Shannon Berrey

How to create a custom mat with fabric

Monday, November 21, 2011

I wanted to share some of the ideas used in the guest room I revealed on Friday.Today, I 'll show you how to create a one of a kind mat that really elevates artwork or a photo.

 I ordered this 12"x16" print on etsy:

 I also bought a 16"x20" frame and a 16"x20" mat that had an 11" x14" opening. The 11"x14" mat opening was a little too small and covered up some of the print. I decided to cut the inside edges of the mat to make it larger. 

I measured the print and determined how much of the mat needed to be cut off.

I used a small mat knife and a ruler. {Remember you have to cut off all the sides, not just one or your picture will be lopsided}

{I am not working on some crazy rock surface--that is the picture that came in the frame!!} I used the same fabric to cover my mat that I used to make the euro shams.

 Using a fabric with a stripe or a plaid can be good and bad. It's helpful in that you have specific lines to guide you. It can make it a bit harder in that any mistake you make is really obvious.  

Make sure that you line up your mat on the part of the fabric that you want to see. I wanted the citrus stripe to be predominant. Then, I cut the fabric, leaving about a 1" fabric overhang on both the inside and outside of the mat.

I failed to take a picture of the next step, but once you have cut out the fabric from the middle, you need to make a diagonal cut in the fabric in each corner {you can see this cut in the next picture} 

Using spray glue {outside--this stuff is sticky and stinky} I covered the mat with a thin coat and laid the sticky side down on the back side of the fabric making sure it is lined up correctly. On the right side, smooth out any bubbles. 

With a hot glue gun {I prefer the low temp} begin gluing each section by pulling it snugly to the back side of the mat.


On the outside corners, I cut out as much extra fabric as possible.


Remember that the outside 1/4" edge of the mat gets hidden behind the frame so the outside corners don't have to be perfect.

The finished back:  

There were some tiny threads on the inside corners where the fabric was diagonally cut. My method {and try this at your own risk and DO NOT try with a high temp glue gun} is to put a tiny drop of hot glue on the backside, in the corner, as close to the edge as possible. Working fast, I licked my finger and smoothed the little threads from the front to the back. It worked perfectly!   

On the back of the mat, I secured the print in place with 2 little dots of hot glue in the upper corners.   

 If fabrics not your thing, you could use wrapping paper, scrap book paper, ribbons, cork--be creative!!

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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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