1. Home

How To Make Your Own Pre-Cut Mat Photo Frame


This quick and easy project is perfect for displaying photos on cubicle walls at work or in lockers at school.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: About 30 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Getting Ready
    Prepare a clean working surface.
    Select a pre-cut mat in a size to fit your photograph.
    Plug in your glue gun and allow it to be preheating.
    Gather your desired decorations. Suggestions
    Decide on if the frame will be placed on a metal or fabric surface.
    If frame is to be placed on a metal surface, use magnet strips. If frame is to be placed on a fabric surface, use Velcro strips.
    Gather your other supplies (see list).

  2. Preparing the Laminating Sheet
    You can use clear acrylic sheets for this project. However, a lower cost alternative is to use laminating sheets. Most schools and offices have laminating machines so you should be able to just buy the pouches themselves. Cut the laminating pouch apart so it is only one sheet thick, place in the carrier, and run through the laminating machine. The laminating sheet should be rigid and clear after this step.

  3. Attaching the Backing
    Cut laminating sheet or acrylic sheet to the size of the mat. Using the hot glue, glue the clear sheet to the back of the mat. Let the glue dry and cool completely. This will only take a couple of minutes.

    Cut your Velcro or magnet strips into pieces approximately 1/2 the length of each side of the mat. Use the hot glue to affix the strips to the center of each edge of the frame. Let the glue dry and cool completely.

  4. Creating Your Design
    Turn the mat over so that the front is facing you. Without using the glue, arrange your decorations on the front of the mat to make sure everything fits correctly.

    Once you are satisfied with the design, use the best glue for your decoration choices to affix the items to the mat. Note that if you are using a layered design you must let the glue cool and dry between each layer.

    Allow the glue to cool and dry completely before continuing to the next step.

  5. Attaching the Photo
    Turn the frame back over so that you are looking at the back. Place your image on the frame so that it shows through the opening properly. Use the acid free masking tape diagonally across each corner of the photo to hold it in place. This tape is designed for matting photographs and should not damage a traditional print. It is not recommended for plain paper prints.

  6. Hang Your Frame
    Your frame is now complete. Hang it in your locker or cubicle and enjoy.

What You Need

  • Pre-Cut Mat in Desired Size
  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Clear Acrylic Sheet or Laminating Sheet (already sent through laminator)
  • Decorations
  • Acid Free Masking Tape Designed for Matting Photographs
  • Scissors
  • Velcro or Magnet Strips
  • White Glue or Decopage Supplies if Using Paper Decorations
Related Video
How to Mat and Frame a Picture
  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Photography
  4. Equipment (Cameras, Lenses, Props, Etc)
  5. Do It Yourself
  6. Make Your Own Pre-cut Mat Photo Frame

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.