Looking for the right frame to fit your – itching to be hung on the wall – print? The Comprehensive DIY Frame Size Guide will cover all you need to know so you can find the perfect frame and what to do if you can’t.
Centimetres or inches?
Let’s start with the size of your picture (photo, print, poster, document, certificate etc). Measure its width and height (note the cm and inches). You can use an online convertor to make life a little easier. Once you know the exact size, it will be a lot easier to find a frame.
If you’re in Australia, then you’ve probably heard of A4 paper. A4 size belongs to the A series of paper sizes, which is the standard used by Australia. The A series is the official metric standard and is used by many other countries such as United Kingdom, New Zealand and Sweden, hej IKEA! The A series is numbered, with 0 being the largest size. If your picture isn’t an exact A Series size, check the measurements in the Photo Size or Poster Size column.
The closest equivalent for the photo and poster sizes, to A size, are in the same row. For example, A2 ‘A size’ is very similar to 18 x 24 in (photo size) and are found in the same row. This means you may be able to use an A2 size frame for both A2 prints and 18 x 24 in prints.
|A Sizes||mm||cm||inches||Photo Size (inches)||Poster Size (cm)|
|A0||841 x 1189||84.1 x 118.9||33.11 x 46.81||–||–|
|–||–||–||–||30 x 40||60 x 90|
|A1||594 x 841||59.4 x 84.1||23.39 x 33.11||24 x 36||A1|
|–||–||–||–||–||50 x 70|
|–||–||–||–||20 x 24||–|
|A2||420 x 594||42.0 x 59.4||16.54 x 23.39||18 x 24||A2|
|–||–||–||–||16 x 20||–|
|A3||297 x 420||29.7 x 42.0||11.69 x 16.54||12 x 16||A3|
|–||–||–||–||11 x 14||–|
|–||–||–||–||10 x 12||–|
|A4||210 x 297||21.0 x 29.7||8.27 x 11.69||8 x 12||–|
|–||–||–||–||8 x 10||–|
|A5||148 x 210||14.8 x 21.0||5.83 x 8.27||6 x 8|
|–||–||–||–||5 x 7||–|
|A6||105 x 148||10.5 x 14.8||4.13 x 5.83||4 x 6||–|
|A7||74 x 105||7.4 x 10.5||2.91 x 4.13||–||–|
|A8||52 x 74||5.2 x 7.4||2.05 x 2.91||–||–|
|A9||37 x 52||3.7 x 5.2||1.46 x 2.05||–||–|
|A10||26 x 37||2.6 x 3.7||1.02 x 1.46||–||–|
Even in Australia, the standard sizes for photos, and prints also, are often referred to in inches. When you convert these to cms it can get messy. So you’ll still see a lot of frames with inch measurements even though the A Series is Australia’s standard paper size.
You may have noticed a cut out board that sits over the prints in some frames. This is called a mounting board or mat, short for matboard, and it sits just under the glass or plastic. Usually a white or cream colour, the matboard acts as an extra border around the picture. When you buy a frame, check if the matboard is included. Below is an example of the same sized print (Baby Steps Giraffe) in a frame without (left) and with (right) a matboard.
Most frames you buy will come with a size label. The label may state the:
IKEA, Kmart and Target frames all have this information on their labels. If you want more detail, the IKEA website has all dimensions you could ask for. See below for an example of an IKEA label and what it means.
So now you know what to look for, here’s a table to show you which IKEA frames will fit your print or poster best.
For example, if you have an A4 print, find A4 in the ‘Picture Size > A Series’ column and you can see it will fit the 21 x 30 cm frame without a mount, and the 30 x 40 cm frame with a mount. This guide indicates best fit for your pictures (~ shows approximate size). if your image goes to edge, some of the image may be covered if you use a mount.
|IKEA Frame Size||Picture Size with Mount||Picture Size without Mount|
|A Series||Inches||A Series||Inches|
|10 x 15 cm||–||–||8 x 12 cm||A6||4 x 6||10 x 15 cm|
|13 x 18 cm||A6||4 x 6||10 x 15 cm||~A5||6 x 8||13 x 18 cm|
|21 x 30 cm||~A5||6 x 8||13 x 18 cm||A4||8 x 12||21 x 30 cm|
|30 x 40 cm||A4||8 x 12||21 x 30 cm||~A3||12 x 16||30 x 40 cm|
|40 x 50 cm||~A3||12 x 16||30 x 40 cm||–||–||40 x 50 cm|
|50 x 70 cm||–||–||40 x 50 cm||–||–||50 x 70 cm|
|61 x 91 cm||–||–||50 x 70 cm||~A1||30 x 40||61 x 91 cm|
Here is all the information together. The W x H columns give the exact dimensions of the A Series paper in centimetres and inches. The Frame Size | Photo Size columns give the measurements for the frame/photo on the size label.
For example, if you have an A3 size print you could use the 30 x 40 cm frame or the 30 x 38 cm/12 x15 (with a bit of wriggle room). To make it easy to spot, all IKEA frame sizes are bold blue with yellow background. The other sizes you can find at Kmart, Target and Officeworks etc. You’ll see some frames are labeled with their A Series size but the majority are in inches.
|A Series||W x H||Frame Size | Photo Size|
|A6||10.5 x 14.8 cm||4.13 x 5.82 in||10 x 15 cm||4 x 6 in|
|–||13 x 18 cm||5 x 7 in|
|A5||14.8 x 21 cm||5.82 x 8.26 in||15 x 20 cm||6 x 8 in|
|–||18 x 23 cm||7 x 9 in|
|–||20 x 25 cm||8 x 10 in|
|A4||21 x 29.7 cm||8.26 x 11.69 in||20 x 30 cm||8 x 12 in|
|~A4||21 x 30 cm||~8 x 12 in|
|–||28 x 36 cm||11 x 14 in|
|~A3||30 x 38 cm||12 x 15 in|
|A3||29.7 x 42 cm||11.69 x 16.53 in||30 x 40 cm||12 x 16 in|
|–||40 x 50 cm||~16 x 20 in|
|–||41 x 51 cm||16 x 20 in|
|A2||42 x 59.4 cm||16.53 x 23.38 in||42 x 59.4 cm|
|–||50 x 70 cm|
|A1||59.4 x 84.1 cm||23.38 x 33.11 in||59.4 x 84.1 cm|
|–||61 x 91 cm|
|–||61 x 91.5 cm||24 x 36 in||61 x 91.5 cm||24 x 36 in|
If your picture isn’t from the A Series, or one of the standard picture sizes (inches), then follow these steps:
Hopefully this guide has helped you find a frame to fit your print, or even a print to fit your frame. Either way, may print and frame unite. If not, let me know in the comments!