FriDIY: Custom Photo Mat

(posted by Emily) 

Today's FriDIY is a project I have taken on a few times in the past and I know I will do again! It's time to cut our own custom photo mat! 

Materials Needed: 
Frame (I picked up one from IKEA
Exacto knife or blades
Old magazine
The need for this IKEA hack was brought on by a new photograph that Dad had printed for us, a favorite from our trip this summer. 

I knew we wanted to hang the photo in our bedroom, so I picked up a Fjällsta frame from IKEA to match the other frames we have hanging over our bed. 

There was one slight problem--due to the proportions of the photo, it wasn't going to fit in the pre-made mat that comes with the frame. The frame's mat has a window for an 8x10 photo, and ours is 8x12. Luckily, I've solved this problem successfully in the past! All we need to do is cut the pre-made mat to make it fit our odd-sized photo. 

I began by disassembling the frame and taking out the mat. 

Then, because my photo is 2 inches longer than the long side of the opening, I knew I wanted to cut out an inch of the mat on either side of the opening. I like to work on the cream colored side of the mat, making the brighter white side my "good side."

After marking one inch on top and bottom, I drew a line to show where the new side of the window would be. 

Placing my old magazine under the mat, I repositioned my ruler and used it as a guide while running my exacto blade down the marked line. I also did this at the top and bottom, to cut out the perpendicular parts of the window. 

After flipping the mat around to repeat the process (makes things easy to work on the left side of the window each time), I was done! I used scissors to trim up any loose piece or uneven spots. 

Cleaned the glass in the frame, assembled it, and hung it on the wall! 

A custom mat is an easy and inexpensive update to do at home--no need to spend an exorbitant amount of money at the frame store when you can complete the process at home! This is at least the fifth frame I have altered like this, and I'm sure it won't be the last!

Happy crafting!


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