Cutting the mat
Mat board plays both functional and aesthetic roles in a frame: It spaces the artwork away from the glass, and provides a bit of visual breathing room between the artwork and the frame. You can cut the mat with a standard razor knife, but a simple and affordable push-style mat cutter (below) creates crisp, accurate bevel cuts, lending a professsional touch to your framing job. Back up the cut with a self-healing cutting mat that protects your workbench, prolongs the cutter, and provides a smooth, clean surface for cutting.
Sources: Mat cutter no. 17119-2000, $27; self-healing mat 18×24" no. 58900-2519, $45, Dick Blick, 800-828-4548, dickblick.com.