how to attach a photo to a matboard

How to Attach a Photo or Print to a Mat Board

Looking for assistance on how to attach your photos to a mat board for a photo frame? We have created a step-by-step guide and video for you.

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

Getting Started

Items you'll require:

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

Tip: before you begin make sure the work space 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.

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.

Next, place the photo face down. Then place the acid free tape on the top edge of the photo, leaving half of the tape exposed overhanging the edge, and then flip back over face-up again.

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 tape to the top edge, so that your artwork or photo can just hang down.

Next, position the mat board over the photo, align the edges and rest down to adhere the mat board to the tape on the top of the photo.

2. Align Matboard over image and rest down

Push the mat board firmly down over the tape to help it to adhere firmly.

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

Then flip the mat board over and burnish 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 a wider prints such 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.

Mount the photo to your matboard

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

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