Do you have an unusual sized picture to frame? Can’t find matting in a colour or shape you like? Then it might just be time to make your own. Here are several ideas on how to make your own matting to use when framing pictures or hand crafted pieces.
For unusual sizes, buy archival board and cut to size using a cutting mat, ruler and a heavy-duty cutter. Archival board is acid free so that it won’t damage your precious pictures or hand crafted pieces. Be certain to measure twice because if the archival board is cut wrong, you might not be able to fix it.
Material, such as felt or leather, can also be used to create a mat. Material will give texture and depth to your frame. When choosing material to make into a mat, choose material that will not fray along the edges. If you are still worried about the material fraying, simply hem the material along the edges.
Another idea on how to create your own matting is to use card stock. Don’t use paper, as it is too thin and could tear easily. Use card stock instead, which is thicker and more durable. Also, card stock is thinner than archival board, so it will be easy to put in a standard picture frame.
When creating your own matting, don’t feel obligated to use only square or circle shapes for the opening. You can cut the edges straight, or use a special scrapbooking scissor that creates a pattern when cutting. Only use scissors on material or card stock, don’t use it on archival board, since the archival board will be too thick to cut.
To add colour and personality to your finished piece, you can decorate the matting. Decorations work especially well for simple designs, such as a birth announcement or a saying. You can either decorate your homemade matting, or for common sizes, you can use the pre-cut mats found in craft stores.
There are several ways to decorate matting. One way is to paint the mat. Choose a colour found in the piece you are framing and paint the mat the same colour. This will emphasize that colour or object and give it more importance. Another decorating idea is to glue felt shapes or charms to your mat in such a way that the charm is partly on the mat and partly on the design. You can also decorate matting by using a stamp or stickers that compliment the design.