I recently decorated my sister's nursery with a black and white theme. She had purchased a first prints kit from Carter's, but the colors didn't match the theme. I had suggested that I could look for a frame with two open windows. It turns out nothing really fit what I was looking for. Baby prints are pretty small so the standard 4x6 and 5x7 windows were too big. So I decided to try cutting my own custom mat for this project.
- Narrow picture frame
- Push style mat cutter (here)
- Mat board
- Straight Edge / Ruler
- Tape (optional)
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Stamps / Markers / Paint for adding the design to the mat
Preparing Mat Cutter
The mat cutter comes with a few blades. You will need to install the blade.
- Unscrew the knob that secures the blade.
- Place the blade so that the oval opening opens up to the screw hole. The blade should point down.
- Secure the blade in place by tightening the screw.
Preparing Gridlines for Mat Cutting
- Use the cardboard backing from the frame to cut out the correct size mat.
- Use your straight edge / ruler and pencil to draw grid lines for where you want to place the windows. Be sure to draw the lines on the back of the mat.
- TIP: Cut out paper to represent the mat windows. Use this as a guide to determine optimal window placing.
Cutting the Mat Windows
- TIP: Tape sandpaper to the bottom of your straight edge. This will keep the ruler from slipping when using your mat cutter.
- Place your straight edge on the outside of your cut line and hold firmly down.
- Place the mat cutter on the inside of your cut line against the straight edge. Use the start/stop guide to determine where to place the cutter.
- Push the blade into the mat and move the cutter along the straight edge, stopping when the start/stop guide reaches the end of your cut line.
- Repeat these steps for all window edges.
- You should now have your windows cut out with a nice beveled edge.
Now decorate your frame! I chose to use hand carved stamps placed above and below the window openings. For a refresher on how to make stamps see my older post here. Enjoy!