Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's How You Frame It

There are some things I see on blogs or pinterest that won't let me rest until I try them for myself.

This was one of those things.  A frame covered in fabric appeals to me on several levels so I decided to try it for myself.

I already had the frame that would be perfect for such a project.

I picked this up on the second day of an estate sale when everything was half price.

The next step was to find the right fabric.  Obviously it has to be a pattern that would be displayed well in fairly narrow strips.  The floral on the one above is lovely but I couldn't find a floral that satisfied me, so I chose this geometric pattern.

I bought one yard after determining that I could cut four strips from salvage to salvage  and have the pattern repeat nicely.  This particular frame flares towards the front so the backside of the frame needed to be covered as well as the front.

I did not have Mod Podge on hand so I used a product I had used before for this project.

It is a little pricey but with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby it's not that bad.  I think the original price is about $25.  Here are a few things you should know if you use this product. 
1.  Don't let it dry on your hands for too long or you will be picking flakes off your hands for a week. I wore latex gloves but when it came to some details the gloves were too yucked up with gel and I worked bare handed.
2.  You need to work rather quickly because the drying starts once the gel is out of the container.  I could go into detail but just take my word for it and don't dally.  You have ample time but not unlimited time.
3.  It does dry clear so no need to worry about the whiteness of the product as it is being applied.

I did the left and right side and then left it to dry completely.

As you can see I went slightly past the miter at the corners since I planned to overlap when I did the top and bottom.

I should mention that I rubbed the gel medium onto the frame, then centered my fabric strip onto the frame. I started in the center and applied more gel on top of the fabric as I smoothed it into place. It is important to press the fabric snugly around the detailing on the frame. It was impossible to photograph this process without someone else available to take the pictures. It doesn't take much gel but every bit of fabric needs to be wet with gel on both sides.

This frame has a wavy edge which provided an extra challenge.  However, when the fabric is wet it adjusts to the shape and with a little patient smoothing it conforms well.

This manipulating of the fabric will distort the pattern but I worked the front side of the frame first so the distortion is all on the backside.

I wanted to leave the insert edge free of fabric so that what ever I put in the frame would fit nicely.

This requires trimming the extra fabric after it dries.  A sharp razor blade works  well once the fabric has dried  There will be fabric that needs trimming on two edges for each side, so keep those two loose edges from sticking to each other.  Once the trimming is finished it might be necessary to apply a little more gel to be sure the edges are sealed.  In this case there was only about 1/4" lip and the fabric has a tendancy to spring away until it starts to dry and stick.  Just check on it as it dries and apply more gel if necessary.

Finishing the top and bottom rails is a little more detailed.  I chose not to fold the fabric back on the miter because I didn't want more bulk. (remember, I had already turned the corner with the side strips.  So I pressed it into the miter groove and used a scissors....not a perfect science but it worked fairly well.  Cutting will cause some fraying but adding a little more gel will seal the edges and solve that problem.  If loose threads get stuck onto the fabric, use a wet cloth to wipe them away before the gel dries. NOTE: Be sure to wash your scissors immediately.  Warm soapy water will do the trick if you don't wait too long.  I did both ends of one strip before washing the scissors and the glaze came off easily. 

I am happy with how this pattern worked on this particular frame.  I think the curves and lines of the frame actually enhanced the pattern in the fabric.  You can see that the fabric in the corners is not a perfect mitered match.  The only way to make that happen would be to have it "unmatched" somewhere else along the rail.  I thought it made the most sense to do it in the corners.

Now the question is:  What am I framing?

This is what was in the frame.  Probably not my first choice but it really does not look all that bad.

Maybe it should it be a mirror?

How about a chalkboard?  I could make my own chalkboard paint in a complementary green color using this recipe.

What about a gorgeous bouquet of flowers?

Or maybe this this arrangement captured from pinterest?

Would love to hear if you like one of these ideas or better yet, if you have one of your own you'd like to share.

I am linking to:   The Southern Institute
                            C.R.A.F.T. Making Monday Marvelous
                            Blue Cricket Design
                            French Country Cottage
                            A Potpourri of Life at 2805


  1. That is so awesome. What a great idea! You continually amaze me.

  2. that is gorgeous. I think I was just looking at that same fabric on in gray, black and yellow. Soooo pretty!

  3. Thanks so much, Maxey, for steering me to You are right! Same fabric in a color way I like very much. I will be using this one for another project.

  4. Very charming~Thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday! Hope to see you again at this weeks party!

  5. I think your frame is fabulous and would be delighted for you to link share it at Potpourri Friday at 2805!