Monday, July 1, 2013

How To: Cut Your Own Matting

We found these vintage musical playbooks in an antique shop on our honeymoon. What attracted us to them was their interesting graphics. When we purchased them we knew that we definitely wanted to hang them in a grouping on some wall in our house.

If you have ever framed anything, you know how expensive frames can be and how matting comes in a few basic sizes. Two challenges that I tried to defeat on this project. I found the frames at Ikea for $14.99 each. Boom, challenge #1 done and done. Next!

The musical playbooks are 9 x 11 3/4, and the graphics pretty much run from edge to edge, so I couldn't use an 8x10 matting because it would cut off too much of the playbook. So I knew I needed custom size matting. At first, I thought the best way to go would be to buy my own mat boards and have them cut down at a frame shop. I called around a few places, and the cheapest price I could find was $20.00 per board for them to make the cuts. Um, no thanks. So, I went to Michael's and purchased a Handheld Mat Cutter so I could cut the mat boards myself. I had a 40% off coupon, so the cutter cost about $25.00.

It's pretty simple to use actually. First, I used a box cutter to cut the boards down so they fit in the Ikea frames.

Then, on the backside of the mat board, I measured out and marked the lines that would make up the frame. 

 Once I marked the back (remember to check your measurements twice!) I used the handheld mat cutter to cut out the frame.

There is a little bit of trial and error involved, so I would definitely recommend having an extra mat board just in case. And I found that it was much easier when my husband held down the straight edge and I pulled the cutter. 

Challenge #2 complete! All that was left was to put them into the frames and hang them. 

How about a good ol' before and after?

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