How to Create a Mat Board with Multiple Openings

We frequently get questions about if we can cut mats with multiple openings and if so, how to create them. If you’re wondering why – they can be used for collage picture frames among other things. If you do want a custom mat with multiple openings, we require you to email or fax us a diagram to ensure that we cut everything to your exact specifications. Here, we will walk you through the steps of designing a mat board with multiple openings.


mat board diagram



Say you want a mat that has openings for three 5˝ x 7˝ images with 1˝ in between each opening and 2˝ borders all the way around. You can create your diagram digitally in a program such as Photoshop or Microsoft Word or you can simply draw it out by hand. It doesn’t need to look pretty; it just needs to be legible. Here are the steps needed to create and order a mat board with multiple openings:

1. You already know that you need openings for 5˝ x 7˝ images. We usually recommend a minimum overlap of 1/8˝ on each side of the image. That means that the opening will be ¼˝ smaller on the height and width than the actual size of your image. For this example, the mat opening for a 5 x 7 image would be 4 ¾˝ x 6 ¾ ˝. This will be the starting point for creating the diagram.

2. Decide on the mat board borders. For this example we are going to have 1 inch in between each opening and 2 inches for the borders.

3. Add everything up across the width and across the height. This will be the final outside dimensions of the mat. For example: add 2 + 4.75 + 1 + 4.75 + 1 + 4.75 + 2 to get a width of 20.25 or 20 ¼˝.  Then add 2 + 6.75 + 2 to get a height of 10.75 or 10 ¾.˝ 20 ¼ ˝ x 10 ¾ ˝ will be the outside dimensions of the mat (and frame, acrylic, and mounting board if you are ordering a frame package).

4. Next, go to to begin the ordering process. From the homepage, hover over the “Picture Frames” tab and browse frames until finding one you like. Shop by color, style, collections, or depth.

drop down menu from homepage

5. From the “Size” tab, be sure to enter the dimensions by frame size (NOT art size). This is because the frame size is the inside measurement of the frame. The mat, acrylic, and mounting board will all be the same size. Enter 20 ¼” x 10 ¾.”
order by frame size

6. Go to the Mat tab and play with color possibilities. Once you have decided on a mat color, select “no cut” from the mat board cut type options.
no cut mat board

7. Continue on to the glazing, mounting, and accessories tabs to configure the package to your specifications. Choose UV non-glare acrylic or black mounting boards, if you wish, even browse accessories that are tailored to your order.

8. Once everything is the way you like it, click “Add Package To Cart” to begin the checkout process.
add package to cart

9. Click “Proceed To Secure Checkout.” You will be asked to sign into your account or continue as a guest.

10. Enter your address and scroll to the bottom of the page. Type “Sending diagram for the mat board” in the order instructions field.
enter order instructions

11. Continue checking out until the order is complete. 
12. Then, be sure to send us your mat diagram via fax (800.893.3898) or as an attachment to the email address, If sending via email, we accept both JPEG and TIFF files.

Calculating price:

To calculate the price of your custom cut mat board, take the price of the mat board plus $3.00 per extra opening. The first opening is free. For example, an $8.00 board with 5 openings would be priced at $20.00.

Have you been wanting to create a collage frame with custom mat board of your own? What kind of images would you put inside?

Like what you've learned? Here's more:
A Reverse Bevel Mat Board Cut: What It Is and Why Framers Use It
Designing Single, Double, and Triple Mat Boards
How to Select the Right Mat Board for your Art
Custom Framing with Mat Board: Designing with Size
White Core, Cream Core and Continuous Core Mat Board
Mat Board Terms: Reveal, Offset, Overlap, and How to Order
How Do I Order Mat Board Samples?
Did you Know: Oversize Mat Board is Now Online