In a world awash with fleeting digital images, there's an enduring charm in the tangible beauty of framed artwork. Picture frames are more than mere enclosures; they are storytellers, preserving moments, emotions, and artistic expressions for generations to come.

While the choice of frame plays a pivotal role in presentation, the unsung hero of this narrative is the mount—a subtle yet indispensable element that can elevate a simple frame into a work of art in itself. In this extensive guide, we embark on a journey through the intricate craft of cutting a mount for a picture frame, revealing the secrets that transform a mere frame into a masterpiece of preservation and presentation.

The Importance of a Mount

Before delving into the art of mount cutting, it's essential to understand the profound role a mount plays in the world of framing. Beyond its apparent aesthetic purpose, a mount is a guardian of your artwork's integrity, shielding it from the ravages of time and environmental factors. It is a silent curator, directing the viewer's gaze towards the heart of the artwork, enhancing its allure while ensuring its longevity. As we venture deeper into the realm of mount cutting, you'll discover the intricacies of this often-overlooked art form and how to harness its potential to create frames that not only protect but also celebrate your cherished artwork.

  1. Enhancing Aesthetics: A mount provides a visual buffer between your artwork and the frame. This space allows the viewer's eyes to focus on the art without distractions, making it appear more captivating.

  2. Protection: Mounts prevent the artwork from coming into direct contact with the glass. This separation is essential because it prevents condensation, which can lead to moisture damage and mold growth.

  3. Preservation: Properly cut mounts can help preserve the artwork by preventing it from touching the glass, which can cause ink transfer, fading, or deterioration over time.

  4. Versatility: Mounts allow you to adapt the size of the frame to the artwork. You can frame smaller artworks in larger frames with appropriately sized mounts, adding flexibility to your framing options.

Now, let's explore the step-by-step process of cutting a mount for a picture frame.

Materials You'll Need

Before we begin, gather the necessary materials:

  • Mount Board: Select acid-free, archival-quality mount board. This ensures the longevity of your artwork by preventing acid migration.

  • Cutting Tools: You'll need a cutting mat, a straight edge (T-square or a straightedge ruler), a craft knife or mat cutter, and a pencil.

  • Measuring Tools: A tape measure, a ruler, and a right-angle tool (optional) will help ensure precise measurements and angles.

  • Masking Tape: Use masking tape to secure your artwork to the mount board while cutting the mount.

Steps to Cut a Mount

  1. Measure and Mark: Measure the dimensions of your artwork and add a border size of your choice. Typically, the border should be 2-3 inches for a standard mount. Mark these dimensions on the back of the mount board.

  2. Cut the Outer Border: Place the straight edge along the marked lines and use the craft knife to cut along the edge. Ensure that your cuts are straight and smooth.

  3. Cut the Inner Window: Measure the size of the window you want to create within the mount. This is the opening that will showcase your artwork. Mark these dimensions on the mount board.

  4. Secure the Artwork: Place your artwork on the mount board, aligning it with the window marks. Use masking tape to secure the artwork in place, ensuring it doesn't shift while cutting.

  5. Cut the Window: Carefully use the craft knife to cut along the inside of the window marks. Keep your hand steady, and make precise, controlled cuts.

  6. Remove the Masking Tape: Gently peel off the masking tape and lift your artwork to reveal the newly cut mount with a perfect window.


Cutting a mount for a picture frame is a skill that, once mastered, adds a professional touch to your framed artworks. A well-cut mount not only enhances the aesthetics of your piece but also ensures its protection and preservation. Remember to use high-quality materials and take your time during the cutting process to achieve the best results. With practice, you'll be able to create custom mounts that perfectly complement your artwork, elevating your framing game to a whole new level of sophistication.