Everything You Need to Know About Picture Mats

Avid decorators know there’s an easy way to make any picture look expensive. We’ve got two words for you: picture mats! These cardboard borders are a decor must-have. They can instantly highlight, dynamize and elevate any print or picture. The best part? Our precut picture mats make matting your own pictures easy AND super affordable. All it takes is a few simple steps. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about picture matting

Picture Mat

Why we love precut picture mats

Picture mats can make the whole difference between a pretty print and a show-stopping statement piece. They're especially great for those small but precious items like family photos or even old love notes. On their own, these sentimental mementos would be overshadowed by other larger prints or look odd on an empty wall, but photo mats allow them to take center stage. Of course, you could never go wrong with a white mat board as they create an illuminating effect while toning down busy decors. But don't sleep on the other colour options either! Black, grey, and beige frame mats are a fabulous way of making your favourite print pop against a white wall. For a ‘wow’ factor, combine different colours and sizes of picture boards, creating a chic but captivating wall design.

There are two ways of using mat boards…

 The cropping technique

This is the way to go if the print you want to highlight is the same size as your frame or bigger than the picture board’s opening. Keep in mind that the outer edges of your image will be cropped. This technique works best with minimalistic images such as line art illustrations on blank backgrounds or zoomed-out photos.  In other words, if the core of your image is focused at the center of the paper, it’s a perfect fit for picture matting!

The tape technique

We love this technique because it elevates prints without cropping any part of the image. When selecting your frame mat, make sure that the interior dimensions match those of your chosen poster or photo. Our photo mats were created with our print dimensions in mind, ranging from 5x7” to 19¾x27½”⁣ openings.

 How to Install a Picture Mat

Step 1: Select a precut mat board with exterior dimensions matching your frame and interior dimensions matching your print or picture. If you prefer a cropped effect, you could also opt for an image that is bigger than the picture mat opening.

Selecting a Picture Mat

Step 2: Remove the frame backing 
Step 3: Insert the picture mat, face down.

How to Install a Picture Mat

Step 4: Layer on your print or photo, facing down. If your print is the same size as your frame, simply re-install the frame backing and voilà, you’re done!

Step 5: If your image is smaller than the frame, simply lay it over the mat board. You might want to use a level to make sure the print is parallel to the frame. Once you’re happy with the print placement, secure it in place using tape.

How to Install a Picture Mat

Step 6: Re-install the frame backing and hang the final result!

There you have it: elevated decor in 6 steps or less. Using precut picture mats offers all the elegance of professional picture matting at a fraction of the cost! 

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