How To Matte and Frame a Picture

The beauty of a valued photograph is beyond a thousand words. There is a need to frame pictures especially if they have sentimental value. However, professional framing and matting can be expensive. But, there are ways so you can matte and frame your pictures at home. Below are steps and guides on how to matte and frame a picture.

  • What you need for this project. You need a measuring tape, cardboard, glass, hanging hardware, hold clips or staples, acid-free tape, and wood, plastic, or metal frame.
  • Identify the frame that you want for your photograph. Include the mat size when buying a picture frame. It’s up to you to select between thin and wider frame. Most thin frames are made of plastic and metal while wider frames are usually wood. Most mats are 1-3 inches wide
  • Decide on the color of the frame. The frame color must be sync with the color of the picture and the room where you’ll hang the frame. Dark wood and metal frames will suit an upscale room best, while lighter wood and plastic frame suit casual rooms. Black frames are the most versatile because they will compliment any room type.
  • Decide on the mat color. Its color must match the colors in the photograph and frame. The mat must not be a high contrast to the colors of your picture; thus, it must enhance or highlight the spectrum in your photograph. Like, a grayscale picture will blend well with gray, black or white mats. Therefore, a cream or blue mat will be out of place. Use a colored mat in your colored photographs.
  • Decide on how you want to cut your mat. Most mats are cut in rectangular. It is the most common and it is the easiest shape to cut. You need a special cutter if you want a circle. You can use odd shaped cuts like a leaf shaped mat; it’s much harder to cut but it will certainly make your photograph standout. Cut a double mat if you want to use two colors; cut the smaller mat first. There must be a ¼ inch space between the 2 mats for the layering style.
  • Cut the mat. Use a metal ruler for best cut. Use the top part of the ruler for the mat’s inside corner. Push the razor in the mat for a clean and long line cut. Do this in the four edges of the mat. A solid rectangle will be removed after cutting the mat.
  • Put the glass piece of the frame. Put it in the frame’s routed edges. Then, put the mat followed by your photograph. Then, put the cardboard piece in the back of the frame. Use a hanging hardware on the back of your frame and hang it in your preferred location.
  • About mat-cutting ruler. It is better because its razor blade is in 45-degree angle. Use a craft knife or an ordinary box cutter if you don’t have one; however, they will give your mat a straight cut.
  • The mat and the photograph must be perfectly aligned. Position and hold them together then turn them around. Put an acid-free tape on the edges.
  • Position the 2nd mat against the 1st   if you want double matting. Line-up the edges of the two mat. Hold the mats in place then tape their edges.

Look at your frame and change the location if you’re unsatisfied. You can use different matte and frame for each photograph. You can also use a motif for several photographs that you’ll hang in one area of your house or room.


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