Picture Matting: A Step by Step Process Giving Your artwork Professional Elegance

Picture matting and cutting mats for your favorite pieces of art and photographs is easy. If you need pictures to mat choose an art period from the navigational bar on the left, then an artist of your choice, or go directly to: AllPosters.com and search many categories of your own choice.
Choose from Vintage posters, movie posters and artistic posters of all kinds. Create your own personal environment as you know you can for your home and office. Below are instructions how to get started double matting your photos and artwork.

1) Begin picture matting and later mat cutting with a good mat cutter that is simple and easy to use for beginners and more advanced mat cutters as well. I recommend a “Logan Simplex Plus model # 750 that can be purchased at: Dick Blick Art Materials, or go to stores in your area.

2) Start your picture mats creating a line map measuring the image of your photo or artwork.

3) Draw a rectangle or square on a separate piece of paper representing the image of the photograph or art just measured. Write down the dimensions inside the rectangle as shown in graphic or below.

4) Create a 1/4” border (any size border you want) around the image of your photo or artwork if your photo or drawing has the white space. You will be attaching your picture to the backside of your first mat so make sure there is enough extra paper beyond the 1/4 inch to attach the picture to the bottom mat. Now draw a second rectangle or square around your first rectangle or square writing the 1/4” dimension on all four sides. See the graphic below.

5) Decide on how wide you want your picture matting borders around your picture. The width of the border does not have to be the same on all sides. Usually it is a good idea is keeping three sides the same and adding another 1/4”inch to the bottom border for visual balance when looking at a picture hanging on the wall.

6) Draw a third square or rectangle around the other two representing mat #2(the mat that touches the photo or artwork. Enter the width sizes to all four sides as seen below. In this case I have chosen a width of 1.0”.

7) Determine the width you want for your top mat (mat #1 that will be touching the glass). The width of this mats’ borders determines how much of your other mat #2 will be revealed lying directly under mat #1(one inch as indicated in step #6). Draw a fourth rectangle or square around the third representing the new mat #1 placing the width dimensions just inside the lines on all sides. (I have chosen 2.5”) See graphic below.

8) Now add the vertical and horizontal dimensions to get the final size of the picture perimeter seen in the graphic below. Cut the mat blocks out of your 30x40” mat board using the straight mat cutter matching your mat perimeters.

9) Rule your mat #1and mat #2 dimensions on the back of each mat block you just cut out of the 30 x 40” mat board using the mat cutter ruler only. Do not draw your dimensions on the back of the mat using a hand ruler as it can cause measurement problems later down the road using the mat cutter.

a) Remember the width of the mat #2 side will be 2.5” plus 1.0” on all sides. Mat #1 sides will be 2.5”and therefore will have a larger window cut out of the mat block.

b) The width of the outer #1 mat will be 2.5” all around. The width of the #1 mat is 2.5” plus 1.0”, or three inches all around. The #2 mat will have a smaller window than #1 mat.

11) Cutting Picture Matting

a) Trim 1/8” off all sides of mat # 2( the inner mat touching the photo or artwork).

b) Taking mat #1 (the outer mat that will be touching the glass), cut out the center window following ruled lines on the back of the mat. Use the bevel mat cutter.

c) Working from the back of mat #1, replace the cut out block back into the window just created.

d) Apply double edge tape at least 1/4” outward and away from the cut out window, all around the cut out window.

e) Make a large “X” with double edge tape on the block just replaced.

f) Now take mat #2, the mat that will be touching the photo or artwork, and center it good side face down on top of the double edged tape of mat #1. Remember when centering to leave 1/8 space all around.

g) Next put the sandwiched mats into the mat cutter and cut out the window of mat #2.

h) Pop out the window block and it will remove the window block of the other mat at the same time.

12)Securing your work to the Picture Matting

a)Turn the mat over and center it on your photo or artwork, and temporarily tack the image to the mat from behind.

b) Using P90 tape or linen tape attach the photo or artwork from the top, to the back of the mat using a T-hinge.

c) Place the piece of foam core cut earlier behind your picture matting. Your photo or artwork is now ready to be framed.

To view picture matting at AllPostes.com click here