DIY Personalized Photo Mat – Makes a Great Gift!


I don’t usually get much time to post about my crafty side, but I really enjoy crafting and sewing! Usually, I stick to easy and quick projects. I think it’s my love of semi-instant gratification, and the fact that my life is pretty busy and normally doesn’t allow for extended projects. With Valentine’s Day coming, the girls and I were trying to think of a fun and sentimental DIY gift that we could create for a couple of the special people in our lives. I was walking the aisles at our local craft store, passed by some inexpensive plain photo mats, and the light bulb went off! Using a few affordable materials (some of which I knew I had at home), we could create personalized photo mats to showcase special pictures – a gift that can be displayed well after Valentine’s Day! Perfect!

A few days later, I gathered the supplies and in less than ten minutes, we had two unique and beautiful Valentine’s gifts that I’m sure they will love! Caitlyn wanted to make one for my husband, so he could display his favorite picture of them together on his desk at work. Great idea! And we also made one for a special friend who is very important to the girls. I had the perfect picture of all three girls together!


What You Need:

  • Photo
  • Frame
  • Plain white photo mat
  • Colored pieces of cardstock
  • Paper punch(es) – optional
  • Washi tape – optional
  • Die cut shapes – optional
  • Glue stick or glue dots

The great thing about this project is that you can customize the photo mat however you like! Choose your favorite colors, designs – you name it. I have a Cuttlebug die cutting and embossing machine so I was able to die cut some cute heart shapes, and the wording for Caitlyn’s. BUT you can use a good ‘ole permanent marker to write wording if that’s what you want (or print something off your computer in a fun font), and paper punches are great if you don’t have a die cutting machine.


Caitlyn’s photo mat for my husband came out super cute! We used washi tape to create the border at the top and bottom of the mat. Then we added the die cut wording at the top with glue dots. I would have preferred to use a glue stick to attach the letters, but this was Caitlyn’s project and she thought the glue dots were easier and less mess. Very true! Plus, you can only see the glue dots when you get really close to the frame anyway.


We also added some die cut hearts that I created using my Cuttlebug, in the corners of the mat on the bottom. Caitlyn liked the simple look of this mat, and she is now a huge fan of washi tape!


The second mat we did was even easier than the first one! Caitlyn punched several hearts out of colored cardstock to create a border around the picture opening.


It only took a few minutes to punch the hearts, and then we attached them to the photo mat with a glue stick, using a pattern of the colors.


With this photo mat, I also made a blue border out of cardstock to create a double matted look. The girls really loved how the photo mats turned out, and they cost hardly anything! For my husband’s frame, I spent a few dollars and got a higher quality frame, but the other one I purchased at the dollar store and it served the purpose. The hearts may not be lined up perfectly, and the wording centered right, but the girls created these mats basically all by themselves and they were very proud of them! Plus, the best gifts are from the heart, right?!



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