Making Your Own Frame Mat (and Filling Your Walls on a Budget)

posted in: Art, Decor, DIY, Home, Posts, Projects | 0

Even after living in our house for about 2.5 years, we still have plenty of blank walls and little nooks that would look much better with a piece of art.  This little corner in our kitchen was one of them.  With my new and bright plant stand finished I decided it was time to get on it already and hang something on this little sliver of wall.  The only requirement was that I wanted to spend zero dollars.


Every time I buy frames or get frames at thrift stores and they come with a mat I don’t need, I always save it.  Same goes for cardstock that comes with frames or anything else.  I just know that eventually I’ll have a use for it.  That’s exactly what happened here.  I took a trip over to the closet in our spare room/workout room (calling it that is completely laughable since we haven’t had time to work out in it in weeks and it is currently just a dumping ground for any item we don’t feel like dealing with at the time) and picked up a piece of spare grey cardstock, a white mat from a smaller frame, and a brass thrift store frame I had bought a few months back for a few bucks.

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My goal was to go for a double matted look.  First, I cut down the cardstock to fit the size of the frame.  Then I centered the smaller white mat on top of that and glued it on with some regular old Elmer’s glue.  I put some books on the sides to weight it down and keep it from curling up while it dried.

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Now that the mat was complete, I needed something to put in there.  I bought this really awesome set of Vanity Fair vintage postcards on Amazon a couple of weeks ago.  They are the cover art from the magazine from 1913-1936. I am in love with these postcards.  I bought them because I was planning on using a group of them for art in my laundry room when it’s finished (which I’m still going to do — we are currently DIYing our hearts out in there right now so stay tuned), but I figured that since it came with 100 of them I could use a few of the others around the house too.  They are just too cute.  And they are soooo worth the $20 price tag.  Such a great deal.

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The postcards are 4×6 and the opening in the mat is 5×7 so I just got out some of my trusty washi tape and taped the postcard right in the middle of the opening.  Andy was my helper this time around.

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Since there is some space you can see a sliver of the grey cardstock behind the postcard too. I really like how the finished product has a textured look.  And if I feel like switching out my postcard to a different one it will be super easy since the washi tape will just peel right off.

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And there you have it, since I used only materials that I already had on hand I got a framed and matted piece of art without spending any money!   But even if you didn’t have everything on hand like I did you could still frame a piece of art this way for only a few bucks with a thrifted frame and mat.

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I’m all about making my own mats for frames.  It helps everything look not-so-the-same.  What about you guys? What are you hanging these days?

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