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How to Pick a Frame

Now that we’ve chosen our poster art in the perfect size, let’s talk about some of our favorite ways to display it! 

There are 2 things we have to consider before we dive into the frame options:

Image Size -what is the size of the actual image on a page? 
Paper Size- what is the size of the paper or canvas the image is printed on? 

In the wall art example of our Baby Lion, the paper size is 9" x 11", while the actual image size is 5.5" x 6.25".  The open space at the top of the poster is our white space that can either be shown off or covered by a wider frame. Keeping image size in mind will help us decide how much white space we want to show and will narrow down the types of frames that work best with it. 

Thin frames- show lots of white space and make art look clean, open and modern. 
Thick frames or frames with a mat -give life to a smaller size artwork and help draw focus to the details of the image. 

The type of frame you choose is entirely up to you. There are no wrong choices - have fun with it! 

Frame Size vs. Display Size 

With any frame, in addition to its total outside size, we need to also consider the actual display (or inside) size of the frame. In the frame example below of our Baby Deer, the outside size of the frame is 16" x 20". With the decorative addition of the mat, the inside display size is 10.7" x 12.6". If our baby deer was drawn larger than 10.7" x 12.6", its ears could be cut off by the mat :) This means that this particular frame can showcase any image that is 10.7" x 12.6" or smaller.

Luckily, both inside and outside measurements are typically provided by retailers on packaging and/or description information of the frame. 

Frame Options

There are many frame options out there and to simplify them - we've narrowed it down to the 3 most common types.

Gallery Frames 

Gallery frames are very often used in museums, particularly in photography exhibits. These frames often use a mat to create a "frame-within-a-frame" effect that provides more depth and dimension to the art. Sizes of the mat varies, and very often, can be removed and the frame used as a standard frame. 

Here is an example of a gallery frame from Blick. 

Emery Wood Gallery Frame

Another type of gallery frame is a deep set gallery frame. The frame structure in this type of frame is set deeper, creating the illusion of a mat. Our favorite type of deep set gallery frame is the Blick Wood Gallery Frame. This frame has 2 depth slots so you can choose to have a gallery frame look or a standard frame look. We also love the thickness and the natural wood color finish. This is the frame we use in our daughter's nursery and throughout the art you see on Deco Tot. 

Blick Wood Gallery Frame


Here is an example of this frame used on our Aquarius Baby Zodiac poster. 


Standard Frames 

Standard frames are a classic choice. They come in a variety of finishes, designs and thicknesses and do not include a mat. If you choose a wider frame, it will cover more white space of your art. While a thin standard frame will showcase more of the white space. The choice is up to you! 

We love this minimalistic standard frame from Blick that will not overpower the art. 


Nielsen Bainbridge Snap Wood Digital Format Frame


We also enjoy a beautiful classic frame as well. Love this grey wood frame from Blick that would complement any neutral nursery. 

Blick Loma Wood Frame - 16'' x 20'', Fruitwood


Matboards and Mounting Boards 

Don't want to use a frame for your poster art? No problem! There are multiple options specifically designed for posters that do not include actual frames.


Matboard - did you know that you can use just a matboard to frame a poster? All you need is some adhesive tape and you have an instant frame without the weight of one. They tend to be much more economical and easy on the walls as no holes need to be made. Matboards are also incredibly versatile - you can use it on its own or as an add-on to liven up an existing frame you already own. 

We love the already pre-cut colorful options of this matboard below.

Blick Pre-Cut Mat 


Mounting Board - Do you remember those science projects in middle school that we presented on mounting boards? These are a similar concept - mounting boards are flat pieces of thin board that you mount your art on using adhesives. They are also very economical and easy to use. These can be purchased in a larger size and cut to any size you need, or purchased in the exact size you need. 

Here is a great example of mounting boards that come in package of 25 to cover all you mounting needs.

Lineco Cotton Rag Museum Mounting Boards


BONUS TIP - Damage Free Wall Hanging

We understand that babies grow quickly and their rooms, whether it is their toys or furniture change just as fast. In the first 6 months, we've had to redecorate our daughter's room twice! We found that we also needed to shift some of her wall art to accommodate for the new items we've placed in her room.   

What has been a game changer is instead of making new holes in walls with nails, we used the 3m picture hanging strips. No damage to walls and they came off easily with absolutely no paint peeling. The largest size strips can hold frames up to 16 lbs (7.2 kg). These can also be used to hang up Matboards or Mounting boards. 

Here they are in action on one of our frames. 



You can purchase them here.

We hope this quick guide was helpful - have fun decorating!


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