How to Cut Mat Board for Picture Framing

Posted April 3, 2022 by in Decor
Empty Photo Frame Beside a Candle in a Glass Jar

A picture is worth a thousand words, but not if it’s improperly framed. If you want to elevate the look of your home decor while saving money, consider matting and framing your artwork on your own. With a little time, supplies, and effort, you can decorate your home with professional photos.

Keep reading to learn how to cut mat board for picture framing while saving cash:

A Person Holding an Empty Picture Frame

Supplies You Need to Cut Mat Board for Picture Framing

Before you begin, gather up the supplies you’ll need. Aside from the frame and picture itself, you’ll need a few other tools to get the job done.

First, buy quality foam board online. You can usually buy bigger pieces to use for multiple projects. Keep in mind that you’ll need a piece for backing and a front piece to cut a window out of.

From there, all you need is a measuring device, a pencil, a cutting tool, a new piece of cardboard, and tape.

You can save money on these supplies by assessing what you already have. For example, you can use a simple ruler or a tape measure to record the dimensions. For a cutting device, you can use any sharp knife you have available.

It’s ideal to use artist’s tape to secure the mats at the end of the project, but any gentle tape will do the trick.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

To start your project, you should take a few measurements:

  • The frame
  • The picture you want to mat
  • The front mat “window”

The front mat window size depends on the look you’re going for. It’s standard to give a border of 1-2″ around every side of the photo, but you can always make it bigger for aesthetic appeal.

However you decide to do it, you should create a mat that enhances the art rather than detracts from it.

Once you have your measurements, draw a faint line with a pencil on your two pieces of mat board to indicate where you should cut. Before you grab your knife, go ahead and measure again. You can’t un-cut what you’ve already damaged, so be sure that your measurements are correct.

Both pieces of foam board should have an edge size that lines up perfectly with the frame. You can use the insert that came with the frame as a tracing reference.

Cut the backing piece to size first with a piece of new cardboard underneath to protect your furniture. Then, cut the front piece perimeter to the exact size of the frame.

From here, you should begin cutting out the inside window of the front piece. You should start with the blade away from you, applying pressure while pulling the blade down into the foam towards yourself.

Use a ruler or a hard edge to keep yourself cutting straight on your pencil guideline.

Secure and Enjoy

Once you’ve cut your foam, sandwich your photo between each piece and secure everything in place. You can achieve this by using artist tape or another gentle tape along the edges of the foam where the frame will cover it.

The whole process shouldn’t take more than an hour. Now, you can hang your picture on the wall for everyone to enjoy.


Decorate Your Home In Style

Now that you know how easy it is to cut mat board for picture framing, you can make your home more aesthetic without breaking the bank.

Keep reading our blog for more budget-friendly decor tips and tricks.