matting artwork | a bite-sized class | Erin Kate Archer | Skillshare

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matting artwork | a bite-sized class

teacher avatar Erin Kate Archer, art & illustration

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      why mat ?


    • 3.



    • 4.

      step by step : the hinge method


    • 5.



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About This Class

this bite-sized class will teach you a simple method to mat your artwork – be it photos, prints, or originals!

we’ll use easy to find materials to protect your work and give it a more premium and polished feeling that's ready for framing.

matting prints, photos, and artwork is a great final touch when giving gifts or showing at a craft fair.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Erin Kate Archer

art & illustration


erin kate archer is a new york-based artist & illustrator with an ethereal, magical style. her work aims to calm, comfort, and transport. from immersive fairytale landscapes and glowing high-key celestial pieces, to charming flora & fauna and children’s book illustrations – erin makes what was once a static image a tranquil visual journey. 


erin has illustrated children's picture books; was selected for the sing for hope NYC piano painting project; is a skillshare top teacher, and has created work for a number of consumer brands. 


follow along with her on instagram, check out her portfolio for some finished projects, and visit her etsy shop to purchase prints... See full profile

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1. intro: Hi there. I'm Erin Kate Archer, I'm a watercolor illustrator, and this bite sized class is how to mat your art work. We'll talk through the situations where matting might be a good idea, and why it can be so useful, as well as the supplies you'll need and step-by-step instructions for simple way to mat your prints. If this sounds interesting to you, enroll now. 2. why mat ?: First things first, we're going to talk about why you'd like to mat your artwork. I have a few prints here from some pieces that I've done and I'll mat it up and ready to be framed in 11 by 17 frames. These prints are actually 8 by 10s and then matted to 11 by 17. That's pretty standard. The reason you'd like to mat your prints is first of all, it gives you really nice finished professional polished edge and it also protects your work and it gets it ready for framing, and if you are selling it at craft fairs or giving artwork as a gift it makes it really easy for the person that you are giving it to, to frame it up themselves rather than selling frames as sometimes that can be the most expensive part. This way I can find that you can even use one of the cheapest frames and it ends up looking really polished and nice. It's especially good for if you're an Etsy seller or anything like that because it'll really keep your work stapled as it goes out through the country or the world. 3. supplies: As far as supplies go, you can go a lot of different directions with this. Some people like to cut and buy their own boards. I don't like to do that because you need a few different tools to create a nice beveled edge, and I honestly don't find it to be much better as far as cost is concerned. I've ordered these eight by 10 that mat five by seven piece of work on Amazon and I got about 50 of them for $35, and I'll link that in the class description if you'd like to get the same ones that I'm working with. They also come with these clear bags that you can put your pieces in. Although if you are going to a craft show, I'd recommend you get ones with handles, because I find that to be the most popular. I also buy the stiff mailers to mail Etsy prints if I'm selling those. Then of course you need the work that you're going to mat. I'm using this five by seven print that I did of Sagrada Familia. Just another reminder that whatever you mat, it will go up one standard size. So this is a five by seven piece and will be matted to eight by 10. So if you're going to buy a frame for this one, it would be eight by 10. Then next up is tape. I use artist tape, which is a less tacky, more expensive masking tape. The reason that I like this one is because if you want to remove that, I actually had this matted before I started filming this and then I peeled off the tape and you can't even tell at all. There's no residue or anything, which is why artist tape is really nice. But if you're not worried so much about professionalism, maybe if you're just going to be matting something that's going to be permanently matted, when you're giving your mom a gift or something, then masking tape should work just fine and it will be much better as far as cost is concerned. 4. step by step : the hinge method: Now for the real matting. So there's a lot of different ways to do this. The method I'm going to show you today is the one I use and it's a simple hinge method. First you're going to start with your mat as it would be displayed. So you want to make sure the beveled edge, it's on the top and over the front of the mat board. Then you're going to flip it over to show what would be the spine of the book. Then I've already wrapped in some tapes. You guys don't have to watch me do that. You're just going to take the sticky side of the tape and put it down on the inside. This creates that first hinge. You can see where our work is going to sit. Sometimes when you buy these, they will come already hinged like this. It's really a personal preference, but I like to just do it myself because I find that they're cheaper when you buy them this way. Then the next piece we need to do is we take our work, put it face down, and then we're going to do two light pieces of tape on the top. The reason you do it from the back is so that it doesn't show when the mat is closed. Then we're going to put it face up. Then carefully lay this over and make sure everything is lined up before we press down. Then you give a good press at the top. There you have it. Lovely matted piece ready for framing. Love how it looks when you open and close it to, it's really satisfying I think. Just to quickly show you how it works if you have a portrait facing piece. This one is an 8 by 10 mat into 11 by 17, but you can see how it works anyway. In this case, you will make the hinge on the short side. You're going to pull this. What is this? Hamburger way, hot-dog way. I guess it depends on which way you're looking, but on the shorter end. Then when you mat your piece, you'll fold it over so that it's facing the correct way, just like we did with the landscape one. Now that you have it all matted and everything you are ready to put in a frame. Since you have such that perfect polish and professional look with the mat, you can use even cheap frame. I actually got this one at the dollar store. So here's a piece I've had matted and framed that I did of Paris a few years ago. It's just a photograph of print, but it looks so nice when you have it framed up like this. 5. outro: Now that you know how to mat your work, I can't wait to see your sketches, your illustrations, your paintings, and your photographs, all matted up and ready for presentations. Whether it's at a crafts show or just for Christmas gifts or anything that you can think of. Make sure you post a picture in the class project and if you post it online tag me at Ekarcher. If you're interested in seeing some of my work, my website is, and I'm around the Internet at Ekarcher. Thank you so much and I'll see you in my next class. Thank you in advance for pretending you don't see the little bite out of the bottom left corner of that, my bunny took out of this mount.