Standard Picture Frame Sizes


Most photo printing and picture framing in the United States is done using standard paper and frame sizes. This makes the process easier for customers and manufacturers. Here are the most common standard photo print sizes:

  • 4×6
  • 5×5
  • 5×7
  • 8×10
  • 11×14
  • 16×20
  • 20×24
  • 24×30
  • 24×36

The dimension listed for a photo print size or picture frame refers to the inner size that your image or photo will fill. Frames then come with additional width molding surrounding the inner opening. For example, a common 8×10 frame may have a 2-inch wide molding, making the outer frame dimensions 10×12 inches.

Square picture frame sizes like 5×5 have become increasingly popular for displaying Instagram photos without cropping the image. The smaller size also allows lower-resolution photos to still look sharp when printed and framed.

Get Picture Perfect Prints with These 5 Foolproof Framing Tips

  1. When printing photos for frames, aim for at least 300 PPI (pixels per inch) resolution for best quality. Higher resolution means you can print larger without losing sharpness.
  2. Match your frame’s inner dimensions to the size of the photo print or artwork. Then add about 2 inches total for the frame width. A 5×7 print would need an 8×10 frame.
  3. For matting, choose a frame at least 2 inches larger than the artwork on each side. A 5×7 print with a 1-inch mat would need a minimum 8×10 frame.
  4. Panoramic frames are available in standard elongated sizes like 12×36 or 16×40 to fit wide landscape-oriented images without cropping.
  5. Instagram photos can look pixelated if printed over 5×5 size. For larger clear prints, upload the full original photo from your smartphone rather than using the lower resolution Instagram file.

What Photo Resolution is Needed?

To get quality photo prints and framed pictures, the resolution of your digital image matters. Photo resolution refers to how many pixels from your digital photo fit within each inch of the print paper or frame glass. Standard photo printing requires 300 pixels per inch (ppi) for best quality. Here are some guidelines on image resolution needed for common print sizes:

  • 4×6 print – minimum 400×600 pixels, ideal 1200×1800 pixels
  • 5×5 print – minimum 500×500 pixels, ideal 1500×1500 pixels
  • 8×10 print – minimum 800×1000 pixels, ideal 2400×3000 pixels
  • 11×14 print – minimum 1100×1400 pixels, ideal 3300×4200 pixels

Most smartphone cameras today capture images at resolutions well above what is needed for quality 4×6 to 8×10 sized prints. But you need to transfer or upload the full size image file. Compressed images sent via text or social media messaging will not have high enough resolution.

Uploading directly from Instagram results in a 640×640 maximum image resolution, only sufficient for printing 4×6 or 5×5 sizes clearly. For best print results from Instagram, download the original image from your smartphone and upload instead.

Facebook uploads can maintain higher resolutions up to 2048 pixel width, enabling quality prints up to 8×10 size if the original image had resolution that high. For larger print sizes, uploading your highest resolution original image is recommended.

Guidelines on Choosing Frame Size

Once you know your image has sufficient resolution for the print size desired, next is picking the right picture frame size and style for the photo content. Here are some tips:

  • For group photos, choose at least 8×10 size frames or larger so facial details show clearly.
  • When grouping framed photos together, put more important images in larger frames like 8×10 and supplementary photos in smaller 5×7 sizes.
  • Professional portraits and major life event photos (weddings, graduations, etc) are best shown in larger frame sizes like 11×14 or bigger.
  • For panoramic images, pick wide rectangular frame sizes to show the full width without cropping.
  • Square 5×5 and 8×8 frame sizes create an appealing consistent look for galleries of multiple framed photos.

Unique Frame Shapes and Sizes

Beyond the standard frame dimensions listed previously, you also have many additional creative framing options:

  • Panoramic frames like 12×36 or 16×40 work great for wide landscape photos.
  • Square frames from 5×5 up to 40×40 sizes provide a modern, sleek display.
  • Circle and oval frames can showcase portraits or other focal point photos.
  • Heart-shaped frames framing wedding or anniversary photos make classic romantic gifts.

Essentially, frame manufacturers today offer picture frame sizes and shapes to fit any photo, artwork or document you want to display. Custom framing any size up to 40×60 inches is also an option if you have an exceptionally large piece.

Tips on Mixing Frame Sizes and Styles

When grouping multiple framed photos, artwork or decorative prints together, using all exactly matching frames can look too sterile and perfect. Mixing up frame sizes, shapes and styles adds character. Here are some tips on combining framed décor:

  • Hang a large central focal point piece in a big frame, surrounded by smaller supporting framed items.
  • For eclectic gallery walls, use a mix of frame finishes like black, silver, gold and wood tones.
  • Mix square and rectangular frames together to create visual interest.
  • Vary frame widths – combine thin modern frames with wider traditional styles.
  • Floating shelves holding framed photos of ascending or descending sizes can look very striking.
  • Add frames with matting to contrast against those without mats for texture.

Don’t overthink mixing and matching! The main goal is creating an appealing blend of framed items that reflects your personal tastes.

Choosing Frames with Mats

Picture frame mats add a wonderful design element, provide space around the central image, and enhance visual focus. Here are some tips on selecting sized frames to accommodate matting:

  • For a 0.5-1 inch mat width, choose a frame 2 inches larger than the photo size. A 5×7 print would use an 8×10 frame.
  • Allow at least 2 extra inches of frame size for a 1.5-2 inch double mat. An 8×10 photo could use a 12×14 frame.
  • Wide matting like a 4-inch double mat requires a frame at least 6 inches bigger than the print. Put a 5×7 print in an 11×14 frame.
  • Make sure to get a mat with a beveled cut opening slightly smaller than the image size to cover frame edges.

Frameology takes the guesswork out by offering many frames with pre-cut mats and spacers in various colors and textures. We’ll also create a custom frame and mat for any size or design needs.

Hanging and Displaying Framed Photos

The final step is deciding where and how to hang or display your framed prints and pictures for maximum visual appeal:

  • Salon-style gallery walls with framed photos and art clustered creatively are a popular trend. Play with arranged asymmetry for interest.
  • Incorporate frames into wall shelving and bookcases to tie displays together.
  • Feature special panoramic or extra-large prints as bold focal points.
  • Use uniform square frames and grids for an ordered modern look.
  • Make memories come to life by displaying framed vacation photos, wedding pics, and family snapshots in your home office or den.

Frame Size FAQs

What size frame do I need for 8×10 photos?

An 8×10 image will fit in a frame of the same size without a mat. For matting options, choose 10×12 or larger frames.

Can you print Instagram photos?

Yes, Instagram image files are low resolution but still look great printed in smaller sizes like 4×6 or 5×5. For larger prints, upload your original photo from your phone instead of using the Instagram file.

How do you display multiple picture frames?

Gallery walls using a collection of framed photos and art are a popular way to display multiple frames. Also consider groupings over sofas, shelving, grids, and mixing frame sizes and styles.

What are the standard wood frame sizes?

Common inner-dimension wood frame sizes are 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, 16×20, 20×24, and 24×36. Outer frame dimensions are larger based on the width of the wood.

What size frame for a 5×7 photo?

A 5×7 print fits nicely in a 5×7 frame with no mat. For matting options, choose larger frames like 8×10, 9×12, or 11×14.

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