Simple, Affordable Custom Mats

2:59 PM

I got these 16x16 frames for a great deal--50% off, and ordered the prints from Smitten Kitchen's photo album.  I love her cooking blog and recipes, and of course drool (sometimes literally) at her amazing food photography.  I've loved these 2 prints for over a year, the raspberries and pomegranate.  So I finally broke down and ordered them, because I couldn't think of anything else I liked to go in our dining room, and it worked out great that my two favorite were also red.  I guess not too surprising since I always gravitate toward red.

But then came the issue of finding simple white mats for my odd shaped 16x16 frames.
Calling around, to have anyone cut a custom mat, started at $18.00 and went up from there.  For the stupid mat!  That would cost more than the frame and print combined.  Custom framing is always one of those things that boggles my mind how expensive it is.

So my affordable solution was to buy a huge sheet of white mat board from Michael's Crafts for only $5.99.

I cut it down to two 16x16 squares using my Olfa Mat/ blade

Next I penciled in the 8x10 hole I would need to cut for my prints, centered vertically and horizontally.
I used the huge ruler and Olfa mat to do this also.

Here is where my mats get "simple" or maybe a little white trash.
My mom has a mat cutter, with the blade set at 45 degrees, so you can make the perfect cut.  She's too far away to borrow it.   Michael's will cut your mat, $1.00 a cut, which would be $8.00 between the 2, and still seemed steep for a mere 1/8" deep 45 degree angle.
So I just used an exacto knife and my ruler, and cut straight down vertically a little in from my 8x10 markings.

Then I taped my prints on the back, plopped them in the frame and hung them up.
Each mat ended up being $3.00, and to me they look fine.  It doesn't bug me there isn't the angled cut, and it just came down to saving money for something that to me just doesn't make a difference.  Maybe someone would notice sometime, but even then I don't mind.

They hang in the dining area beneath the floating shelf I built a while ago.

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  1. Wonderful. I would not have noticed the angles without you mentioning it.........even then, you barely notice it. Great job.

  2. wow. really beautiful pieces. this is such a nice way to make a personal work of art! thanks for the idea. xo.

  3. It really looks great. It doesn't look like a mat at all because it blended well with the wall. It is so much cheaper too. Thanks for the idea.


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