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How To: Create A Frame That Includes A Mat


When selling art to customers you may find that that want their print matted but they want to also add a frame to that mat. Previously Art Storefronts would recommend creating the frame and the mat separately, but after a review of the process and the time input required we have decided that the best course of action is to create a frame that already includes a mat.


In this article, we’ll give you a step by step walkthrough to show you how to do this. Print Studios, Galleries and Self-Fulfilling artists can use this article to create frames that include mats. If you find that you’d rather create a frame without a mat, please see our article How To: Create A Custom Frame.


  1. Measure the border of your frame as well as the width of your mat and combine the measurement of the two. This should be in the units your site is using. For our example, we'll be using inches.


  2. Take a direct frontal photograph of your frame.


  3. Calculate the pixel width of one side of your frame and mat.

      • You can use the following formula to find the pixel width of one side of our frame: PIXEL WIDTH OF ONE SIDE = (FRAME WIDTH (INCLUDING MAT) IN INCHES * 72PPI) / 4

      • As an example, our frame is 2 inches wide and the mat is also 2 inches. This equals for inches. This means our formula looks like this: (4 * 72) / 4 = 72px.


  4. In PhotoShop, click on File.


  5. Click on the option labeled Open.


  6. Find your frame with the mat and click on it.


  7. Click on Open.


  8. Right click on your Layer and select Convert to Smart Object.


  9. We will now enable a Rule of Sixths Grid - Click on Edit.


  10.  Click on Preferences > Guides, Grids & Slices.


  11. In the Gridline Every field enter in 100 Percent.


  12.  In the Subdivisions field enter in 6.


  13. Click Ok.


  14.  Your image should look something like this:

    Please Note: If your grid does not immediately appear, press CTRL ' on your keyboard and the grid should appear.


  15. Now that our frame image is open, we need to adjust the size of the frame and mat file. Click on Image.


  16. Click on Canvas Size.


  17. We need to enter in the pixel width and height for the frame in the Width and Height box. We have the width of one side of the frame, so we need to find the full width and height of the frame.

      • The formula to find the file size you need is FRAME FILE WIDTH & HEIGHT = PIXEL WIDTH OF ONE SIDE (calculated in the previous step) x 3.

      • As an example, because the frame we are going to use is 72px, we can plug that in to the equation: 72px x 3 = 216px. This means that our file size needs to be 216px by 216px.

        Please Note: The width and the height ABSOLUTELY MUST BE THE SAME. If the file is not a perfect square, it will not work properly.


  18. Once you've entered the width and height, click OK.


  19. You may get a pop-up warning you that the new canvas size is smaller than the current canvas size and that some clipping will occur.  If you get the pop-up, go ahead and click Proceed.


  20. Right click on your Layer again and select the option labeled Rasterize Layer.


  21. Select your Layer by left clicking on it.


  22. Click on the Move Tool.


  23. Move the frame so that you see the bottom right hand corner. Make sure you are aligning the interior edge of the frame with the grid lines in red.


  24. Click on the Marquee Tool.


  25. Delete the Upper Right, Lower Left and Upper Left outlined below from your image.


  26. Click on the Crop tool.


  27. Press Enter TWICE to crop the image to the dimensions of the canvas. Your image should looks something like this:


  28. Select your Layer.


  29. Hold down CTRL and press J. This will copy your layer.


  30. Select the new Layer.


  31. Hold down CTRL and press T in order to transform the layer.  You will notice a bounding box around your new layer.


  32. Right click and select Rotate 90 Degrees Clockwise.


  33. Select the Move Tool.


  34. Move your newest layer to the lower left-hand corner.


  35. Repeat steps 29-30 and fill in the remaining corners using Rotate 180 Degrees for the Upper Left Corner and Rotate 90 Degrees Counter Clockwise for the Upper Right Corner.


  36. Next we're going to get rid of the texture of the frame. If you'd like to keep the texture, you may skip the next steps. Select all of your Layers by clicking on the top most layer, holding down shift and then clicking on your bottom most layer.


  37. Right click and select Merge Layers.


  38. Click the Marquee Tool.


  39. Select a very small sliver of the frame in the area you want to smooth out the texture.


  40. Press down CTRL and T to transform your selection and begin stretching the selection to smooth the frame.  Be sure to press Enter to finalize the Transformation once you are done stretching your selection.


  41. Repeat this process for any area you want to smooth out.


  42. Once you are satisfied with your changes, click on File.


  43. Select Save As and save your frame as a JPG or PNG. It will then be ready for upload to your website. For more information on uploading your frames, please review How To: Upload Custom Frames To Your Art Storefronts Website.


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