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!

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      3 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!

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