Matting and Layering

Matting and layering is a useful technique used in scrapbooking, card making and other paper crafts to enhance your photos, card-toppers and pictures.

It is an effective technique, that simply is creating a layered paper background for your image.

You can choose to have as many layers as you want and to use any papers you want - coordinating, contrasting, patterned, matte or glossy. I find I use high gloss mirri board quite a lot when making cards.

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The technique isn't difficult, but it can be hard to get your layers square. A paper trimmer or guillotine can be an invaluable tool to help get your layers square, as you have a truly straight edge to work with.

However the method I prefer to use when working with squares and rectangles is to stick my image to the paper background and trim round it using a clear steel edged ruler, a craft knife and a cutting mat.

You can also measure and mark round your square or rectangle with a pencil and ruler and cut with scissors, just inside the pencil line.

When cutting layers for circles I use a compass to draw progressively larger circles. I cut my circles out with scissors, though a scalpel type craft knife on a cutting mat would also do the job.

A very useful piece of equipment to create layers for fancy shapes is a die cutting machine. I use a Sissix Big Shot and there are other brands available such as the Spellbinders Grand Calibur.

You can buy sets of dies with progressively larger shapes. I used my die cutter to make these card toppers.

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I use double-sided tape and a glue stick when sticking my toppers and pictures onto paper. When scrapbooking it is advisable to stick your photos down with an acid free adhesive.

I find that wet glues, such as PVA, can cause bubbles and wrinkles on your finished project.

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I use plenty of tape when sticking heavier and decoupaged toppers down so they don't come unstuck.

Matting and layering a small image will produce a card topper that has more impact and is more substantial than the image on its own.

Matting and Layering > Techniques > The PaperCraft Room