And it looks just amazing!
But the best part is: it cost under $5 to make.
I am making a picture frame wall collage on one of the large blank walls in Lorelei's room. I decided I wanted most of the frames blank, a few will be bow holders, and I wanted a few pops of interest to stand out and catch your eye.
That is where this project comes in.
Do you notice that the photo mat here is not the standard ugly white that comes in every cheapo walmart frame?
It is HOT PINK. And no, I didn't spend hours (minutes? days? years? I am awful with an exacto knife) cutting a precise and perfect photo mat from card stock, and I certainly didn't spend the $5 plus shipping to special order a costly colored one off of an online craft store (which, I might add, doesn't even carry pink!).
I used a few shots of spray paint I already had on hand.
Voila! Perfectly colored photo mat ready for my adorable prints of scrapbooking paper.
I cut them to size, popped them behind the mat, slid the mat into my $3 Wal-mart frame I spray painted black and then I marveled at my work.
I left the glass out because this is for a baby's nursery. I want her room to be completely child friendly and should one of the frames fall off the wall, I didn't want to risk broken glass. Plus glass is annoying to clean, and as long as I dust at least once every now and again, I won't have to worry about cleaning glass and leaving streaks and getting frustrated.
So there you have it. Now you have my super simple secret to making your own colored photo mat in under five minutes.
But in case you need further instructions, here is a picture tutorial.
First, I started with a cheap, $3 Wal-Mart picture frame. Any cheap frame will do. This is actually NOT the one I used, but I forgot to take a picture before I painted it, but I remembered to take a picture of this identical, but different sized frame before I painted it... So this is the picture you get. The difference here, however, is that not only is this frame 5x7, but it doesn't come with a photo mat, which is the most important part of the project. The photo mat in the frame I purchased had four photo slots. It was 8"x14" which made it perfect for the spot I was going to use it. It was a generic gold two tone color that just wasn't going to work in Lorelei's room, so I spray painted the frame black.
To do the painting, I simply removed the glass and photo mat, left the paper picture in there to protect the back of the frame (which was attached on one side, making it impossible to remove for spraying. I used Krylon Black spray paint and took it outside where I sprayed the whole thing with even sweeping strokes. I let it dry and moved on to the next step.
Gently press and smooth each one of your rectangles on to your photo mat. The adhesive will help you hold them in place so you can turn it over (being sure not to lay it down on your carpet or work surface) and make sure you like how it looks. Once you are sure it looks how you want it to look, use some clear tape in a couple spots to make sure nothing moves.
Open up your frame and, being careful not to spray the front of the frame, give the inside of the frame backing a good spray. This will help hold the photo mat in, further stabilize the scrapbook paper, and keep everything straight and perfect.
Take your finished photo mat, slide it into your frame, press it firmly onto the frame backing, and then close the frame. If you want to include your glass, make sure it is nice and clean and put it in your frame after pressing the photo mat onto the sticky back ground. Close the frame up, put on a wall or a shelf, and admire.
This project really is so simple and can be done with anything. Wedding photos, baby announcements, pieces of a love letter. Anything! And now, thanks to something you probably already have on hand (spray paint), you aren't locked in to boring white or neutral photo mat colors. So spray away, and enjoy your beautiful art work!