A picture without a mat is like a room without crown molding. I think mats finish the picture off and makes it look, well, finished. I've mentioned before, but I'll say it again, a mat cutter is one of the better purchases we have made. We have used it time and time again.
My little ma loves maps from all over the world. It is an obsession that began with the World Cup 2010. I got these posters off eBay - long story but I ended up getting them for free. I love looking for frames knowing that I have a mat cutter and, of course, I'm going to cut mats. Then I can get whatever size I'd like and make it work.
It's really easy to cut a mat - I'll walk you through it real fast. I get mat board from Hobby Lobby when it is 50% off. You get HUGE sheets and pay $4. I lay the back of my picture on the wrong side and trace around.
Then, using a straight edge, a self healing cutting mat, and an xacto knife, I cut the mat to the size I need.
Just a side note - double check everything. After you've cut out the mat, just check to make sure it fits in your frame. Just saying.
I do all my math on the wrong side of the mat board. Figure out how large your image is and add about 1/8" more of mat, it just fits and looks so much better. Then I trace a border all the way around. Again, before you cut, I would double check. Lay your print on and just check to make sure you are not cutting away too much - again, I've done it too many times. Just double check!
Using my cutter, I slide it in and cut away.
My cutter has a little white line that lets me know where the blade is. I line up the white line with my drawn line and push down and slide it over, stopping at the next line. It's not confusing - it really would make sense if you watched it.
There, within about 15 minutes, you have a mat cut to your size. You might not have a cute model, though.
I just tape my print to my mat.
Pop it in the frames and you are done. The pictures are about 2' x 3' and within a half hour, I had my mats cut. Again, your model will probably not be as cute and might not spontaneously give you a thumbs up.
They are up in his room, now, and seriously, the half hour of work, the $8 plus the cost of frames = a happy mommy. I know G. could care less, but I care. Pictures look better, in my opinion, when they have a mat on them!
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