Valentines Day (or Wedding): Love Photo Mat

January 13, 2011 at 6:15 am | Posted in crafts, Cricut | Leave a comment
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This photo mat is very simple to make, and would be great as a valentines or wedding gift.  You can also use any name or phrase that will fit your frame – I made one for my Mom with my son’s name and she loved it.  A larger frame would accommodate a longer word, and larger letters.

You will need:  a photo frame (I used a 12×6 baseball team frame) – a sheet of pretty paper- a sheet of matching card stock- glue runner and glue pen – scrap 12” paper – photos to mat (these are public domain images since I didn’t want to use photos of myself) – the Sure Cuts A Lot program and a Cricut machine – the free Tough Guyz font (If you don’t have a cricut and SCAL, you can print the letters out using a word processing program and cut them from the paper with an craft knife.  The machine just makes it a lot easier.)

If you are using SCAL, make sure that the Tough Guyz font is installed in your fonts folder so that you can use it on your computer.  Create a layout using the letters of your choice – for 4 letters on a 12×6” mat, use size 2.75

Turn the shadowing effect on, and leave the shadowing size set at 3. The letters will be overlapping each other slightly, nudge them over individually so that they are spaced evenly. The paper I used in the sample had a lovely 1” floral border, so I placed the text 1” above the center of the mat.  Cut the outside paper, taking care to leave the file open in SCAL. Set the effects from shadow to normal, and cut the back cardstock. The scraps would make a nice matching card, especially if you are making this as a gift.

Layer the paper over the cardstock, taking care to line it up evenly.  I used a removable adhesive to tack one side into place while gluing the small pieces between each letter to help keep everything lined up.

Measure each opening to cut photos to size, leaving a margin for error and extra space at the top and bottom for gluing in place later.   It helps to use a photo editing software to resize the photos to roughly the right size.

Use a scrap of 12” paper to mark where each photo should go, being careful not to write on the mat.

Line up the photos on the scrap paper, using your marks as guides. Test under the mat before gluing into place.

If you want to make the photos permanent, glue them into place on the extra space above and below each photo.  If you would like to be able to change out the photos, place a strip of acid free tape above and below the photos on the back of the mat to protect the paper. Use a removable adhesive, such as masking tape, to attach the photos to the protected mat.

I really like using Tough Guys font as a frame for cards and scrapbook pages.  I am trying to work out a large photo mat for my sister when she gets married in May, using the names and date, I just need to find a nice large paper that will cut properly.

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