how to attach a photo to a matboard

How to Attach a Photo or Print to a Mat Board

Are your looking for assistance on how to attach your photo or art print to a window mat (also called a mat board, a photo mat or a mount board) for a picture frame? We have created a step-by-step guide and video for you.

You can either refer to our helpful video link below or continue below to read through our visual step-by-step guide.

How to Attach a Photo or Print to a Mat Board

Getting Started

Items you'll require:

  1. Your mat board
  2. Your photo or artwork
  3. Some gloves (not essential, but will avoid fingerprints on your photo and the mat board)
  4. Some self-adhesive acid free tape (e.g., 3M Magic tape)

Step 1 - Create a Clean Workspace

Before you begin make sure the workspace you are using is clean and clear of clutter to avoid scratching your picture frame or photo frame. Some people lay a cloth or towel onto a table surface.

Step 2 - Positioning Your Mat Board

Place your photo onto a flat surface. Hold the mat board over the photo to check the positioning and that the photo will fit properly.

Step 3 - Applying Tape to Your Photo or Print

Next, place the photo or print face down. Then place either one or two tabs of acid-free tape on the top edge of the photo, leaving half of the tape exposed overhanging the edge. Then flip the photo or print back over face-up again, with the sticky side of the tape facing upwards. 

1- Apply Tape to rear top of photo

Note: You do not need tape on all sides of the photo. You only need to adhere tabs of acid-free tape to the top edge, so that your artwork or photo can just hang down.

Step 4 - Attaching Your Mat Board to Your Photo or Print

Next, carefully align and position your mat board over the photo, then align the inside edges of the window and gently rest the mat board down to adhere the mat board to the tape on the top of the photo. 

2. Align Matboard over image and rest down

If everything is aligned correctly, then push and apply firm pressure the tape and the window mat board so that it will adhere and not release again easily. 

3. Push the matboard down firmly over the self-adhesive tape

Then flip the mat board over to the back and burnish (rub) the tape a bit more to ensure it will adhere.

4. Flip the matboard and photo over and burnish more

And that's it. You've attached your photo to your mat board. 

Additional tip for larger sized or wider prints, posters and photos: 

When looking to attach a larger or wider print or photo, don't apply tape all along the top edge, as this won't allow the print to expand and contract without rippling.

It is safer is to just use method called a T-Hinge, which is evenly spaced, cross-layered tabs of acid-free tape positioned along the top edge of the print only, behind the matboard window. This allows your photo or print to naturally suspend and hang down inside the frame. See example below:

Diagram for T-Hinge for attaching artwork to a matbaord

For wider prints you might place a T-Hinge approximately every 20-30cm along the edge. For example, for a wider A2 sized print, you might place three T-Hinges attached across the top. One tab each side and one in the middle. 

it is important to understand that a larger or wider print should be able to move naturally and not be permanently adhered to the backing board. This will allow your print or photo to slightly expand and contract with changes in relative temperature of the room over time and help avoid severe cockling or buckling in the future.

Attaching a matboard to a photo

We hope this information was helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel from to contact us.

Shop Australia's #1 Range of Pre-Cut Photo Mats and Matboards Online with Profile

Explore the complete range of matboards from Profile Australia. Whether you're looking for full, uncut sheets of matboard, standard single white window mat boards or even double-layered matboards, we offer a full range of matboard solutions in all different sizes and colours. 

All proudly made in Australia with acid-free, eco-sustainable papers and a lifetime guarantee! 

We also offer a complete range of Picture & Photo Frames so you can choose your own frames which you can mix and match to suit. Profile offers a full range of picture framing solutions in all types of shapes, styles and sizes. 

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