‘Normal is Boring’ Custom Mat Board

Custom phrase mat board—so cute! There are so many techniques to love in the world of design, but one of my favorites has always been when you make a phrase where the letters are made up of a photo. Usually you have to have some knowledge of Photoshop in order to make that magic happen, but today we're teaming up with Canon USA to show you how to do it yourself with no crazy design skills required! Ready?

Custom phrase mat board—so cute!     Supplies:
-Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printer
photo paper
-X-Acto knife
-white cardstock
-photo frame
-rubber cement

First you'll want to choose a photo to use as your backgroud for your phrase. You will probably want to choose something that looks more like a texture (like a grouping of items or a close-up of a textural object) than a photo of people. I chose some colorful art supplies spread out on a floor, but the texture of plants, flowers, or foods would also work really well. 

Once you've chosen your photo, use your printer to print it out at a size that is slightly bigger than the phrase will appear. Rich color is pretty crucial for your photo here so it's clear what your phrase is. Plus we needed a bigger photo print. For those reasons, we used the Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printer and their 13" x 19" Photo Paper Pro Luster.

Custom phrase mat board—so cute!Create your chosen phrase in a Word document (or some other program where you can type a phrase), and print your phrase the final size that you'll want. I used the font Function Pro in extra bold for a thick type. Once your phrase is printed, place your cardstock over the phrase, and hold them up to a window so you can trace your phrase onto the cardstock. You can also use thicker mat board for this project, but it can be tricky to cut paper that thick when you're doing a lot of curvy lines, so I chose a thinner cardstock that will achieve the same look when framed.

Custom phrase mat board—so cute!Use your X-Acto knife (and a metal ruler if you have one) to cut out each of your letters. Make sure to cut out and keep the middles of letters (like the middle of an "O" or an "A") to glue onto your photo later. 

Custom phrase mat board—so cute! Custom phrase mat board—so cute!  Trim your photo and cardstock to the size of your frame, and use some rubber cement to glue your cardstock onto your photo. Glue the middle of your letters onto the appropriate spot, and let the glue dry. Once dry, place your photo and mat into your frame, and hang your new art.

Custom phrase mat board—so cute!   Custom phrase mat board—so cute!  Pretty easy, right? Of course you can do whatever phrase you like, and you can customize the photo you choose to go along with it (like a food-related phrase and food photo for a kitchen). We definitely love the idea of thinking outside the box around here, so this is a perfect phrase for us. What phrase would you choose? Music lyric? Movie quote? xo. Laura

Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Laura Gummerman & Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella from The Signature Collection. track