Repurpose a Children’s Book into a Whimsical Picture Mat

Good day everyone! Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you are taking sometime to read a good book and celebrate Read Across America Day. I am an avid reader myself. So I will have my nose in a good book as soon as possible. Then I will probably stay up till 3am to finish said book because that’s just the way I am. 😀 The The first author to encourage me to read, along with so many others, was the wonderful and whimsical Dr. Seuss. Today is also his birthday. So in honor of both reading and Seuss, I’ve decided to repurpose a children’s book into an adorable picture mat.

Repurposed Children's Book Picture Mat

Of course I had to use a book of Dr. Seuss. The illustrations are perfect for embellishing a picture mat. Not to mention that they are just so fun and colorful, perfect for a kid’s bedroom or playroom. With a used copy of Dr. Seuss and a thrifted picture frame and mat, you can create a whimsical place to showcase a family memory.

What you will need to create your own children’s book mat is:

Supplies - Children's Book Picture Mat

  • A Dr. Seuss book
  • Thrifted picture frame with mat
  • Utility knife
  • Spray adhesive
  • Two sided tape (if you are working with a double mat)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Brush (optional)

If you have kids, I’m sure you have a well loved and probably vandalized copy of a Dr. Seuss book. Otherwise check your local thrift store or library sale. You will only need a page or two to create your whimsical mat so it doesn’t really matter if the book is pretty much demolished.

Painting your frame is completely up to you. The frame I picked up and the thrift store was sturdy, but not exactly pretty. So I just applied a coat or two of black paint to spruce it up.

Start this fanciful project but taking apart the picture frame.

Disassembling the Picture Frame

Most pictures will have tabs or other things that enable you to easily disassemble the picture. If your picture is kept in the frame with staples, use a pliers or flat head screwdriver to bend the staple back to the frame. Take everything out of the frame if you are going to paint it. Or just take out the mat, if you like the frame as is.

This step is optional if you have two mats, but I find the mats easier to work with if I separate them. Matting should not be completely glued together. There should be one or two lines of double sided adhesive in between the layers. You should be able to use your fingers to pop the mats apart.

Next it’s time to choose the page or pages you will use. The pages I picked had a bright, solid colored floor that tied the two pages together and made it easier to make with.

Cutting out characters

First figure out which images on the page you will use. I started with the puppy. I laid the mat over the puppy picture: careful not to cut in the sketch. Cut around the puppy and the top edge of the floor. Then using the mat as a guide, I trimmed bottom of the floor to line up with the bottom of the mat.

When I laid the mat over the kids I couldn’t get the sister and the two little brothers on the mat. So I careful cut around the two boys and the top edge of the floor with an utility knife. Then I lined the boys side with the puppy side with the edge of the mat to determine how much of the floor I needed between them. After that I could trim the excess floor from both sides.

Now that the cutouts are ready: it’s time to glue them down.

Applying the Children's Book Cutouts

You can use a gluestick for this part but spray adhesive sticks better and more cleanly. In a well ventilated and plastic covered area, lightly spray the cutouts with adhesive. Carefully stick the cutouts to the mat lining up the bottom and side edges.

Feel free to add any other cutouts you want at this point. When you are done and everything’s dry you call assemble the mats. Use double sided tape over or alongside the old tape marks. Then line up the inside corners to make sure you have an even finished look.

Completing Childrens Book Mat

And there you have it. The mat is all done and ready your fun photo. Use a little acid free tape to secure it to the mat. Then just clean the inside of the frame and reassemble the picture.

Now you have your own children’s book matted picture.

Finished Children's Book Picture Mat

This whimsical picture mat is perfect for a kids room, nursery, or playroom. You could do several mats and frame of various sizes for a great eclectic look. It’s also a wonderful way to repurpose a book that was loved a little too roughly.

While you and your family are enjoying this Read Across America day, why not build a living room fort for your little ones to read in? Remember to incorporate plenty of light for their reading pleasure. Currently at Heartland America, we have these fantastic vintage style LED lanterns.

Vintage Style LED Lanterns at Heartland America

These battery powered lanterns add ambiance and light to any occasion from living room forts to backyard barbecues, even actual camping. The dial dimmer adjusts the brightness to just what you need. Pickup these picturesque lanterns before camping season hits. Supplies are limited to get them while you can.

Although it’s nice to stay inside and read now, spring is around the corner. Next week I’ll be bringing you some great products for spring. Until next time let me leave you with a fabulous quote from the good Dr. Seuss,

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

At last remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.


2 thoughts on “Repurpose a Children’s Book into a Whimsical Picture Mat

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog! I’m so glad you’ve liked what you have seen so far. 😀

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