You might have seen cloth-covered picture mats at custom-frame shops, but did you know you can create the same effect at home?
Try a variety of fabrics, letting the images unify the arrangement (leave the original photo-safe mats in place to protect your prints and to give the displays a pleasing sense of dimension). We fitted this trio in a sunny yellow damask; a nubby, green silk; and a loosely woven golden silk. The colors and textures stand out splendidly against the muted grass cloth on the wall.
- Paperboard (available at art-supply stores)
- Utility knife
- Positionable mounting adhesive (sold at office-supply stores)
- Bone folder
- Frame, original mat, print, and backing board
From paperboard (available at art-supply stores), use a utility knife to cut an insert the same size as your picture mat. Cut a window in the insert, measuring and marking to make it 1/4 inch wider and taller than that in the original mat.
Cut the fabric 2 inches taller and 2 inches wider than the insert.
Following the manufacturer's instructions, use positionable mounting adhesive (sold at office-supply stores) to affix fabric to insert, centering it so there's a 1-inch border on each side.
Miter corners of fabric, as shown, then fold and adhere; smooth with a bone folder.
Using a utility knife, cut an X in fabric in the insert's opening. Trim excess fabric, then adhere by folding and smoothing fabric flaps.
Place finished insert against frame, followed by original mat, print, and backing board.