When making my frame collage wall a few weeks ago, I had one picture of my dear Copper that was just too small for the frame I found for it. This can happen a lot. You have a picture and a frame, but they may not necessarily be a perfect fit. So, what’s a girl to do? Well, in my case, I worked with the problem and made a custom matte for my frame. This DIY project is so easy and really makes it easy to customize your frame for any decor or color scheme.

Making your own matte requires a little bit of crafting and a good eye. Let’s get started!


Here's what you'll need.

  1. Cardboard (From old cereal box or other sizable piece of carboard.)
  2. Scissors or Xacto Knife
  3. Wrapping Paper (Old Time Pottery has a great selection year-round!)
  4. Tape/Glue
  5. Ruler
  6. Picture frame (From Old Time Pottery of course!) and photo to display.


  1. Decide the overall size of the matte. For example, if you bought an 8″x10″ frame like me, you’ll cut your cardboard to be 8″x10″.
  2. Using your ruler, measure out a 1″-3″ border. This is where you can decide how wide your matte border needs to be (or how big you want it to be).

  3. Using your knife or scissors cut out the center part of the cardboard, which then creates the frame. Using cardboard is great because it gives some strength and dimension to your matte.
  4. Lay the wrapping paper nice-face down on the table. Lay the cardboard frame on the wrapping paper and secure it to the wrapping paper with glue or tape.
  5. Draw and “X” through the inner rectangle and cut to create four triangles.

  6. Cut slits at each outside corner to allow you to fold the outside extra paper over the frame.

  7. Fold the inner triangles and the outer paper edges over and secure with tape or glue.

  8. Snap into frame and place your beautiful picture behind it! Voila! Your once-too-small image now fits in a larger frame!

Making things work is a passion of mine! Sometimes the problems we face in home decor can turn into great design opportunities. Don’t let larger frames scare you out of displaying your favorite pictures anymore!

Valerie Morris is a true DIY maven at heart. Before there was Pinterest, she had (and still has) a binder full of magazine clippings and ideas of things she wants to make or ideas for decorating her home. She always has a project in mind and in process. You can almost see the gears spinning in her head when she has a new project idea. Valerie loves finding a great deal and repurposing decor around her home in new ways. Old Time Pottery is one of her favorite shopping locations and she proudly contributes to our Pinterest boards, our blog, and many other creative ventures wherever she can!
Written by Old Time Pottery
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