DIYdiy projects

DIY Project: Fabric Covered Photo Mats

by Megan Pflug

We all love a good gallery wall but, depending on the artwork, it can sometimes feel a little disjointed. One simple, and super chic solution is to use the same color mat in multiple frames to unify the look. The end result is totally bespoke and it’s simpler than wrapping a gift. I choose to use bright blue linen because it worked with my graphic collection of art. Just keep in mind that the fabric you choose will be very prominent, so pick something that is going to play well in your space. To help keep things simple and budget friendly I used frames that came with pre-cut mats inside. Keep reading for my step-by-step guide to this fun and easy project, and be sure to check out my Weekend Decorator column on the One Kings Lane Style Blog for even more fun ideas! –Megan

Photos by Drew Gardner

Click through for the full how-to after the jump!

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Here’s All You’ll Need
-A frame with a precut mat
Archival spray mount
Acid free double stick tape
-A square of fabric 2 inches larger than your mat
-Fabric scissors


Getting Started

Begin by cutting a square of fabric a little larger than your mat. Once it’s cut, give the fabric a quick once-over with an iron to remove any wrinkles.


Lightly mist the front of your mat with spray mount, and place it face down on the fabric. Flip the fabric and mat over, and gently smooth the fabric into place, removing any wrinkles or creases.

Next, apply acid-free double-stick tape to the inside and outside edges of the mat. The kind I used had a backing paper that I needed to remove to expose the adhesive.


Use your fabric scissors to cut the outside corners off the fabric. This will reduce thickness when you fold the fabric over. Next, cut an X in the center of the fabric, going from interior corner to interior corner so that you form four triangular flaps. You’ll want to trim some of the excess fabric off the interior triangles, leaving four tabs about 1.5 inches deep.

Once you have trimmed off the excess fabric, you’re ready to remove the tape backing, exposing the sticky surface.


Neatly fold over the inside edges and smooth them into place. Repeat the process around the outside edges.



Using the acid free double stick tape, position and secure your print in place. Now your reassemble your frame and hang that bad boy!


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  • Love this! Unrelated, but any chance you can tell me where that amazing sisal-looking rug is from in the first shot? Thank you!

  • I’ve been trying to do stuff like this for ages, but now I realize I’ve been doing it all wrong! Thanks so much.

  • This is a great idea- so colorful and fun! Just remember that if you are framing an original piece of art or something of value (sentimental or monetary), slip an acid-free rag mat between the colored fabric mat and the print- you do not want to cause a mat burn and ruin your art. Not all fabric/spray mount is acid-free!

  • I LOVE this idea! I have some fabric sitting around that is this exact shade of blue and, some frames sittin’ in the garage doin’ nothin’. Thank you! Gonna put them all to good use!

  • Can’t believe this site been up 2 yrs and haven’t seen it. Great job with explanations and pictures. Finished room view is awesome, going out to buy some mats this morning, new look for my LR by dinner time. Thanks!

    • Hi Marina,

      I personally have used good old Elmer’s glue with success. The key to wet glue is to use a paint brush to spread the glue out evenly, making sure not to use too much and the spread of wet glue is as minimal as possible to lightly coat the mat surface.

      It dries fine on most fabrics, but always do a test to make sure the fabric you’re using isn’t stained by the glue.

      Good luck!


  • I just redid my picture mat using your idea . I LOVE IT!!!!! Thank you so much!!! It turned out beautiful!!!!


  • Thanks for such great instructions and photos, a rarity online! Am definitely going to look into doing this. I’m tired of paper for framing. Love fabric and now I know how to incorporate :)