Make a Fabric Frame to Display Your Precious Petcomments (1) February 27th, 2009
Most picture frames come in standard sizes, but with cropping and trimming our digital photos don’t always conform. Here’s a great way to make a frame that accommodates your photo and provides a canvas for some embellishment that fits your personality and your décor as well.
I covered my frame with some pig suede that I embellished with some rows of straight stitching (one of my favorite details) and some buttons that have been hanging out in my button box waiting for a project. These little bats and baseballs represent one of my other loves. And inside the frame is my special dog, Annie, who we got from the Humane Society four years ago. She’s very camera shy, so getting a photo of her is difficult. I call this her glamour shot. She’s so sweet and such a beauty—maybe some day I can get a picture that really shows her off.
- Some heavy cardboard (I used the back of some sturdy legal pads)
- A box cutter or X-Acto knife to cut the frame
- Fabric or leather for the top, the back, and the stand
- Quilt batting or fleece to pad the frame
- Some fabric glue, like Sobo, and a temporary spray adhesive like Sulky KK2000
- Beads, buttons, thread, or whatever to embellish the frame
- Clamps or clips
- A sheet of transparency film (or other clear material) to protect the photo
To make the frame:
1. Cut two pieces of cardboard that are the same size, one for the frame front and the other for the back. My frame measures about 7-1/2 inches x 7-1/2 inches and the width of the frame is 1-1/2 inches. Use a box cutter or X-Acto knife to cut an opening in the front piece to display the picture. (I’ll show you how to make a stand for the back later.)
2. Mark (on the wrong side) and cut your fabric for the frame front, allowing an extra 3/4 inch around the inner and outer edges.
3. Cut two pieces of batting the same size as the front cardboard piece. Spray one side of one piece lightly with temporary adhesive and adhere it to the wrong side of the fabric.
4. Embellish the padded area with stitching. Wait until later to add surface materials like beads and buttons.
5. Use the temporary adhesive to stick the second piece of batting to the cardboard front.
6. Place the padded cardboard section on the batting side of the fabric section. Use the temporary adhesive again to hold them together. Lightly spray the cardboard as well and wrap the outer edge of the fabric tightly around the frame, folding in the corners. Finger-press the fabric in place, making sure it sticks to the cardboard. Slash the inside corners so you can wrap the fabric securely around the opening.
7. Cut a piece of fabric to cover the cardboard frame back, adding 3/4 inch around the outer edges. Use the spray adhesive to hold it in place and wrap the fabric around the edges.
8. Make a pattern for a stand. It should start about 1-1/2 inches from a top corner and follow the shape of the opposite bottom corner to look like a necktie. The stand on my frame is 1-3/4 inches at the top, and each bottom edge is 2 inches.
9. Use the pattern to cut a piece of firm cardboard and two pieces of fabric. Allow an extra 1/2 inch around the edges of each fabric piece.
10. Spray the cardboard and wrap one piece of fabric around it.
11. Press in the outer edges of the second fabric piece. Glue it to the remaining side of the stand so it is completely covered.
12. Staple the stand in place at the top. Cut a small piece of fabric to cover the staples and glue it in place.
13. This is a good time to sew or glue buttons, beads, etc. to the front of the frame!
14. Now you can put the front and back together. Run a line of fabric glue along the bottom and side edges only of the frame back. The top is left open so you can slip the picture inside the frame.
15. Place the back on top of the frame front and use some clamps or clips to hold it in place while the glue dries.
16. Cut a piece of the transparency film the same size as the picture, then slip the film and photo into the frame through the top opening.