Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I hate bare walls in the home, but adding artwork can quickly become an expensive endeavour. Whether you are buying a custom piece or looking to have an inexpensive print framed, it can be challenging to decorate on a budget. One of my favorite ways to add character to a home is by featuring travel photos throughout the house.

The IKEA RIBBA frame series is perfect for my personal taste: simple, black frames with white matting included at a very reasonable price. One problem: like most IKEA items, they come in "unique" mat sizes that tend to only fit their prints. The solution: rework the frame by adding an additional mat.

Read below for 3 steps to reworking an IKEA RIBBA frame to make it look like custom piece.

Step 1: I have a standard 8x10 photo of Chicago that I took and edited on my iPhone using the Camera+ app, and had printed using a photo service, but you could also have it printed at a local convenience store. I took the frame measurements to a local framing store and selected my mat. If you are looking to add a pop of color in your house, the accent mat is a great way to do it. I stuck with a basic gray that matched the color of the photo.

Step 2: measure and line up the photo with the mats. I kept costs down with this piece by having the photo "floating." What this means is that you just lay the photo on top and tape it down, instead of having the mat cut to fit. If you are not new to framing, some shops will actually allow you to cut your own mat, which can also help keep costs down. But you also have the option to have them cut the additional mat to make the piece truly more custom. 

Step 3: Voila! I eliminated the awkward space from the photo by adding the mat and created a beautiful picture that looks custom to the space for less than $26.

$2.99 print
$9.99 frame
$15.99 mat

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