You might have seen cloth-covered picture mats at custom-frame shops, but did you know you can create the same effect at home?
Martha Stewart Living, September 2006
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.
Paperboard (available at art-supply stores)
Positionable mounting adhesive (sold at office-supply stores)
Frame, original mat, print, and backing board
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.