Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DIY Picture Matte

Greetings from the Mid East! Today I'll share with you the art of matting. Ever look at a piece of art and find yourself wondering what you love more, the art, frame or the matting? Frankly it's a whole package. Think of the matting and frame as the shoes and purse that accompany an outfit and make the entire look awesome.

If you have small to medium sized photos at home you can use good quality acid-free scrapbook paper to make mattes out of. I will show you how in this post. If you have larger pictures you can either order matte kits online or go to your local art supply store and purchase big sheets of matting board that you can cut down your self. I'll show you how to do that in another post. Here is what I ended with...
I started off with two greeting cards and one postcard. The art on the greeting cards were so unique and classic they were perfect for framing. The postcard of Dubai was also a very cool shot that brought out such warm and golden hues- perfect for framing.
Sultan Hasan Mosque, Egypt

Al Ghoureya Souq, Egypt
Sky Line of Dubai 
You'll need an X-acto knife, paper slicer, acid free glue and tape and scrapbook paper. First, cut out your scrapbook paper to the size of the frame. Then, lay your card or small art on the back of the paper and center it. Make small marks to remember where yo want the art to be. Measure your art and then reduce the size by a hair on each side. You want the cut-out to be slightly smaller than the art itself. 
My cut-out is slightly smaller than my art.
Taping down art helps keep it in place. 
Place your art on the hole and gently tape down. Start with one side because you have to double check and make sure it's straight on the other side. For the postcard of Dubai I couldn't decide on a single color matte. 
Salmon/pink or...

...deep gray? 
Since I couldn't pick one I figured, let's use both! 
This time I glued the postcard onto the pink and finally onto the gray sheet. Make sure to use acid free glue as well.
I left about a quarter of an inch boarder of the salmon/pink, placed it towards the top of the gray sheet for an asymmetrical look. Not too bright and not too blah either. 
Two different shades of gray, but worked well together.

For my second card I took an old matte I had, but attached to it was a second burgundy matte. I ripped off the burgundy and the cream alone worked perfectly. Sometimes you can find old mattes that are in perfect condition at the thrift store. Even if they are double mattes you can take them apart and if your lucky salvage both pieces. 
Finally, all in their frames. 

I also added a custom DIY matte to this print. Before, it came with a black matte with a thin gold trim. It was ugly and took away the beauty from the print. I used the same technique, I cut the hole slightly smaller than the size of the print and taped the print to the matte. The turquoise and gold frame make the art so much brighter. As a matter of fact it enhances the turquoise design within the print whereas before, it was hardly noticeable. 

It's simple, but takes a little practice. Give it a try. Do you have any postcards or sentimental cards with beautiful art on them? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think. Next up, I'll be sharing how I hung these up and the other art I included with them. Thanks for stopping by. 


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