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CRAFT PUNCH FRAMES

A small nook was desperate for some attention but it presented a dilemma: How could old pictures, snapshots really, in both color and black and white, be showcased together in a cohesive fashion? Enter border edge craft punches for the solution! Each photograph was placed on a color-coordinated mat, each with a different edge design, then framed. With simple black frames and the color-coordinated mats, the varying pictures suddenly work together.


An small gallery of pictures with decorative mats made with craft edge punches, next to a colorful lamp and an arrangement of vintage perfume bottles.


A closeup of a gallery wall showing pictures styled with decorative mats punched with craft edge punches.

MOUNT PHOTOGRAPHS WITH DECORATIVE FRAMES


MATERIALS

Border punches

Scissors or craft knife

Ruler

Pencil

Acid-free double-sided tape, adhesive dots, or craft glue

Acid-free colored cardstock or paperone color for the background and one color for the mat

Picture Frames


INSTRUCTIONS

The directions that follow will use a dotted scallop punch. The instructions will be applicable to any border punch that repeats with the same cut-out. If your punch has a varied design, as in this diamond flowers punch, you will need to figure out how to manage the repeat and how to turn a corner. This can take a bit of trial and error.


Tutorial showing how to punch the borders of picture mats with craft edge punches.

1. To begin punch a running border with your punch in some scrap paper. Then place your picture next to the cut design to determine how long you need the border to be. In my example I wanted my frame to be eight scallops wide by ten scallops long.


2. You will need to figure out a few measurements on the running border you punched.

  • A: Measure from the farthest edge of your design, in my case the outer edge of the circle, to the edge of the paper. This measurement is 5/16-inches.

  • B: You will need two measurement for the shorter side of your frame. The first is the inside edge to the inside edge, in my case the circle, or 2 29/32-inches. Then the measurement of the centerline to centerline of the design, or 3 1/16-inches in my case. The difference between these measurements is about 5/32-inch (To make it easier, I am calling it 6/32-inch, or 3/32-inch on each side). If you are framing a square you will not need any further measurement.

  • C: If your design is a rectangle, you will also need two measurement for the longer side of your frame. The first is the inside edge to the inside edge, in my case the circle, or 3 3/4-inches. Then the measurement of the centerline to centerline of the design, or 3 15/16-inches in my case. The difference between these measurements is about 6/32-inch, or 3/32-inch on each side.


Tutorial showing how to punch the borders of picture mats with craft edge punches.

3. Transfer the measurements to your chosen cardstock color.

  • Start by drawing a line with your A measurement. In my case I drew a line 5/16-inch from the short side of my paper and a line 5/16-inch from the long side. Those lines are labeled in white in the above photo.

  • Next draw a line with the first B measurement, or from inside circle to inside circle (2 29/32-inches), from one of your 5/16-inch lines. Then offset a line with your first C measurement (3 3/4-inches). I've labeled those lines red.

  • Draw a line a distance of 5/16-inch from the last two lines you drew. This will give you the other edges of your rectangle and is shown in orange above.

  • The final lines that need to be drawn are the inside of circle to inside of circle, or 3/16-inchthe lines will be between the orange and red lines and between the white lines and edge of paper. I am showing them in pink.

4. Cut out the rectangle by cutting the two orange lines.


Tutorial showing how to punch the borders of picture mats with craft edge punches.

5. Turn over the punch and insert the paper, lining up the first circle punch with the intersecting centerlines of a corner. Continue punching the side, overlapping one or two circles with each punch.


6. Turn the corner by overlapping the punch over the already-cut corner circle. Continue punching the remaining paper.


Tutorial showing how to punch the borders of picture mats with craft edge punches.

7. To make the background, remove the rear of the picture frame and trace it onto a sheet of paper. Cut out the shape.


Tutorial showing how to punch the borders of picture mats with craft edge punches.

8. When working with photographs, especially irreplaceable family heirlooms, it is important to use only acid-free paper and acid-free adhesives. I used this double-sided tape, however adhesive dots and tacky glue would also work as both products are acid-free.


The tape has a backing on one side, which can be a bit awkward to remove. I found laying the sticky side down first and rubbing the backing with my finger allowed for easier removal of the backing. My trusty tweezers were nearby but I didn't need them.


Mount your photograph in the middle of the decorative frame. Then adhere the decorative frame onto the background paper. Framers always leave a tad bit more room on the bottomwhen vertically centering the frame on the background, move the frame up a smidge to give more weight to the bottom.


9. Place the finished piece back in the frame. Hang away!


A work surface strewn with craft border punches, old photographs, and scraps of picture matting used to style gallery walls.

Various craft edge punches shown next to a picture mat they were used to create.

Various craft edge punches were used to create decorative borders for a collection of photographs.

PICTURE SOURCING

Lamp, scent bottles, and table are vintage. Turquoise sari lampshade was purchased here.


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PROJECTS

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