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A Quiet Day Cutting Mounts and Framing Prints by Hand

The Joy of Cutting Your Own Mounts

In the past, I dreaded cutting new mounts for my artwork, but I was completely missing the point when I thought like that.  There is a joy in mounting and framing your work that it is so easy to miss.  Mounting or Matting (as it is known in some countries) is where you put a border, usually made of a thick card-like board, around the artwork before it goes inside a frame.  This then provides a gap between the frame and the print, enhancing the overall look.  There are various colours and styles with the most common being white or cream.  I prefer white as it works well with my style.

Hand cut mount ready for artwork
Hand cut mount ready for artwork

Why do I cut my Mounts by Hand?

You can mount your work using mounts bought in a shop or ordered from framers, or you can cut your own.  I started by cutting my own and then changed to ordering them from a framer cut to the sizes I wanted, but I’ve recently switched back.  Why?  Good question and there are two reasons.  Initially, it was because I was let down by the company I was working with for my mounts just as I was getting lots of work ready for a big art fair.  I was so disappointed and ended up spending 3 days straight cutting all the mounts I needed by hand.  However, during that mammoth mount-cutting session, I started to enjoy the process and see a different side to it.

Signing a Mounted Print
Signing a Mounted Print

Mounts are a great place for signatures

Placing a mount around your artwork and watching it transform is a little bit magical, but doing it with a mount you have cut using your own hands is so much more satisfying.  All the measuring and cutting becomes part of the creation of the artwork and that’s a really gratifying feeling.  It also gives you the opportunity to add the title and sign your work without damaging or altering it.

Mounted and Framed Print ready for it's new home
Mounted and Framed Print ready for it's new home

Then there is also the meditative aspect.  Instead of conforming to our modern-day working culture of constantly striving for increased productivity, you have to slow down.  You can’t rush the process, if you do you’re bound to make mistakes.  Cutting mounts by hand presents the perfect opportunity to slow down and appreciate what I’m creating with my hands and why.  I’m mounting and framing a piece of art that I love.  It will be displayed in someone else’s home because they also love it.  This week I was cutting mounts and framing prints that had been ordered by a customer and also replacing stock which had sold.  I was standing there measuring and cutting because people loved what I had created enough to buy it and either place it in their homes or gift it to a loved one.  This was not a chore but a celebration.  These prints needed to mounted and framed because other people had connected with them so much they wanted to own them.

Was it worth the time I spent??  Absolutely.  However, that was nothing compared to the joy I felt seeing them all ready for their new homes.

What equipment do I use?

Cutting mounts for yourself will take a little practice.  If you are only going to need one or two then buying them is probably the best option.  However, if you’d really like to give it a go or will need them on an ongoing basis here’s what I personally use.  I’m not sponsored by these companies or anything like that – I just like their products.  Hmmm perhaps I should do a tutorial on cutting your own mounts?  Let me know if that would be helpful.


  • Logan Mount Cutters – They don’t sell direct to the public but their website lists dealers worldwide.
  • Daler Rowney – For my Mountboards.  You can buy direct from hem here in the UK but they also sell via art shops and framing suppliers.

Take care…

Mara Signature