Thursday, February 25, 2010

Easy to Make Fabric Frames

About a year ago we stood starring at a stack of unfinished wood frames and a pile of gorgeous fabric scraps when we had one of those peanut butter and chocolate kind of moments...

What would happen if we tried putting the two of these things together?

We think our frames are every bit as fabulous as a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup AND they don't add anything to our hips!

Look for fabric with small patterns. We also found that fabrics with darker backgrounds were easier to work with than light colors.

We combined our frames with distressed pieces of metal for one-of-a-kind magnet boards. Finish a frame to match your decor. It's also the perfect way to highlight a holiday project with coordinating fabric.

Instructions for making these frames are also posted on our website.

First you'll want to gather:

Unfinished Wood Frame (our rim measures about three inches across)
Fabric (enough to completely cover the front of the frame)
Black Paint (spray paint or brush on)
Decoupage Glue (we recommend Mod Podge - Matte finish)
Wide Foam Brush
Sanding Block
Distress Ink
Distress Chalk

Step 1:
Paint all the edges of the frame. We find that spray paint works great, especially when you're painting several frames at the same time. Over-spray typically doesn't affect your final project since you're covering the frame with fabric. Just be careful if you're using a light-colored fabric. Let the paint dry.

Cut your piece of fabric to be slightly larger than the frame.

Step 2:
Use the wide foam brush to apply an even coat of decoupage glue to the front of the frame. Be sure that the coverage is equally applied to all areas of the frame. The trick here is to not use too much glue, though not enough will cause the fabric to lift.

You'll need to work quickly since the glue will start to dry. Once all the glue is applied, pick up the cut piece of fabric and place it over the frame. We typically start in one corner and move in a clockwise position to make sure that fabric properly covers the entire frame. Try not to reposition the fabric more than is necessary. Smooth the fabric into place rubbing out any air bubbles that might appear. Rub your finger along the edges of the frame to ensure proper adherence.

HINT~ Be sure to lay your frame in front of you in its upright hanging position. This will allow you to properly place the fabric.

Step 3:
Let the glue completely dry. Use a razor to cut off the excess fabric around the outer edge of the fabric. It will cut easily if you hold the excess fabric taut while running the razor blade against the wood frame. Cut out the center in a similar fashion. Start in one corner by feeling the edge of the frame with your finger and creating a small incision with the blade. Once the hole is large enough, you'll be able to hold the fabric tight while continuing to cut away the excess fabric.

Step 4:
Sand all the edges of the frame. We like to use a sanding block (it saves the hands). Just wrap a piece of sand paper around the block and your sanding block will last longer. It is helpful to place the frame over a sink or between two tables especially when sanding the center of the frame. Always sand away from the fabric. If you're sanding the outer edge, start with your sanding block on the edge of the fabric. Slide it towards the back of the frame. Don't sand side to side. You'll notice little stray fibers sticking out; keep sanding! The inner corners can be a bit tricky. You might want to use just the sanding block (without any paper) to clean up the inside corners.

Step 5:
Distress the edges. We like to apply a vintage look to everything we make. Our favorite distress ink color for this project is Vintage Photo. You might want to experiment with different colors based on your personal preference and fabric choices. This pad wont fit into the inside corners of the frame. Use a cat-eye (like our favorite Chestnut Roan fluid chalk by Colorbox) to darken the corners.

Hint ~ A Q-tip works great for getting color into the corners of the frame. Rub a little ink color or paint on to the Q-tip and dab on the frame.

Step 6:
All that's left is to apply a a couple coats of decoupage glue and you're ready to enjoy your efforts. Make sure that you let the ink dry before adding glue to the top of the project. If ink streaks into the middle of the frame you can typically pull the brush back to the edge and remove it. As you apply the glue, the distress ink will darken the fabric; this gives instant age to your project and makes the frame look like it's been around for years!


Cindy said...

That is beautiful! Thank you for showing me how it is done, I love it!

Maria@ChicaBellaCrafts said...

They turned out so beautiful, I can't wait to try it at home. Thanks for such a great idea.

Stephie @ Made By Stephie said...

Love it!! So pretty!

I'm hosting a giveaway at my blog!! Come and check it out!!


Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} said...

Great idea!

creativejewishmom/Sara said...

Really nice project! I'll try to feature you next week, and hope to see you again at Craft Schooling Sunday! all the best, Sara

Kim said...

Thank you for the clear instructions. These are so nice!

Rochelle said...

Wow, those look great! What a good idea.

Me said...

A lovely idea - these turned out great

Rachelle said...

Those look great! I love em, feel free to send a couple hundred to my house I could find many places and pictures to put in them! :)


Thanks for sharing

Lori said...

Those are just too cute.

Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thurs. Please join me next week for another great party.

Betsy said...

Wow, you are so talented! Love your blog.

Lanie Ree said...

Um, these are amazing. I really, really love them. Which is why I featured them :)

Thank you for linking up to A Little Craft Therapy with Life in the Pitts.

Pauline said...

OOOH, those a so awesome!!! I have done a few with scrapbook paper but never thought about using fabric. What a great idea. One question though... where do you get your frames? I got mine at Hobby Lobby but those dont come with class. So I would be really interested in knowing where you get yours.
Thanks for sharing your craft! Can't wait to try it:)

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

I love the magnet board frame! Great idea to do this with fabric. I need to get some distressing ink!

Thanks so much for linking up to Make it Yours day!

Stories by Me! said...

Pauline, some of our frames came from Roberts Craft store. Ours didn't come with glass either, which was what we wanted for our project. You can always have glass cut for your frame. I sometimes cut my own glass (I have the tools from my days of mat-cutting classes). We finally found a frame maker to make our frames for us. (We sold a TON at Swiss Days). We were having a hard time finding the wider edges (3") and the store frames weren't great quality.
Thanks for visiting!

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