School pictures came home last week. My wife spent several hours cutting the pictures apart and dividing them into piles to send to all of our family.
I decided to frame the sets of pictures before sending them out.
I happen to have access to both a laser cutter and a logan mat cutter at work.
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Step 1: Required Materials
1 sheet of archival quality mat board ~$8 at Hobby Lobby, many color choices available
1 Frame -$10 at Lowes
Pictures of Loved Ones
Step 2: Laser Cut Title
After an initial cut to rough size, place the mat board(color side up) into the machine.
I used Corel draw to draw the outline of the entire frame and then place text(our last name) into the space below the pictures. The box and text are outline only, no fill, so they will vector cut.
Settings to cut are 30% speed, 40% power and 500 MHz frequency. The laser will cut through the mat in one cut.
Step 3: Mark and Draw Lines for Bevel Cutting the Mat Board
Measure on the backside of the mat board, small marks indicate the edges of the pictures. This is then placed into the mat cutter and the marks extended beyond the ends about 1 inch.
Repeat until all four edges of both pictures are marked.
Step 4: Cut Picture Openings
The bevel cutter only cuts one direction. You must position the mat board with the cutout piece on the right hand side. Always use a scrap piece of mat board to prevent rough cuts on the colored side of the mat board.
Align the blade mark with line 1 and plunge the blade in and through, pull slow and smooth down to line 2.
Rotate mat board 180 degrees and cut the opposite side of the picture opening.
Two more times for the other picture and you can move on!
Step 5: Last Cuts!
This is very similar to the last step except you can cut both picture openings without moving the mat board or the cutter.
Once you plunge the blade in, cut from line 1 to line 2. Release the blade and move down, then plunge and cut from line 3 to line 4.
This ensure the top and bottom of the pictures are perfectly even.
Step 6: Put It All Together
Tape the pictures in place on the back side of the mat board.
Tape a second piece of mat board to cover the back.
Turn over and glue in place any letter centers. I had to glue part of the E back in.
Place the entire stack into the frame and secure with glazing points or attached swivels.
Step 7: Enjoy
Going out in the mail today.
Now the Grandparents wont have to find, buy, or frame these; just open and place where they can be enjoyed all year long.