Framing fabric to use as art

Following the success of our basement flooring redo yesterday, I spent 10 minutes hanging a picture this afternoon, readers.  But not just any picture.  This one has a whole crafting back story.

When Dan went to Japan last month, he brought home a piece of fabric that he thought would be nice to frame and hang in our house.  He left the framing part to the resident crafty kid (that’s me!).  Custom framing was considered briefly, but when the closest framing store was closed on the day we thought about wandering over there, I decided to do it myself.

A quick google search told me how to frame a piece of fabric to use as art, and Martha Stewart herself guided me through the instructions.  It only takes a frame and some foam core board.  And duct tape.

Michaels helped me out with everything I needed for the project, which included two foam core boards (20″x 30″ each), and a cheapo set of clearance aluminum frames.  The piece of fabric is 36″x 36″, and if you’ve ever tried to buy a frame, you know they aren’t cheap.  Also, 36″x 36″ is not a very common size, and I was having a hard time finding something suitable.  But then, tucked away in the back corner of the framing department at Michaels, I stumbled on make-your-own custom frame pieces, where each set contains two pieces of a particular length, and you buy two sets to make your frame.  Bingo.  And considering that my fabric was exactly 36″x 36″, I needed to wrap it around something, so a 32″x 32″ frame would be perfect.  AND, the 32″ long frame sets were on clearance for $7, regularly $25.  WIN!  So off I went with my frame set and foam core, and I set up shop.

My materials

Step one was to assemble the top section of the frame, which was super simple but I managed to misinterpret the instructions and I struggled with this for a few minutes.  The corners are all held together with two L-shaped pieces that you can tighten and loosen with a tiny screw, so once you slip the metal bracket into both frame pieces, you tighten it up and you’re set.  It doesn’t matter how I managed to screw that up, because the important thing is that I got it in the end.

Assembling 3 out of 4 frame sides
The foam core was not big enough, so I carefully measured and cut the correct pieces to make a 32″x 32″ square.

Foamcore board
I used Dan’s magic red tape to hold it together, and then used boxing tape on the other side, just in case you could see the red through the fabric.

Taping together two boards How to get a 32" x 32" square
I tested my board to make sure it still fit, and that my measurement of 32″ was the same as the frame’s.

Sliding into the frame to test the fit
Bingo!  Then I secured the fabric to the board.  Martha suggested using duct tape, but I was very concerned about damaging the fabric, so I chose to used green painters tape.  Dan helped me hold each section taut while I tape it down.

The back view
The frame kit also came with handy little curved metal spacers in case your canvas/foam core creation wasn’t deep enough to fill the frame.  I snapped all eight spacers around the frame to push it towards the front.

Using the little curvy doodles to make it fit
When I finished this little project, the basement was still all topsy turvy and our living was not in the correct arrangement to hang the picture over the couch.  We put all the furniture back yesterday, and the new frame was leaning against the couch, begging to be hung.

I used my new favourite trick from Young House Love to hang the picture all by myself.  I made a newspaper template exactly the size of the frame, and marked where the loops were for hanging it.  Then I stuck the newspaper version on the wall with tape and checked the placement, and smacked the nails through the two marked spots on the newspaper.  Rip off newspaper, hang picture.  Done.

Hanging above the couch Japan fabric Something on the walls for once!


About joeyandjanice

Two crazy kids trying to make sense of the jumble surrounding making the jump from renting to owning our first home. Join us here as we stumble towards the biggest purchase of our lives.
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2 Responses to Framing fabric to use as art

  1. Emily says:

    Who knew a catfish could look so good? Love it!

  2. Pingback: Lining a steamer trunk with fabric panels | Joey & Janice buy a house

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