Make Your Own Patterned Photo Mats

How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) When I visit my friends’ homes for the first time, I always like to peep around (non-creepy peeping) and look at all their photographs, collections, and any special albums they may have. I LOVE IT. What’s weird is that on the flip-side, I do feel sort of self-conscious displaying photos of us in our home. I don’t know—it feels sorta weird. 

But after doing this project, I think I will definitely have more confidence displaying our family photos for the future because it totally changed our space! I instantly loved our entryway 10x more than I had in the past. It just feels more welcoming! 

Whether you are displaying photos of your family, or other special photos, this tutorial will help you make a plain black and white photo instantly more interesting, inviting and vibe-y. 

Today I’m here working with our longtime supporters Canon USA to share a simple method for cutting custom printed photo mats! 

How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) Supplies Needed:
-mat board
-patterned paper to cover mat with
(I used two gift wraps and painted a large piece of art paper with watercolor paint for the third one.)
-spray adhesive or rubber cement
-X-Acto knife
-metal ruler
-cutting mat
Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer

How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial)First, print out your photos. B&W photos were pretty important for me on this project since I chose colorful mats. I didn’t want it to look too busy. In addition to wanting the large 13×19 printouts, I used the PIXMA iP8720 here because of how well it captures contrast in the prints. It looks SO good! Dull B&Ws can be a real bummer.  

How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial)Use your X-Acto knife and metal ruler to cut out your mat the size of your frame. Decide how wide you want your mat to be (I chose 3″ for my mat) and measure that distance in from the edge of each side to create a smaller rectangle within your mat. Depending on how big your photos and frames are, you can adjust the mat width to whatever looks best. Cut out your smaller inner rectangle.

How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) Spray the back of your patterned paper and the front of your mat with the spray adhesive, and carefully place one side on top of the other to adhere. Smooth out any bubbles.

How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) Use the X-Acto knife and ruler again to cut away the excess paper from the mat. Then tape your photo in place behind the mat. Place the mat and photo into the frame, and you’re ready to hang!

How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) How to make a patterned photo mat! (click through for tutorial) The cozy factor just skyrocketed in here! I really like how the textures mix and the colors work well with plants. My only regret is that I didn’t do this two years ago! Thanks so much for reading. xo! Elsie 

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson, Project Assistant and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions


  • Gorgeous idea, easy like poster printing but so much more elegant! Thank you for sharing! Would make great photo gifts, also 🙂

  • I took an art class in college where we had to make our own mattes. Mine was more decorative and the instructor said that if your matte is decorative (rather than a solid color), it detracts from the central image. I feel like your project does the same. All I notice is the mattes, that’s probably why you feel more comfortable displaying the photo’s this way.

  • Love these DIY wall print ideas!
    For this & your other wall print post (the cluster of prints above the fireplace), what kind of paper do use for the prints? Is it photo paper or regular/card stock? Thanks! Can’t wait to try these out. 🙂

  • Hi Shelly! Elsie uses hers several times a week and the ink cartridges typically have to replaced once every month or so. They last a while! 🙂 -Jacki

  • I love this idea! It would be fun to use the wrapping paper from the Target dollar section. 🙂

  • I am seriously considering buying the PIXMA iP8720. How long does the ink last for? Were you able to print all these photos and still have plenty of ink left?

  • Me, too! Do you have any recommendations for places to find a cool variety of affordable frames? Thank you!

  • Your house is like a gorgeous just-in gallery! I love all your posts.

    My Morning Routine 2015 | Spring 2015

  • Very wonderful idea for my living room!!! Definitely shared
    on my fb fan page!!
    I invite you to visit my etsy shop at :


  • Ok, this gives me the confidence to try with my pics. I’m hesitant, too, to hang pics in my house, but I love when I see my friends decorating their walls with beautiful collages. I like that this project won’t cost me a fortune, either!

  • Wow, those frames are lovely! What a great idea.

    Sweet Like Cinnamon |

  • I use scrapbook paper when making mats for my smaller photos, and have had some wonderful results! It is especially great for the old family photos, as a genealogist I can get really creative with the older photos that I have collected, and it adds an extra dimension to the story the photo is telling. Great project!

  • Simple and beautiful, like the trio of pictures on the wall and thanks for the tutorial

  • I love this! Especially how you paired it with black & white photos so the colors aren’t overwhelming.

  • This is such a great idea! It gives such a great dimension between the picture and the frame!


  • These are beautiful! Awesome colors too 🙂

    Warm Regards,

  • What a fantastic and gorgeous idea! I am so in love with the outcome. Definitely on my to-do list for my own photos at home! They look so pretty!


  • I love this so much! I think I am going to give this a shot with some old concert posters we have had laying around. Wish me luck!

  • I love the console table too! Where is it from? I definitely want a entryway like yours.

  • Great idea! I’ve often used pieces of scrapbooking paper for smaller frames, but I had never thought of using rolls of paper for larger prints.

  • Oh this is so good… Love the finished look! Will have to give it a go!

  • Just gorgeous! You’ve inspired me to try this myself! 🙂

  • I have a collage of photos that would really benefit from this project. Where do you get large matt board?

  • This is so beautiful!! It’s very appealing to the eyes. I just love it! <3

  • This is such a good idea to give a photo wall a theme of colors/patterns 🙂

  • I love this, I have to try do this DIY

  • What a lovely idea! I want to do this too soon!

    xx Erika

  • I also enjoy seeing my friends’ photo displays while visiting their homes. I think this D.I.Y project would fit perfectly in the hallway entrance to my living room.

    Happy Friday!

  • The results are great an your pics so lovely and cute. Love each photo!

    Have a nice day 🙂

  • I really love this tutorial! The photo mats just give your photos a very nice and personal touch. These really make your home look so cozy, even more cozy than it already was.


  • Oh my goodness I can totally relate to this! I especially love having my big scrapbooks out on display (or on our bookshelf) then feeling IMMEDIATELY self-conscious if someone starts flipping through them… Haha.

    But I completely agree – putting photos up may feel weird at first, but it does make your space feel more special and personal. And I’m sure it works so well in your home, because you showcase SO much art you love too.

    I have doxie patterned paper somewhere in my craft supplies, and I think I’m going to pick up a mat board and use it for this!! I have a picture of our little guy Eggnog I’ve been wanting to frame 🙂

    Can’t wait for your home tour Elsie!!! xo

  • Your house seems to be made of rubber=)) Otherwise where you store all this amazing DIY stuff you guys make=))

  • This is a must do for me! I love the color pallet that was used here (I may need to steal it)!

  • Love this! I’m definitely gonna try.

    Is your table DIY or from a store? If from a store, please share your source. It’s gorgeous.

  • I really like this idea, particularly with the black and white photos x

  • I love it! Will definitely be doing this DIY for my bedroom asap – super cute creative idea!
    Lucy xx

  • What a cute idea! I agree about the cozy factor. It’s also great, because you get to see people in the photos, but you can see even more personality in the pattern and color choices!


  • I love this idea. They look really nice 🙂

    Sarah |

  • Love this idea! And I have to ask where those frames are from? Love the size and detailing! Thanks!

  • So beautiful. These photos are adorable. Love this idea.

  • gorgeous! Also, i have to ask: where did you get that console table? or is it a diy? either way, i love it!

  • Love the entryway, especially that console table, its beautiful… and the bright paper backdrop is a nice touch to brighten up the b&w photos…


  • what did you have on the wall before? i definitely switch things around, but on the whole always have more art work, and framed pics than i do space for them! –pretty mats. could go very seasonal with what you do on them too. thanks for sharing.

  • What a fun idea. It definitely brightens a room up, I’ll have to give it a go.

    Emma x

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