Using Mats Effectively in Cardmaking and Paper Crafting

Using mats effectively in your cardmaking and paper crafting projects can make a big difference in the finished product!  If you’re designing your own cards, or even copying someone else’s work, you’ve most likely been using mats already.  But have you given much thought to how important this design element is?

Look at how a simple mat enhances the image piece on this card, and imagine how much less powerful the card would be without the mat!


A mat is most effective when it picks up one of the colors of the image on top of it.  In the Work of Art card (above) the Cherry Cobbler stamped chevron is repeated in the mat.

Sometimes you might want two mats, as in this card.  The small Rich Razzleberry mat accentuates the image piece nicely, and the Old Olive mat adds more contrast to set it off even more.


If you think a tag is too plain all by itself, then let me show you how to cut a mat for a tag cut with the Angled Tag Topper Punch.  It’s really quite simple, as you’ll see in this video from my YouTube channel (

I tend to want more contrast in a mat than the Soft Sky I showed in the video.  I needed to use a light color card stock so you can see the pencil marks I made on the card stock.  The darker mat on this Christmas tag from the December Stamping Madly Newsletter is more dramatic, don’t you think?

Mat for tag cut with Angled Tag Topper Punch

Since then, I’ve worked out how to create mats for Stampin’ Up!’s other Tag Topper Punches.  I’ll be posting those videos soon, so be sure to check back to view them!  You can see one sample in this post:  Blendabilities and Inks.

When you design a card, you’re utilizing many different design elements, attempting to put them together in an attractive and harmonious combination.  You’ve seen posts on several of those elements lately, and I trust you’re making good use of the information.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this design tip on using mats effectively in cardmaking and paper crafting. 

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2 Responses to Using Mats Effectively in Cardmaking and Paper Crafting

  1. Mary (aka Muffin's Mama) January 20, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    Sage, Love the colors on the Work of Art card and the layered chevron. TFS!

    • Sage January 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      Thanks, Mary!

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