DIY Photo Mattes

Since I'll be putting prints in the nursery, I figured I would need some frames.  On a trip to Ikea, I made my way to the frames section.  Before going in I had already made my mind up that I would get the Ribba frames.  Before getting to the Ribba, I saw the Nyttja.  It was the same size as the Ribba I was going to get, but they didn't have the mattes in them.  Mattes are a major thing for me.  I just think they make a photo look better in the frame.  They were also lighter in weight which was a good thing since they would be hanging over the crib.  They were a few bucks cheaper and I was thinking of the money I would save.  I thought for a few seconds and decided I can make my own mattes.  How hard could it be?  I grabbed the frames and checked out.

On the way home I went to the dollar store and got some poster board for my mattes.  At home, I laid out my supplies.

poster board
existing matte from another frame
exacto knife or scissors

Start by opening your frame package.  Remove the paper insert from the frame.  This will be the size of the outside of your matte.  Trace the paper onto the poster board and cut out.

I used an existing matte as a template for the center opening.  Trace the inside rectangle and cut out.  Remember to trace on the side that will be facing in.  Don't want to see pencil lines on your finished side.

Put your new matte into the frame.

Put your print or photo into the frame.  You've got yourself a cheap matte.  Pretty clever huh?

I can't wait to fill all my frames with my DIY mattes.  Have you tried this?  The price of matted frames can be ridiculous don't you think?

For more nursery progress:
Nursery Plans

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  1. Great tip! Love the orange - and the giraffe - two of my favorites! =) Now following - found you through Southern Lovely!


  2. clever! much cheaper option; i could've used this a bunch. now i know what to do!

  3. Super clever idea! Thanks for sharing this tip. This will be good for those mats I need that I can't cut with my die cutting machines.

    The Happy Card Encouragement Factory

  4. Such a great idea! So obvious, I can't believe it! Definitely going to pin this! :-) Found you via Sew Much Ado.

    JQ @

  5. I absolutely love this idea! Easy Peasy, right? I make a lot of my own wall art in my home so I am always in search of matted frames. I homeschool as well and I always have extra tidbits of poster board to use. Great tip!

  6. Good plan! I love it! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

  7. Foam board! Duh! Why didn't I ever think of that. Genius idea, thanks so much for the inspiration. I also love the look of mattes, but this definitely is more budget friendly!

  8. Great idea!

    Where did you find the giraffe print?

  9. I also love the giraffe and the orange - this would look so cute in a kid's room or nursery!

  10. Hi Andrea,

    I am loving the idea to create mattes out of posterboard. In fact, creating mattes for some yard sale frames has been on my to-do list for a while, and you're inspiring me to get off my butt and do it already!

    How did you cut the center out? Did you have to use an exacto blade, or we're you able to get in there with scissors?

    1. You could use an exacto knife but I thought the scissors left a cleaner edge.

  11. Great idea and great way to save money. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Featuring YOU today! Thank you so much for sharing at {wow me} wednesday! :)

    Ginger @

  13. Very clever and love the nursery print in orange.

  14. What a clever trick! I totally agree - mattes really make a difference in the "presence" of a photo, if that makes sense. Pinning this one for future reference. :-)

  15. A mat really does give it so much more substance and elevates its "legitimacy" as art. :D Looks great and I also am a fan of this orange. Thanks for sharing.

  16. You did a neat job. But I am worried about the inside corners, will I be able to cut.


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