How to Frame an Invitation

by RS Wagner
Create a masterpiece with your invitation.

Create a masterpiece with your invitation.

Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Framing that special invitation from your important event keeps your memories fresh, while adding accent and interest to a bare wall. Matting provides a frame within a frame, focusing on the importance of your event. Buy precut mat board at local hobby stores or online, or cut your own using a mat cutter. Add perspective with beveled edges or use a double matting technique. Framing techniques and matting will make your invitation come alive, not just as a special event, but as a work of art.

Items you will need

  • White backing board
  • Archival tape
  • Mat board
  • Mat cutter (optional)
  • Cardboard backing


Step 1

Select a picture frame two to three times the size of the invitation.

Step 2

Keep the visual focus on the invitation. Don't buy fancy patterned or otherwise elaborate frames, because your invitation will become secondary to the frame.

Step 3

Use colors from the invitation to plan your color scheme. Consult a color wheel for visually appealing color combinations.

Step 4

Select complementary colors for extreme contrast. Use red, yellow or blue with the complements of each primary, known as secondary colors. Use basic black or white complements for a dramatic look.


Step 1

Enhance your framed invitation by adding a single or double mat. Measure your invitation for width and height.

Step 2

Use a white backing board the same size as the mat. Attach the invitation with nonyellowing archival tape onto the center of a backing board.

Step 3

Draw a diagram of your dimensions on a separate sheet of paper. Calculate the inside dimensions by subtracting the mat board width from the width of the invitation. Divide your total by two.

Step 4

Repeat for the top and bottom margins, using the height of the mat board by the height of the opening.

Step 5

Draw an outline on the back of the mat board reflecting your measurements.

Step 6

Set the start and stop control on the mat cutter following manufacturer's instructions. Secure the mat cutter guide bar over the mat board. Check the alignment.

Step 7

Cut along your guidelines by inserting the mat cutter blade tip into the mat board until the blade goes entirely through the mat. Slide the blade away from yourself; stop when you have reached the intersecting guide line. Retract the blade.

Step 8

Repeat for each side. Remove the center of the mat board.


Step 1

Flip the picture frame over so the backing is facing you and the glass is facing your work surface. Remove the backing of the picture frame by bending back the staples. Do not pull the staples out.

Step 2

Lay the center cut mat face down into the frame. Insert the invitation and backing board into the frame face down.

Step 3

Replace the cardboard backing and bend the staples back into place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most hobby stores offer mat cutting for a small fee.
  • Select a neutral color mat with subtle tones or a mat that matches colors in your invitation.
  • Consider a colored mat on the bottom and an off-white mat on the top. Add perspective by using two mats, which is called double matting.
  • Use acid-free mat boards to preserve your invitations.

About the Author

RS Wagner began writing professionally in 1997 as a frequent contributor to the "Sun Herald's" column, "What's Cookin'." She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from William Carey University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images