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Let’s Talk About Mats!

custom frame mat selection

You’ve chosen your photo or art. You’ve got a frame style in mind. Now it’s time to consider what a custom frame mat can do. Of course you can always work with one of our designers, but we’ve made the process of designing your frame even easier (and more fun!) with new features. To get started, check out our mat customization tips below. 

How to Frame and Mat a Picture (in 3 easy steps)

1. Select a frame style.

2. Click More Mat Options 

3. Start customizing your mat!

  


Meet Your Mat

Allow us to introduce you to an unsung hero of the picture framing world.

  

Mat Widths

Standard Mat Width

The first question we almost always get is “How wide should the mat be?” 

We use 2.5” mats with art under 9x12 and 3” mats for anything larger as our standard to keep things in proportion. 

two family photo burlwood frames on desk

Left: Frederick and Lawrence burlwood frames; Right: @solsticedesignstudio

Narrow Mats

Narrow or thin mats are not something we see very often, but they can work well on very small or very large pieces of art—photos smaller than 5x7 or modern, large format photography in a gallery frame.  Looking to frame something big? We have some ideas.

family photo in park in walnut frame

Narrow mat width in a Walnut (Wide) frame

Wide Mats

Wide mats are a great option to add prominence to a piece of art or a photo. If it’s a small item, the wide mat draws focus into the piece. For average sized art, wide mats can be used to fill a specific space in your house or get an oversized look.

black and white photo in black bolton frame in gallery wall

Oversize mats bringing the drama via @jennasuedesign

Bottom-Weighted Mats

Bottom-weighted (or "drop-weighted") mats are wider below the art opening than they are on the top or sides. Bottom weighting is a traditional custom framing technique to make the art appear visually balanced inside the frame and is often used with sketches and drawings in museums.

Dramatic bottom weighting (as seen on the The Triptych gallery wall or The Callie) is a modern, editorial style which allows the frame and mat to be a part of the featured art.

triptych gallery wall with gold frames

The Triptych in Gold via @hungrywitch


Mat Styles

Classic Mat

Our classic acid-free mat board is 4-ply, works well with any piece, and separates your artwork and photos from the moulding and acrylic glazing.

8-Ply Mats

8-ply mats are twice as thick as our regular mats (which are 4-ply). 

We use 8-ply mats to add depth and sophistication to modern art and photos or even important documents. They're a photographer favorite!

signed law document in silver frame with thick mat

An 8-ply mat in a Dover frame as seen on our Pride Gallery Wall

Linen Mats

Linen mats have a layer of linen fabric on top of a regular 4-ply mat.

We use linen mats, a classic custom framing feature, to add texture and muted color to vintage pieces, family photos, and objects.

picture of washington monument in silver frame with linen mat

Linen mat in our Newport frame


Mat Colors

White is the standard color we use for mats, but there’s a spectrum of meringue, cream, milk, flour, sugar and most other baking ingredients within the choices.

Of course we have a whole rainbow of other colors we offer to set off whatever you are framing.

artist paintings in burlwood frames with black mats

Black mats via @king_interior_designs with art by @studiobetsy

Accent Mats

An accent mat (or "double mat") is a second mat layered under a top mat. 1/4" of the accent mat is revealed within the top mat’s window.

A more formal look, we love accent mats in school colors for diplomas (we have some tips here) or certificates, or to draw out a highlight color in a piece of art. 

diploma in black frame with blue accent mat

Accent mats are perfect for diploma frames