DIY - Framing Artwork With Mat Board

I unrolled the delicate artwork in front of my sister and explained to her that they were a gift I brought back from India. The man I had bought them from had thousands of painting ranging from peacocks, elephants, god and goddesses. I was particularly drawn to the paintings that were of fishes. I thought of my family and knew it would make for a great gift.

“There’s one problem though” my sister modestly heisted, “I don’t think I’ll be able to find a frame for them”. I looked down at the unconventional, lengthy art work. “To find someone who can custom frame the art would cost more than the artwork itself” I thought.

Fear not dear sister. I’ve got the the DIY framing solution!

I went to art school and I was taught to mat my art work using mat boards.


What you’ll need:

  • Cutting Board

  • Ruler for measuring and for cutting guide

  • Exacto Blade

  • Pencil

  • Masking Tape

  • Mat Board of preferred color (must be larger than artwork)

  • Artwork

Make sure to get a mat board larger than what you will be framing.

  • Measure the artwork first before starting

  • Measure and cut the mat board according to the artwork.

Then measure a boarder around the artwork- marking it with a pencil. I made my boarder measurements: 1.5” inches.

  • Below is an example diagram showing my pencil markings. The dotted line (only) is where I will be cutting using my exacto blade.

Once everything is marked, cut away using your ruler as a cutting guide.

  • To avoid any mistakes- place the ruler on the boarder area as you cut. This will prevent you from cutting your final frame.


Now you will be taping your artwork to the backside of the frame.

  • Measure the masking tape according to the artwork.

  • I didn’t want to damage the original artwork, so I diluted the stickiness by sticking the tape onto my pants first before sticking it onto the art piece.


Once all edges are taped, stick the mat board frame on top of the artwork.

It’s easier to tape while everything is facing up.

  • After- you can turn it around and press to making sure everything is securely taped.

  • Make sure to erase any pencil markings left behind.

On our family gathering trip to Utah for my brother’s wedding, I took the final pieces along with me and gave each to my many siblings. It was so nice to see all of there faces together again. We were like… a beautiful family of fishes.