How to: Mat Cutting

•Compact Mat Cutter by Logan

•Logan Mat Cutter Blades pack of 10 no. 270 by Logan
•scrap paper
•x-acto knife
•MatLine® Marker
•Incra Precision T-Rules
•Straight edge
•Center point tape measure

Archival mat board

Archival foam core
Acid-Free Foamboard is the answer for professional framers, photographers, artists, and craftspeople who are concerned about preserving their work. The surface is completely acid-free and buffered to maintain its neutral level of pH. The core is also chemically inert.

It has all the qualities of regular foamboard, including weight and moisture resistance. 3/16” thick.

•Bag of pennies
•Archival photo corners
•Archival artist tape
•Acid free linen tape
•Tyvek tape  -Light Impressions
•Poly bags
•Photo sleeves are ph neutral and never harmful to your mat board or artwork
•TrueCore™  Drop-Front Boxes

Getting Started
•What is your mat size? 11×14, 16×20, 20×24? After determining your mat size next decide how you want your image to me displayed in the mat.
•Bottom weighted or centered all the way around? I prefer bottom weighted. Most pre-cut mats are centered.
•Do you want to float the image revealing the entire image?
•Do you want to slightly over mat the image 1/8th of an inch all the way around?
•Measure, draw lines and cut on the back of the mat

Cutting The Mat
•After drawing out the mat window, use a mat cutter with a 45 degree bevel (no straight edge windows)
•Use a scrap piece of board under the good board you are cutting the bevel into. This board will help prolong the blade life.
•Place the straightedge of the mat cutter along one of the lines, hold it steady and run the cutter down the edge. Steady, consistent pressure, and straight! •Stop right at the window’s corner and slightly overcut.
•Move to the next line, then the next and then the last.
•The center window should drop out. If not carefully use your x-acto to cut the corners.
•If your lines are not straight or your cut was not clean start again.

Placing the Image
•After cutting the mat window you need to put it all together. Start by making a hinge, use archival tape to attach the window to the backing board.
•Next place the image on the board, align the image within the window. At this point I place my soft bag of pennies on top of the image to hold the image in place.
•Use the archival corners to hold the image to the backing board. Place one corner, go to the opposite diagonal and place the next corner then finish up so all four corners.

•Practice on scraps until you get the feel of it.
•”Weight” the bottom of the mat,  there should be more mat below the art than above it.
•If all else fails, have a framing shop cut the window for you.
•Use a SHARP blade

After you mat or frame your piece take care in the handling and storage of the work
1) Place in a thick clear archival plastic bag for protection.

2) Use archival board between frames to protect the frame from wires (I bag all of my frames and then place board between for extra protection)
3) Box the work in a size close to the frame size. If shipping tight box for the frames, then bubble wrap the box and place in a larger box.

Read more:
How to Cut a Picture Frame Mat |

Online Resources

Print Storage Boxes

How to cut a mat:

A few more tips to enhance above info:

Video on putting together a Nielsen Metal Frame

Plastic Cleaner no WINDEX