Do you have a framed print that you like, but the mat needs to be refreshed?

Several people have commented about this wall art which makes an appearance whenever I share a new vignette on my piano. This is the latest iteration.


Piano top spring decor ::Flowering Pear Branches


Today I’m going to show you an Easy DIY Book Page Mat Tutorial.

Last year I picked up a typical pink floral print with a mauve mat in a gold frame from the thrift store.  It screamed early 90’s and I had no idea what I was going to do with it.  So it sat in my studio whispering my name.

By now, you must know that I am smitten with book pages.  Is it because I loved the smell of the old library I used to frequent when I was young?  I could spend a whole afternoon there anytime.  Or is it because I was taught to revere a book, not dog-ear the corners, not eat while I read, and surely not write on a book’s pages.  Maybe it’s because I treasure the written word and love nothing better than to read a well-crafted story written by a true wordsmith.  Whatever it is…I’m having so much fun decorating with book pages.  I wish I had some really old ones.  But, paperback books will do just fine for my projects.

One day that cast-off frame got past whispering and shouted my name.  So, I picked it up and put it on my studio table and wondered what I could do.  For a moment you might have thought I lit sparklers!  Why hadn’t I thought of this before?  Of course!  Why not cover up that dusty so-20-years-ago mauve mat with book pages!!  A little dancing may or may not have ensued.

I can see you thinking about what you have in the corner of the closet or the recesses of the basement or attic.  The sparklers have been lit!


Refresh a Mat with Book Pages – An Easy DIY Tutorial


  • Old dictionary or any used book
  • Scissors


10 Easy Steps:

  1. Tear several pages from your dictionary or book.
  2. Measure your mat’s width or thickness (the distance between the art edge of the mat and the frame side of the mat that you want to cover).
  3. Turn the paper in your paper trimmer for several pages so that the text is on an angle for interest – see photos.
  4. If your mat is 3 inches, cut 3 inch squares or 3×4 inch squares from your book pages.
  5. Cut a small stack of book page squares (my mat took about 30).
  6. Lay your book page squares around the mat to see if you have enough.
  7. Arrange your book page squares on the mat for visual interest.  Try not to get the same pattern side by side.
  8. Apply adhesive on the mat and place the book page square on top.
  9. Be sure to keep your inner edge perfectly lined up for a finished look.  If your outer edge is off a bit, it will be covered up by the frame.
  10. That’s it!  Slip your mat in the frame, add your artwork and voila!


Easy DIY Book Page Mat Instructions ::

Book Pages Mat for Framed Artwork ::

DIY Book Page Mat Tutorial ::


Refresh the Frame, too!

Remember how I said that the frame was gold?  That just wouldn’t look right in my home.  I needed a more muted look and I wanted my frame to have a hint of a pewter cast.   What should I do?


Refresh a Tired Gold Frame with Craft Paint ::


First thing I did was check out my stash of craft paints and I found some metallic and pearlized paints.  Unfortunately some of them were old and sort of dried up.  That did not stop me.  I worked with what I had and with a light hand, brushed on some silver and some bronze and then some pearl, and repeated as necessary.  About midway through the process,  I took a dark red and painted an inside line in the crevice of the inner molding.  Then I took a toothbrush and spattered red and brown paints to give it a more interesting look and did a little more brushing of the bronze.

There is no specific method to painting like this.  Just be artsy and treat the craft paints like highlighters or embellishments.  I used some artist’s brushes in my stash for this project.  Sorry I did not take a before photo of the ugly gold and pink frame and mat.   Have you ever gotten creative in the moment and then said, phooey, how did I forgot to take photos?    Good, then it’s not just me!!


Frugal Frame Refresh ::


What about the art print?

For those of you who like the print itself.  That was an easy DIY too!  I just cut a page out of an Audubon book that I picked up a number of years ago at one of those tent book sales.  After applying a few spots of adhesive to the back of the print and then…you’ll love this…stuck it to the back side of the faded pinky print that came with the frame.  Okay, it did take a little work to get it centered properly, but aside from that, it was E.A.S.Y.!!  And you can do something like it too.



Hopefully you found a bit of inspiration, and will now take those cast-off framed prints in yesterday’s color combinations and give them a new fresh look with my easy DIY book page mat tutorial (and frame and print tips).  I’d love to hear what you think of this little project.  Let me know if you’re going to try your hand at this too.

As I always say…“Why be ordinary when you can be Extraordinary!”


Frame and Mat and Artwork Makeover.

Please “Pin” and share this image.


Jumping up and Down Exciting News!

I want to let you know that next week, I will be celebrating the first anniversary of An Extraordinary Day.  Please be sure to come back and help me celebrate.  There will be a VIP guest joining in the fun on Monday, April 29.  Let’s just say I’m more than a little bit excited about that (her)!!!   You can look forward to a week full of giveaways, too.  Don’t miss it!  Please make plans to invite your friends to come and join us in the celebration.  Share like crazy!!

Wishing you an Extraordinary weekend!



To receive bits of inspiration like this in your inbox or reader, subscribe now!  It’s FREE.
Let’s chat!   “Like” An Extraordinary Day ~ A Place of Joy & Inspiration Facebook.

*   *   *  *  *  *  *   *   *   *  *   *   *   *   *   *  *  *  *  *  *   *  *  *  *  *  *

 Please stop by Longaberger Lifestyle and check out the new online catalog.

Sharing with these Extraordinary spots: The Dedicated House + The Gingerbread Blog + Tatertots & Jello + My Simple Home Life + A Night Owl Blog + Natasha in OZ + Funky Junk Interiors + Tutus & Tea Parties + Twigg Studios + Nifty Thrifty Things + Sunny Simple Life  + The Tablescaper + i heart nap time + Life on Lakeshore Drive + Flamingo Toes + Sew-licious + The Self-Sufficient Home Acre + Silver Pennies + DIY Showoff + Three Mango Seeds + One More Time + Uncommon Designs – Monday Funday + Boogieboard Cottage + Frugal Foodie Mama + I Should be Mopping the Floor + Create with Joy-Monday + Sew Can Do + Stephanie Lynn + Between Naps on the Porch + Mod Vintage Life + Rain on a Tin Roof + Coastal Charm + The Dedicated House + Cozy Little House + A Stroll Through Life + Kathe with an E + My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia + Cedar Hill Ranch – The Scoop + The Rustic Pig + Creative Cain Cabin + Knick of Time + Today’s Creative Blog + Our Home Away from Home + Home Stories A to Z + Titus 2days + Nap Time Creations + + Memories by the Mile + Not Just a Housewife + A Diamond in the Stuff + Carolyn’s Homework + Elizabeth & Co. + A to Z Celebrations + Green Willow Pond + The DIY Dreamer + Knick of Time + Whimsy Wednesday + Savvy Southern Style + Clean and Scentsible + DIY by Design  + Lavender Cottage + Mums Make Lists + Timewashed + Southern Lovely + SNAP! + Free Pretty Things + Ivy & Elephants + Polka Dots on Parade + Trendy Treehouse + Rose Chintz Cottage + From My Front Porch to Yours + Fine Craft Guild + No Minimalist Here + A Delightsome Life + All Things with Purpose + Stone Gable + 52 Mantels + Live Laugh Rowe + Designed Decor + Rooted in Thyme + Shabby Creek Cottage + Katherine’s Corner + Artsy Fartsy Mama + A Glimpse Inside + Made in a Day + Imparting Grace + Common Ground + Bernideen’s Tea Time + The Charm of Home + Thrifty Groove + French Country Cottage + Redoux + Jennifer Rizzo + 5 Simple Things + Create. Craft. Love. + Craftberry Bush + My Repurposed Life + Tidy Mom + The Home Girl + The Answer is Chocolate + Homespun Happenings + My Romantic Home + 504 Main + Shabby Nest + 30 Handmade Days + In the Studio + Shaken Together + Serenity Now + Five Days 5 Ways


  1. Diane, you really could open an Etsy shop and sell similar things! Some of us just are too lazy to do all the work to make such fun things!!

    • Diane says

      Awww….Jan…it really is super easy.
      Thanks for your wonderfully encouraging words! 😉

  2. I ♥♥♥ the the page matting…and the print you chose!

    • Diane says

      Thank you sooo much Marigene! 😀 I’m grinning from ear to ear right now!
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  3. What a fun project Diane!! Thanks for sharing the how-to!! Happy Friday!!

    • Diane says

      Thank you Jennifer!! It is. And the best part for me. It’s quick and easy! I’m glad you like it!
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary! [hugs]

  4. Babs says

    I’m inspired!! I have a lot of old prints with outdated mats. Thanks so much for this great idea and tutorial.
    Happy weekend,
    Visiting from Anything Blue Friday.

    • Diane says

      Yay!! I’m glad this will inspire you to have fun and update something without busting open the piggy bank!
      Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind remarks. 🙂 Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  5. This is beautiful! I especially love how you redid the mat with squares of book print. I would love to try something like this, but it’ll have to go on my “someday” list…I have so many things I want to try and do!

    • Diane says

      My ‘someday’ list is pretty long too! Haha!
      Thanks for your kind words, Melaine and taking time to stop by!
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  6. Oh, my goodness. You really are awesome in all your talents! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have many old prints around that need an update. You know, hand-me-downs from dear friends that wanted me to have what they no longer had room for. Who can throw away a gift? And, now I don’t have to. Your mat and frame (and love the print!) look amazing! Wonderful post, my dear!

    • Diane says

      I’m thrilled that you love the idea and are inspired to upcycle your collection of hand-me-downs, Kim!! Yay!!
      Thanks for your kind words!
      Wishing you an Extraordinary weekend!

  7. Diane, it’s lovely! What a useful, thrifty way to freshen decor. Like you, I also really enjoy the book page crafting and decorating look. I have to admit I haven’t tried it yet as I don’t know if I could make that first cut to a book!!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Jessica!!
      Haha! Once you ‘destroy’ your first book…it gets easier. My husband as donated his old paperbacks to my cause and those are not hard at all to ‘devour.’

  8. Gwen says

    Very creative and fun book page uses. Thank you for sharing. Love the wooden bowl with the silver metal birds and embellished egg too!!!

    • Diane says

      My sweet friend…thank you so much!! 🙂 And thank you for noticing the little fun touches at the end too.
      Hope you are blessed with sunshine and blossom and the touch of your loving Father today. [hugs]

  9. Mel says

    Oh, I remember my first ‘destroy the book’ project–I pilfered black and white photos for the train room. I was mortified I was doing it. LOL And I still have the guts of the book! I can’t bare to toss it after defacing it. And then….I discovered an old book in the recycle box at work. Now THAT one I thought I’d feel less bad about, after all, I was salvaging to give it a new life. Poor thing…..Even though I’d reasoned it in my brain as being a GOOD thing — I still paused. I then decided if I was going to cut it up, I should at least read it first. LOLOL Yes………I read it! You’d think that’d make the process of cutting the pages up somehow easier. Did NOT. LOL I eventually got there, and stood back to admire my product…..and noted: NOTSOMUCH wanting some of ‘those words’ on the items I was making! ( tells ya how old the book was, it wasn’t politically correct, to say the least!)
    Dictionary! Use a dictionary!! I like that suggestion muchly. Probably would have spared me the panicked moment when I examined my cute little card…..with the naughty little words….
    Your idea for dressing up a tired matt…..brilliant.
    And I like that I’m not the only ‘steal the picture from a book’ thief, for sure! 🙂

    • Diane says

      Haha! You’d think Mel after all those book page Christmas trees I’d be over it all. NOT!!
      I love your story. Yikes for word surprises!! 😀 Dictionaries are good….and I even have something else up my sleeve…but I won’t be able to do it until I’m flush again as it involves Kinkos or similar.
      Hope your weekend is filled with sunshine and flowers. The snow is gone? Yes?

    • Your story is hilarious! I laughed out loud picturing you (even though I don’t know what you look like!) rescuing, then reading a stolen book, then debating whether to destroy it. I think I’d be right there with you,!

  10. Wow!!! That looks really awesome! I love the way the mat looks! Found you through The SITS girls Saturday Sharefest…

    Cher @ Designs by Studio C

    • Diane says

      Thank you Cher!! It’s fun, easy, and a small investment of time. Can’t beat that, huh?
      It was so nice of you to stop by and leave your kind remarks. Hope your weekend has been Extraordinary!

  11. Tammy @ A Walk in the Countryside says

    Very creative! The print is of the Louisiana Heron. I just purchased a large size glicee print of this but haven’t framed it yet! Thanks for sharing!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Tammy!!
      Herons are one of my favorite birds. I bet yours print is stunning!
      It was so kind of you to stop by and share…blessings!

  12. Love this idea! The print is wonderful and I love what you did to freshen up the mat.

    • Diane says

      Thanks Pat! It really was an amazing transformation!
      Hope your weekend has been Extraordinary!

  13. Love it. I’m going to take a look around my walls and see what I might freshen up.

    Happy to have you at Seasonal Sundays!

    – The Tablescaper

    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks! I hope you have fun with it. I sure did!

  14. I love when pretty updates are so easy to do. 🙂 Thank you for sharing at our Pinteresting Party!

    • Diane says

      Oh me too, Lauren! I’m all for simple and easy!

  15. Kathy says

    Great idea! You did a fabulous job too!

    • Diane says

      Well, thank you Kathy! That is such a nice thing to say!
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  16. Tammy says

    What a great it. Thank you for sharing at One More Time Events.

  17. Judy says

    I’ve just dropped by via Seasonal Sunday, and how charming your picture idea is. It looks like an art print that you would pay $$ for. I really enjoyed seeing it..Happy Weekend..Judy

    • Diane says

      Thank you Judy!
      Years ago I spent big money for limited edition art and the framing…all to have it stolen. No more. Now I seek creative ways to make my walls sing.
      Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. Hope your week is Extraordinary!!

  18. Now this is such a great idea! I have a few things that I would love to update and this has me inspired! Thanks for sharing at Monday Funday!

    Take care,


    • Diane says

      Thanks Trish! I’m thrilled that you found it inspiring. 😀
      Wishing you an Extraordinary week!

  19. Vel says

    truly made the difference Diane!

  20. This is so creative and I love the character it gives the painting. Thanks tons for the tutorial and thanks also for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Marty!! I agree…it seems to make the bird stand out…not take away from him.

  21. Lovely! I have those bird prints in my dining room and just love them. Love the book page mat twist!

    • Diane says

      I think I could have a whole house of Audubon prints, Jennifer. Thanks for taking time to stop by with your kind words.
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day.

  22. Dawn says

    OMG, how clever is that. Great idea, thanks for sharing at the Cabin.

    • Diane says

      I’m so pleased that you like it! Thanks Dawn!!
      Blessings! 😀

  23. I love this idea for the matting! Pinning!

  24. What a fabulous project! I spotted your mandolin….I just bought one last week and can’t wait to do a post on it! Love your style!

    • Diane says

      How fun that you purchased a mandolin! This vintage one was gifted to my mom by an elderly man who taught her to play it when she was in college.
      Thanks for your kind words and taking time to leave them! 😉
      Hope you have An Extraordinary Day!

  25. Hi, I’m stopping by from the Give Me the Goods Monday Hop and I have to say I love the matting. At first I thought it might distract from the picture, but it works well with the print. Wonderful job. I am a new follower.

    • Diane says

      Thank you Darlene! I’m sure it wouldn’t work with every piece of art…but I do love this combo. Thank you so much for stopping by, leaving you kind words, and joining in the fun here. See you soon! 😉

  26. Brilliant Diane! I love this idea. It turned out beautifully!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Deborah! It really was a win! Glad you like it too!!:D

  27. Jenna says

    SUCH a clever idea! Love it! Would love it if you would link this up to Give Me The Goods Monday: 1 Party, 5 Blogs!
    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

    • Diane says

      Thanks Jenna! 😀 I did link up to your party 😉 I’m #48.
      Hope your week is Extraordinary!

  28. I love the DIY mat and the print. Fantastic! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  29. Sarah Bradford says

    Love the idea with pages for the mat boards. I am currently working on a large thrift store frame. I painted the mats and I like how it turns out. I have painted the frame but don’t love the color that I chose with the painting I created over the print. I will figure it out, and your post has given me a few more ideas. So, thank you!

    Check out my latest blog post for three other thrift store frame finds:

    • Diane says

      I’m pleased that my idea would inspire you to even more creativity. Sounds like you have a fun project in the works, Sarah!
      Wishing you an Extraordinary week!

  30. This is awesome!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Deborah!! What a nice thing to say!! 😀

  31. Jenna says

    Hi! Loved, loved, loved this project so much! It will be featured on my blog tomorrow! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

  32. Sandi says

    Diane, what a fabulous idea! I LOVE your picture and frame! Like you, I spent lots of hours in the library. I won’t eat or write on book pages either nor dog-ear them. My hubby is just the opposite and it drives me crazy! You can always tell which books are his and which are mine. Thanks for sharing this at my HOME and have a wonderful day.


    • Diane says

      Thanks for stopping by Sandi and for your sweet words. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re feeling much better!

  33. What a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration. Visiting you tonight from Sandi’s HOME party. Hope you’re having a nice week. I’ve posted the new Homemaking Party for the week and would love to have you link up, if you’d like!

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

    • Diane says

      Thanks Sarah!!
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  34. Very clever and affordable idea here!!! Thanks for linking to “Open House”.

    • Diane says

      And don’t we need “affordable” ideas these days!?!
      Thanks for popping over Bernideen! 🙂

  35. Hi Diane, I love this idea!!! I have a picture in mind already! really appreciate the step by step photos too!

    Thank you for sharing this @ Inspire Me Fridays! would love to have you add me to your extraordinary list of party spots…I’ll be featuring you this week! Thank you!

    Wishing you an extraordinary day!!

    • Diane says

      You are so sweet Maria, I’m thrilled that you find it helpful!!
      I’m humbled that you would choose to share AED. Thank you!
      And of course I will add you, too!
      You ARE extraordinary!

  36. OK…that’s just COOL!!!!!!!! REALLY, REALLY COOL!!!! Such an easy, imaginative and FREE solution!!!!! 😀

    • Diane says

      Free! We do like that don’t we? [grin]
      Thanks Alycia for your very encouraging words!

  37. Wow! This turned out amazing. I can’t wait to liven up my own mat 🙂

    We’ve love for you to show your posts with our readers at our Finished Friday Link-up.

    • Diane says

      Thank you Allyson! I hope you have fun with it too!
      And thank you for your warm invitation! 😉

  38. Anita says

    That’s truly lovely! I don’t work much with paper, but I love your idea and I think I could actually handle it. =) Visiting from In the Studio.

    • Diane says

      This is super simple to do, Anita! And with beautiful results!
      Hope your day is Extraordinary!

  39. Jen says

    Love it! Those book pages look awesome as a matte.

    • Diane says

      Thanks Jen! Too bad I misspelled ‘matte.’ 😉

  40. Great idea! Looks awesome! Thanks for sharing this week!

    • Diane says

      It’s fun to do ‘free’ projects that look expensive.
      Hope your weekend is extraordinary!!

  41. Jenni says

    what a great idea ! i am going to try and do it too, popping over from Jen, In the Studio..

    • Diane says

      I know you’ll have fun with it, Jenni! Plus it’s quick to do and I love fast results!

  42. sometimes a subtle change makes all the difference. Love it! Thank you for sharing at the hop my sweet bloggy friend xo

  43. sigh… how i do love my dictionary paper. love this. 🙂

    • Diane says

      One page lover to another. 😉
      Maybe it will inspire something lovely.
      Thanks again for the lovely art print for the giveaway. I feel so blessed.

  44. Looks amazing! But, I do want to warn you: newsprint is not acid free. If you are adding acidic elements in your frame, eventually, say after a couple of years, the acid starts to mess with the art work. It will cause stains, discoloration, etc. If your print is cheap, you don’t care. If your print is worth a lot, you do! Just to let you know…

    Thank you for sharing & participating in our linky party at Great to see you there! Have a wonderful weekend! ~ Rose

    btw Do check out my river rock mat – feature today. You’ll love it for your entryway.

    • Diane says

      Thank you for that reminder Rose!
      My artwork in this case is a page from a tent sale Audubon book. So…all is okay. But…I will keep that in mind. Thanks!!!

  45. Robin says

    Great idea. I love the look.

    • Diane says

      Thanks Robin!! 🙂
      Hope your weekend has been extraordinary!

  46. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says

    What a fun project! And let me just say, herons are not so cool when they come and eat all the fish in your fish pond!

    • Diane says

      My friend bought a large piece of property with a good sized pond. Her husband was an avid fisherman so he stocked it with lot of ‘good’ fish for fishing. The herons…several varieties started a feeding frenzy. Their answer of potato bombs. Ha! Sorry about your fish pond. Let’s just say I enjoy seeing them in the wild. 😉

  47. Oh wow Diane!! What a fabulous frame!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality! Can’t wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Christine!!
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  48. What a great look! I came over to check out your piano decor from A Stroll Thru Life. We recently bought a piano and I haven’t put anything above it yet. Yours looks beautiful!

    • Diane says

      Oh Shelley….How exciting to get a new piano!!
      Thanks for stopping by and your kind words.
      Hope your week is extraordinary!!

  49. Kathy says

    Love it! That’s so very interesting! Adds such interest to your artwork. I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

    • Diane says

      Thanks Kathy! It turned out better than I even hoped!

  50. Tammy says

    That’s a terrific idea! Thank you for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

    • Diane says

      Thank you sooo much, Tammy!!
      Hope your week is extraordinary!

  51. gail says

    what a great idea for a framed mat. It looks fabulous.

    catching you!



  1. […] P.S. For those of you who want to know more about the art print on the wall.  I have a DIY tutorial here. […]

  2. […] Refresh Tired Framed Art :: Easy DIY Book Page Mat Tutorial & More! […]

  3. […] my little heart sing, even after having created and written about it here and here and here and here. (If you wish, you may click the red links to see those […]

  4. […] really like the look.  You know my love affair with book pages.  I got a bit creative with them here and […]

  5. […]  An Extraordinary Day shared how to Refresh a Tired Framed Art Easy Diy Book Page Mat Tutorial […]

Please Share Your Extraordinary Thoughts!


AMAZON ASSOCIATES DISCLOSURE: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.