The Trauma….Cutting Mats

You take a picture and think this would look nice hanging on the wall! So you print it only to realize that it isn’t a “standard size” so buying a pre cut mat isn’t an option. Now what? Well you could print the image to a standard size. But some of your image could get cropped off in the process. You could go to the frame shop and get a custom mat and frame made. That is very expensive and I am on  budget!

Or you could do it yourself.

That is what I decided to do! So I read up on how to cut mats. Went and purchased a small mat cutter. ( I had a coupon 1/2 off even better)

Set up was easy just take it out of the box and put in your cutting blades. I had purchased some full sheets of mat board. There is one drawback to the mat cutter. It was to small for full size sheets! Now what? Well I got my husbands big T-square and an xacto knife and cut it in half. Perfect… this size will work. Well not so perfect the cut wasn’t straight.  You’ll need to square up your corners.

I could just cut an opening with a 2 inch border all the way around but then I would need to purchase a custom frame. I wanted my image to print the size that it was and not have any cropping but still have it fit into a standard frame. Here comes the math part! It really isn’t that hard. I found a free program called MatWorks it’s very simple to use. Just put in your measurements and hit calculate. And walla there are your magic numbers for cutting the perfect size mat for your image.

Now all you need to do is have your mat board cut to size, draw your measurements on the back and start cutting. Being careful not to “over cut”. There is a learning curve so practice,practice, practice! Before you know it you’ll be a pro! Another benefit to cutting your own mats is that if you do a large image you can save the “cut out” and have another piece of matting for a smaller image.

So get shooting,print and then getting matting!


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