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Monday, January 2, 2012

My First Project of 2012

Happy New Year! Today I completed my first craft project of the year so I thought I would share it with you. It will also be my first blog post of the year…hopefully I’ll get a little better at keeping up with my blog posts in 2012! The end of 2011 just got a little too busy for me!

Today was my New Year’s holiday from work, so after going to the fitness center, then out to lunch with my husband and son, I decided it was time to dig in and get started on a project, one that has been on my list for a while. My husband and I participated in a photo walk in Kansas City last summer. Every participant could enter one photo taken on the walk and taken in a certain area of town in a photo contest. My husband’s photo won third place! He got a poster sized print of his photo and it was on display at a local bank for one month. I told him I would mat and frame his picture for him as one of his Christmas presents.

So today was the day to do that. He took this photo of a train though some boards on a pedestrian bridge by Kansas City’s Union Station. Here is his wining photo.

I went to Hobby Lobby today and bought two pieces of 32X40-inch mat board, one a smooth silvery-gray color and one a matte finish yellow color. (Used my 40% off coupon for one of them!) Then I went to Michael’s and bought a 24X36-inch poster frame. It was a $60 frame, which was on sale for 50% off and I had a coupon for another 25% off, so it was a pretty good deal. (Seems like their frames are always on sale. I don’t know why they don’t just lower the regular prices!)

A few years ago, I bought a mat cutter, which is very easy to use. It’s MUCH less expensive to mat and frame my own pictures rather than paying the high prices to have something framed. First I cut my two pieces of mat board to 24X36 inches to fit inside my frame. (And I checked – they really did fit just right inside my frame.) My mat cutter came with a separate mat knife which I used to cut the boards down to the right size. Then on the back side, I measured and marked a 2-inch wide border on the gray board and a 2 3/8-inch wide border on the yellow board. Now it was time to cut out the opening of each.

My mat cutter is made up of two pieces, a piece that looks a lot like a paper cutter that holds the mat board in place and a separate angled blade. (See this post for how it works.) I haven’t used my mat cutter in a while. I had forgotten that it could only hold up to a 23-inch piece of mat board. It’s probably a good thing I forgot this, otherwise I may have not undertaken this project! Since my mats were 24X36 inches, I could not use the piece that holds the mat in place. I recruited my husband to help me hold a metal yard stick in place to use as my cutting guide. It turned out just fine. Here is a picture of my gray mat with the center piece cut out and a picture of the two mats layered on top of each other.

So I put it all together, using some scrapbooking acid-free mounting squares to stick the three layers together, the two mat layers and the photo. I put it all in the frame and discovered that the frame was not deep enough to hold two layers of mat board. The little metal things that hold the back on the frame when you turn them into the little slot did not go into the slot since the mats were too thick. We had some of those glaziers points that are used to hold window panes into a frame (left from a Halloween project). I could not push them into the sides of the frame, so my husband put those in for me.

Now I had these metal glazier points and the metal things on the frame that were all just waiting to scratch up my nicely painted basement wall, which is where the picture is going to be hung. I had some gray felt from which I cut strips long enough to cover the dangerous parts. I used foam scrapbooking mounting squares to adhere the felt to the back of the frame. Here is what the back of the frame looks like.

And…ta da…here is my finished matted and framed picture! I was pleased with how it turned out! Hopefully we’ll get it up on the basement wall very soon.