Matting & Framing... DIY?

Written by Sarah Jones

If you ever visited my old site, you may remember that I used to offer matting and framing options for my Scripture Pictures. However, we’ve had a lot of trouble over the years trying to ship glass through the mail, so when I launched the new site, I decided to simplify things and just offer the prints themselves.

 I wanted to give you all some information on how to mat and frame your Scripture Pictures yourselves. I’m going to give you three options ranging from easy to advanced.

I’ll start off with the easiest option.

  1. Easy: Take your print to a Professional Framer

There are shops that solely do custom framing, and many craft stores also offer it, such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels. They will do everything for you with input ranging from very little to a lot. They will tell you which mats look best, whether you should single, double, or triple mat the print, which style of frame would complement it. Just be sure to indicate your wall color and the overall color scheme in the room of the house where you’re hanging the Scripture Picture.

  1. Intermediate: Pick out the mat color and frame yourself, but have a framer cut the mat and assemble the picture for you.

At many craft stores they have a framing section, where they have a lot of options for mats and frames. Hobby Lobby has a very good selection, and they run deals weekly. So besides the custom framing, they offer two types of frames, the open-back and the ready-made frames. Every week, one of those types is on sale for 50% off, and the next week the other one is, so be aware of the sales. The open-back is literally just the frame with no glass, no backing. So, if you choose one of these frames, then you will have to purchase the glass and the backing separately, and have the framer assemble it for you, which is a little pricier. The ready-made frames, as the name suggests, are completely ready to go, with glass and backing. At the very least, you may have to buy a hanger for the back. Here are some questions to consider when you’re picking out your frame. 

  1. Would wood tone or metallic finish look better in my home? What other wood tones are already present in my home? You probably want to match your wood tone with other pictures in that room, unless it’s going to be a statement piece. And in that case, you might want it to stand out.
  2. What color and style of frame would look best with the Scripture Picture? For instance, if you have a country scene, you might want a rustic frame. For Scripture Pictures of waterfalls or snow, a silver metallic frame might be the best option.

So, after you choose your frame, then you want to pick out a mat or two that compliments the print. I really like the way the double-mat looks with my Scripture Pictures, but if you want it more simple, then a single mat might be best. Here are some things to consider when choosing your mat color.

  1. First, off you want to make sure it looks good with the frame that you chose. Don't choose a mat that blends in with the frame color, because there might not be enough contrast. So, make sure your mat is lighter or darker than your frame.
  2. Next, you want to make sure the color compliments the picture. I like to pull an accent color from the scene as the mat color.
  3. If you choose to do an inner mat, it’s best to choose a neutral color, so there’s not too much going on. So, a white or beige inner mat can add another layer of interest to the picture.

So, once you’ve chosen your mats and frame, then you can take it to the framer, and they will cut the mats for you and assemble it.

  1. Advanced: Do it all yourself, DIY, Yay!

This is the method I used when I offered matting and framing on my site because it’s the most economical in the long run. So, many of the tips I’ve already offered will apply to this method as well about how to choose the best mats and frame. However if you have a lot of pictures throughout your home to mat and frame, or you plan to have more in the future, then you might want to invest in a mat cutter, so that you can do it yourself.

There are a lot of different mat cutters on the market from hand-held ones to huge contraptions. I bought one used on ebay for about $100. So custom mats at Hobby Lobby range from $20 – 50 depending on the size, so if you cut 4 mats at home then you’ve already paid for your mat cutter.

It does take some practice to get nice cuts without overcutting but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually very easy and only takes about 20 minutes.

So, if you’re interested in investing in a mat cutter and doing it yourself, then stay tuned, because in the near future I will make another video tutorial about exactly how to do that. Thanks for watching!

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