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Make a Fabric Covered Photo Frame

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"Make a Fabric Covered Photo Frame"
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Photographs displayed in fabric covered frames, made to suit any mood or theme, create a welcoming and personal focal point in a room.

Fabric-covered photograph frames are attractive accessories for you home or an admirable gift to accompany a family portrait. They are easily made by covering frame mounts that you can purchase from DIY, art shops or picture framers. Frame mounts with oval apertures are ideal for portrait photographs.
For even quicker results, use a photograph frame kit in which all the card pieces are already cut.

No sewing is involved. To pad the front, wadding is simply glued to the frame. Then the entire frame and stand are neatly covered in plain or printed fabric, which is also held in place with adhesive. You can either buy a piece of fabric especially or use a favorite remnant.

For an added personal touch, you could decorate the frame with a pattern of roses using simple embroidery stitches, or sew or glue on embellishments.

Padded photographs are economical to make using remnants of fabric and inexpensive cardboard mounts. With a unique handmade quality they are a good way to display treasured family photographs.

To make a padded photograph frame you will need:

Frame mountCraft knifeMetal ruleCardFabricMedium-weight polyester waddingSpray adhesive or glue stickScissorsPVA adhesiveClear acrylic sheet

As a rough guide to fabric amounts, you need approximately four times the size of the frame plus inch (2cm) turnings all round. Choose closely woven, medium-weight fabrics. Avoid bulky fabrics that do not fold easily or slippery fabrics that are difficult to handle.

Use strong card for the frame back and stand. For an accurate, neat line cut the card with a sharp craft knife against a metal ruler. You can buy clear acrylic sheet in artists'
supply shops.

1. Cutting the frame back: Measure the length and width of the frame mount and, using a craft knife and metal rule, cut a piece of card this sized less 1/8 inch (3mm) all round.

Cutting the fabric: Cut two rectangles of fabric to the dimensions of the frame mount, plus inch (2cm) all round for turnings. Ensure patterned fabrics are well positioned on mount.

Cutting the wadding: Apply spray adhesive to one side of the frame mount and lay it face down on the wadding. Using scissors cut the wadding from around the outside and inside of the frame.

Covering mount: Apply spray adhesive to the wadded side of mount and lay it face down, centrally, on the wrong side of one of the rectangles of fabric.
Cut away corners of fabric turnings to within 1/8 inch (3mm) of the corners of the card.

Gluing the turnings: Spread PVA
adhesive along one long turning and fold over to the wrong side of the frame. Without displacing the card or wadding, pull fabric tight to the frame edge and press down firmly. Repeat on the other long edge. Glue one short edge, fold under narrow hems at the cut diagonal corners, fold over and stick to the wrong side of the frame. Repeat on the second short edge.

A tip to make the fabric lie flat and reduce the fabric thickness at the corners, weight the frame pieces after gluing the fabric to each section. Lay the pieces carefully between two squares of wadding and press under a pile of books.

Gluing around frame aperture:
Leaving a turning allowance of inch (2cm) all round, cut fabric from the center of the frame. Make diagonal snips into the corners of fabric turnings to avoid bulk, stopping 1/8 inch (2mm) away from the card.

Working on one edge at a time, spread PVA
adhesive along turnings and fold through aperture. Pull the fabric tight to the frame edges and press down firmly on the back.

Covering outside of frame back:
Apply spray adhesive to one side of the frame back and lay it face down, centrally, on the wrong side of the remaining piece of fabric. Glue turnings the same as step 5.

Neatening inside of frame back:
Measure the length and width of the covered back and cut a piece of fabric this size, plus a inch (2cm) hem on one short side, and less 1/8 inch (3mm) on the other three sides. Turn under and glue the hem. Spread PVA on the wrong side of the fabric, and stick centrally on the frame back.

Assembling the frame: Spread PVA
adhesive evenly along unhemmed short edge and both long edges of the inside frame back. Matching the hemmed edge of the frame back to the unglued edge of the frame front, stick the front and back together. The unglued edge becomes the top of the frame. Cut a piece of clear acrylic sheet the size of the picture and slide into the frame through the top opening.

To make the photo frame stand

Cutting out the stand: The easiest way to get the shape and angle you need is to look at a photo frame you already have and from a piece of card, cut the shape of the stand, so the long axis measures 3/8 inch (1cm) less than the frame length. Score a fold about 1 inches (3.75cm) from the attaching part of the stand. Cut a second piece of card the same size and shape of the stand but without the attachment area.

2. Cutting fabric for stand: Using the card pieces as templates cut two pieces of fabric to the same shapes, adding inch (2cm) all round for turnings.

Covering the stand: Apply spray adhesive to the card pieces and stick face down, centrally, on the wrong side of fabric pieces. Cut the turnings at each corner for ease. Using PVA, stick turnings to wrong sides of cards one at a time.

Completing the stand: Spread PVA
on the wrong side of the smaller stand piece.
Matching edges, and with the wrong sides facing, stick the stand pieces together. Spread PVA on uncovered area of the stand back. Matching the lower left corner of the frame and the lower corner edges of the stand, stick the stand to the back of the frame.

Frame mounts with oval apertures make perfect frames for portrait photographs.
To ease the fabric round the curve of the aperture, clip into the turning allowance at regular intervals.

More about this author: Janette Peel

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