DIY Cardstock Mat

My grandparents drove in for a little visit last month and with them, they brought a plastic bag filled with stuff of my dad’s from high school.  (In case you’re new here, my dad passed away when I was in college, so as you can imagine, having his stuff means so much to me.)  Among the random things was a big stack of photos.  They all seemed to be from the same road trip out west and some of them were really cool pictures.  I picked out four of my favorites and hung them in Sebastian’s room last week.
Because they were a tad smaller than the normal 4 x 6s of today and therefore didn’t quite fill the space behind the mats already in the frames I put them in, I whipped up some new mats for them out of cardstock I picked up at Hobby Lobby (only 54 cents each!).

See?  Not quite wide enough.

They now not only fit just perfectly with the new mats, but they add a bright punch of color to Seb’s room too.

diy cardstock frame mat

To make them, I gathered a few supplies – a ruler, an x-acto knife*, a pencil, and the cardstock and frames.  (If you don’t have an x-acto knife laying around, I’d totally recommend getting one!  They’re so handy!)IMG_1370

First, I laid the existing mat onto one corner end of the cardstock and lightly traced around the outside and inside.  (Note:  Since I needed the mat opening to be a little smaller width-wise, I just made it that way by drawing a new line farther in from the existing line on each side.)

Also, by placing the old mat on the corner end of the cardstock, I could make sure it was properly lined up and straight and it eliminated the need to cut those two sides.

So next, I grabbed my x-acto knife, placed the ruler along each pencil line, and cut away.  IMG_1375Of course, if you don’t have an x-acto knife, a scissors would work great too!  :)

Using the ruler as a guide to glide the knife along helped me to get nice straight edges.IMG_1377
Last, I placed the new mats right on top of (or under if you’re looking at the back of the frame) the old in the frames and hung them.  By using the old mats and placing them into the frame upside-down (with the beveled edge touching the actual photo and the flat edge against the new mat), it gave each frame a sort of mini-shadow box look.


IMG_6458[Too hot for shirts in Arizona apparently.]

IMG_6456[That’s my old (young) man on the left…all chill-like in Utah.]


Hopefully someday I’ll find out the sure-to-be great stories from this trip.  Until then, I’ll let Sebastian make up his own.  ;)

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*affiliate link to an x-acto knife very similar to the one I purchased

1 comment

  1. Great idea! Love that you have a way to help your kids get to know their grandpa in this way!