Sep 14 2010

Create a Custom Mat for Your Quilling

Step 1 - Purchase suitable frame

Step 1 - Purchase suitable frame

I create a lot of quilling for sale and for the most part, I like to frame it under glass.   Since I have no idea where my quilling will find a home, I feel better knowing it has that extra protection.  Custom framing is expensive, but there are ready-made frames out there with enough depth for the quilling if you look for them.

Step 2 - Assemble painting materials

Step 2 - Assemble painting materials

I found a wonderful double-matted frame that had plenty of room, and with a 40% coupon, it was a good price.  The only problem was that both of the mats were white and they didn’t add any punch to the quilling.

I wanted the inside mat to be black to match the frame and really set off the quilling, but having a custom mat cut around here is at least $10.  So I put on my creative thinking cap and decided to paint the mat. 
Step 3 - Paint mat with acrylic paint

Step 3 - Paint mat with acrylic paint

I used a quality craft store acrylic paint (Americana Lamp Black — but any quality acrylic paint should do nicely) and a good paint brush left over from my ceramic days.

When I took the frame apart I discovered that the two mats had been glued together with a cardboard spacer, so I pulled out my craft knife and cut them apart.
Step 4 - Assemble the pieces and frame your quilling

Step 4 - Assemble the pieces and frame your quilling

I painted the smaller inside mat, being careful to apply the paint smoothly so that the brush strokes wouldn’t show.  Once dry, I glued the two pieces back together and finished framing my quilling.

I think it looks great and really highlights the quilling.  Plus, it saved me the cost of having a special mat cut.  And since I was framing three pieces, the savings really added up.
Don’t be afraid to alter ready-made photo mats to enhance your quilling.  Besides painting the mats, you can cover them with fabric, decorative papers, or even stamp on them.
Here are the three pieces of quill art that I framed using this technique.  You can see how the black on the inside mat really shows off the quilling.
Downloadable PDF quilling patterns (ePatterns) containing complete easy-to-follow instructions, full color photo tutorials, and all pattern templates are available for these three folk art quilling pieces.  Visit the Quilling Patterns section for more information. 
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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Create a Custom Mat for Your Quilling”

  1. annon 14 Sep 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Those look really great. The black really does set it off much better.

  2. Philippaon 27 Sep 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I agree – the pictures look wonderful! I especially like the one with the tree.

  3. Gailon 30 Sep 2010 at 5:59 am

    They turned out wonderful.


  4. Helenon 16 Jul 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Your framing idea is fabulous! I have a piece I’m needing to frame now – my original quilled art that I submitted for my NAQG accreditation. I already have the chosen frame, but was stumped by the matting. Your instructions will get me going again on this! Thanks, Charlotte!

  5. Jamieon 28 Mar 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I would love to know where you got these frames at. I have been on the lookout for some that aren’t too expensive with a square center (for snowflakes), but haven’t found any that I love.

  6. Charlotteon 28 Mar 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Hi, Jamie,

    I found these frames at Michaels.

    Happy Quilling!

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