How to Frame Odd Size Art – Part One: Float Frames
You know the standards… 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, and so on. The typical frames you find just hanging out on store shelves tend to be in predictable sizes. So how do you frame a piece of paper that measures 15×19? Well, if it’s an irreplaceable item such as your college diploma or marriage certificate, there is always the option of having custom framing done. (And let me just say, if you went to a college that hands out 15×19 diplomas, kudos to you). But if the item is something you want to frame on the cheap, such as the calendar pages I’m framing this week, there are a few other ideas.
Let’s start with idea #1 – A larger float frame. I’ve used this method for everything from a 12×15.75 calendar print to a pair of polaroids to a 3-ish by 5-ish small concert flyer. The floating frame is the savior of items with measurements that end in “-ish.”
First, measure up your piece. In the case of the calendar page, I obviously had to cut the print down to size. I measured both the minimum (if I cut flush against the illustration edges) and the maximum (if I left white space all the way to where the calendar part was printed) height and width. Once you have your measurements, you can tell which of the common frame sizes will make most sense. My cut down print would work in a 16×20 frame, since that would leave a couple of inches on all sides.
A really important step with float frames is that you clean the glass on all sides before framing. There are going to areas where you can see both sides of both sheets of glass, and imperfections will really show in the light. Let the glass dry completely, or you may ruin the item you frame. While the glass dries, you can cut down your image if needed.
The framing part is pretty simple. If you want your image centered, you can use a ruler to align it. Pop the back piece of glass back on, and you’re done! So much easier and cheaper than custom framing.