Today a couple of girlfriends came to lunch to learn how to mat and frame some pictures.
No…we didn’t fall down the rabbit hole, but a couple of times we fell down laughing!

I bet the the last time you went to have something matted and framed at Michael’s or JoAnn’s, you walked away with sticker shock….even if you had a 1/2 coupon.  Well consider doing what I did:

I purchased a Logan Simplex Mat cutter like this one at Amazon.

It all started about 10 years ago when I visited a friend in El Paso who is an amazing artist. Her house is filled with gorgeous art….and when I commented to her about how much money she must have invested in the framing, she took me into the garage and taught me how to cut a mat on her mat cutter.  I was hooked! (Check out Candy’s Art on her website)
Came back to Minnesota and ordered my own mat cutter and learned how to use it….I recouped my cost in the first year…..and since my friends know that “I will mat for wine”….my wine cellar is growing too.

Venice Canal by Candy Mayer

But, back to the Mad Matting!

We had a great time and everyone went home with a finished product and a new skill.

Check out the rose garnish in the Pasta Salad….did Kim know my placemats were pink?

If you don’t think that spending $200 on a tool is very thrifty….think again!
 How so?

  • I buy great frames at Goodwill for next to nothing…even a high price there would be $15.  
  • When I change color in a room, I am able to remat the art to go with the new decor…just the cost of the matboard from DickBlick.
  • You can mat and frame just about anything!  I rescued an old Audubon Birds of America book from the library when it was being thrown away.  The prints look great framed.  Cost=free!
  • I buy inexpensive art when we travel….unframed and easy to pack…great memories on the wall instead of tacky souvenirs that don’t end up on a closet shelf.
  • Gifts, gifts, gifts….framed pictures of my son’s trip to Russia for a Christmas gift last year.
  • Unexpected….we collected wedding photos of friends and relatives, matted them all in black without frames and hung them on the wall of the “reception barn” and created a marvelous conversation area during the social hour and dance.

If you have decide to invest in a mat cutter or already have one, check out this blog from the Logan folks with lots of tutorials and tricks to make your projects look truly professional!

What are your favorite low cost ideas for wall art? I would love to hear from you!

      Link Party:

      0 comments on “A Mad Matter’s Tea Party!

      1. Tonia

        I think you need to do a post about how to make the plant-in-a-book project your lovely daughter did for you, and teach us how along the way!

      2. Amanda Bloomgren

        From the "lovely daughter"… I actually learned that one from a blog too. And I do think we should try it again and see if we can perfect it. I learned a lot during my first attempt.

      3. Holly

        I get crazy and make a lot of my wall art – paint windows old wood, decoupage my kids artwork. I LOVE the idea of owning a mat cutter…I can totally see the benefit! Thank you for coming by 504 main and my FB page! I am a new follower…cannot wait to read more!

      4. Chari at Happy To Design

        Hi Mary…

        Welcome to the Sunday Favorites repost party, my friend! It's a pleasure to have you join in. What a great post to revisit. I spy some really beautiful art in your photos! I would love to have a mat cutter. I do like the idea that you mentioned in your tips…about changing out the mat of the art to coordinate with a new color scheme! It IS quite "pricey" to have Michaels or Hobby Lobby mat and frame a piece of art. I'm sure that your mat cutter has paid for itself many times over.

        Sure looks like you gals had fun! Crafting and lunch…just doesn't get any better than that! Hehe! Again, thank you for joining in with the Sunday Favorites party this week…sure hope you'll join us again!

        Have a fabulous Labor Day weekend, my friend!
        Chari @Happy To Design

      5. Bunny Jean

        Dropping by from Chari's to say hi.

        I would also like to have a mat cutter, but I'm so cheap that when I use an old frame I just paint the frame and the mat. But of course If I had a special print I would rather make a new mat.

        Hope you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend.

        xoxo Bunny Jean
        @ Bunny Jean's Decor and More!
        (my MAIN blog)

      6. Love Of Quilts

        Sounds like a plan to me…and I'm sure you have saved a lot doing this your self just on gifts it sounds like it would pay for its self.Trish

      7. art is beauty

        Thanks for stopping over at http://WWW.ARTISBEAUTY.NET. I have always wanted a mat cutter. Believe it or not I cut my own mats by hand, with an exacto knife. We learned in high school honors art, so we could mat, but not frame our own art for putting up in the showcase at school. I never forgot how to do it. SOMEDAY I will have a mat cutter. πŸ™‚

      8. Frugal in WV

        Love the mat cover idea, especially how much money it saves πŸ™‚ New follower from the friday hop, have a great weekend! You can find me at
        Stop by my blog when you get the the chance πŸ™‚