How to make your own photo frame mounts

How to make your own photo frame mounts

Changing the mounts within your picture frames is an easy method to update their appearance without having to reframe your images. It’s useful when you’ve changed the colour scheme of a room or for photographers who want make photo frame mounts together with their photos.

Table of Contents

All you need are some razor-sharp cutting tools, a straight-edged ruler (ideally a solid builders’ ruler long enough to mark and cut your mount boards in one pass), and a pencil to draw your cutting lines.

While a Stanley knife can be used to cut mount board, a professional-grade mount cutter will produce more precise and clean cuts.

The two most important aspects of cutting picture mounts are 1) cutting in one pass and 2) getting your measurements accurate because if you get it wrong and the picture window is too short, the mount board becomes garbage.

Control is vital if you’ve never used a mount cutter before. It takes some practise, so practise on any type of thick card before cutting the mount board. Mount cutters cut quickly because they are designed to make accurate cuts in one pass. Faster than you’re probably expecting on your first cut with these. Using waste pieces of mount board gives you more control because it slows down the cutting process.

Another useful equipment is a cutting mat, and the best sort to use is what is known as self-healing cutting mats, despite the fact that they do not heal. The top coat of them is made of rubber, so when a knife is sliced into it, it contracts back together. The cuts are still present, but they are barely perceptible.

Grid lines on your mat can also aid, but they are not essential. These aid in getting a straight cut, although a builder’s ruler or a long and thick metal ruler will also produce straight lines. Grid lines simply make straight cuts easier, and you may also cut without putting your measurements on the back of the mount board.

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Suggestions and tricks

  1. Make your cuts on the mount board slightly inward from the line where you record your dimensions, either with a Stanley blade along a straight edge or with a mount cutter, because there needs to be enough card there for the picture to be affixed to. If you cut precisely on the line, you’ll discover that there isn’t enough card to connect the corners of the photo to the card when you place it inside the picture window.
  2. Check the quality of your mount card to determine which side will be the front. Scuff marks can sometimes appear when working with mount card. If this is the case, make sure the marked side is on the back of the card, so the front shows the clean side.
  3. If you’re using a mount cutter or a rotary cutter and want to have greater control over the pace of the cut, use some scrap card so that as you’re cutting into thicker material, the speed of the cut slows down, providing you more control.

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