Professional Picture Frame Matting from Home

If you really want your photograph or picture to pop, then you will need to add some picture frame matting. But, you do not need to spend a fortune at a picture frame company to do this. You can make your own mattes using a matte, matte cutters, pencils, rulers and an X-Acto Knife.

Step 1: Pick a Matte

The first step in making a matte is to pick up some matte paper. Generally, mattes are similar to cardboard, except that one side has color and the other is usually white. Select one that contrasts with your image enough to show it off, but still picks up a shade of the image’s color.

Step 2: Calculate the Edges

You need to figure out how much of the image that you want to be seen. This will determine how large of a matte that you need. If you want the entire image exposed, then you are going to need to get a large enough matte and frame to just cover the extreme edges of the image.

Generally, mattes are three inches wide at the sides and four inches wide at the top.

Step 3: Cut the Matte

Measure the inside of your picture frame, and mark the frame’s size on the back of your frame. You should use a pencil and a ruler to actually draw out the dimensions. You can use it as a cutting guide.

Place your matte on a flat surface. Place a ruler up against one of the lines, and use the matte cutter to start cutting into the matte. You may have to make several runs before it goes all the way through.

Step 4: Make the Window

Measure how wide that you want the window to be and mark the dimensions. Connect these lines, and use the same method as above to make the cuts.

If some of the edges are jagged, use the X-Acto Knife to clean up the cuts. It can also assist you cut through thick matte.