Matting and Framing Techniques

I created this page in an attempt to share my matting and framing techniques with others so that they too can explore the exciting world of mat cutting.

Here's an idea that is sure to add zing to a piece of art.


matting and framing techniques julie hawaiian balance

First I drew a Hawaiian pattern on the back of the top green mat. Most cutting is done from the back of the mat. Once cut, I placed a piece of white mat, with the window dimensions slightly bigger than the green, behind, to create a rich two layer mat with a Hawaiian pattern.

This takes time and advanced skill but the overall effect is impressive.

Here's another example of the Hawaiian themed matting technique.

matting and framing techniques suzannes joy

This project was more advanced. It entailed 4 layers of matting around the central piece.

The center consists of a sprayed on rock motif with the oriental symbol of "JOY" carved in to it. I then filled the back with silver lightweight metal.

Again, the Hawaiian pattern was traced on to the back of the brown mat. Once cut, it was placed on top of a slightly bigger white mat to create the 3D contrasting pattern.

checkered close-up

Taking a closer look at the inner matting you can see another unique matting technique being used. The CHECKERBOARD pattern is very effective in grabbing the eye to call closer attention to the central piece, which in this case, is the metal center.

The checkered black and white border was created by starting with a white with black core mat. This is the 4th layer of matting down from the top on the original piece above. This matting window was made 2 inches bigger than the beige mat.

First step: Lightly trace the checks on the front of the white mat. You must decide which checks will be black and which will be white.

Next, take your cutter and, without cutting all the way through, score off the white layer to expose the black and peel it off. This needs to be done very carefully so as not to rub black on the white. Presto, you now have checks!

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