Monday, August 23, 2010

Fabric Covered Frame Tutorial

Hello, it's Lorene again. Nope, it's not Wednesday yet. Debra is having trouble with her internet, and it will be a few days before they can get it fixed, so she asked me to fill in here for a bit.

I made this frame for my mom for Mothers Day back in May. I originally intended to just cover the frame with paper, but the frame front was curved instead of flat, so the paper wouldn't stick properly. I needed to finish the frame that day (since Mothers Day was the next day... oops), so I used what I had: fabric scraps!

The inside of the frame is a twill tape photo holder from this tutorial on Crafterhours, and here's a step-by-step for covering the frame with fabric.

Before you start -- take a good look at your frame. You need to understand how it all fits together so that you can make sure that your fabric doesn't get in the way, like blocking one of the twisty doohickeys that holds the back in the frame. Once you have a firm understanding of the operation of your frame (which shouldn't take more than a minute or so :) ), you're ready to go.
  1. Gather your materials:
    • Photo frame, any size
    • Scraps of fabric, wide enough to cover the frame
    • ModPodge
    • Scissors (which may get a bit of ModPodge on them)
    • Foam brush
    • Sandpaper (100 grit or finer)
    • Pencil
  2. Lightly sand your frame to give the ModPodge some texture to stick to. 
  3. Select your fabric scraps. The scraps just need to big large enough to wrap completely around the frame. Mine were about 2.5 inches wide in varying lengths. 
  4. Place your first fabric scrap on the frame at the corner where you want to start. Lightly draw a line on your fabric from the outer edge of the corner to the inner edge of the corner and then down the inside of the frame.
  5. Cut along the line you just drew.
  6. Line up the fabric with the corner and make sure that it's cut how you want it. Trim if needed.
    • The diagonal cut should line up with or overlap the diagonal of the frame. Err on the side of overlapping -- you don't want part of your frame showing.
  7.  Apply ModPodge to the corner and the first couple of inches of the frame. Be sure the ModPodge is all the edges of the frame except the back.
    • If your scrap is shorter than the frame, apply ModPodge the length of the whole strip. If your scrap is longer, only apply the ModPodge to the first couple inches so that you'll be able to trim the other end.
  8. Gently press the fabric along the frame where you've just applied the ModPodge.
    • Be sure not to stretch your fabric too much, just enough that it is tight against the frame.
  9. For long scraps, trim the other end to match the corner of the frame, like in steps 4 and 5.
  10. Apply ModPodge to the corner to secure the trimmed corner.
  11. Secure the fabric to the back of the frame with ModPodge. Depending on your frame, you may need to trim the fabric.
    • If your frame is solid (like my black and red frame), trim the fabric to about 1/2 inch and ModPodge it to the back.
    • If your frame is hollow (like my blue frame), ModPodge the inside of the back of the frame and tuck the fabric inside. I used a chopstick (one of my favorite crafting tools!) to make sure it was secure.
  12. Turn the frame over and check your hardware. Trim around it as necessary.
  13. Continue tracing, trimming, and ModPodging your fabric scraps to the frame, gradually working your way around. 
  14. Leave a bit of overhang at each corner and ModPodge it.
  15. If your scraps are smaller so that you can't leave enough overhang, just trim the fabric even with the edge of the frame.You can cover it up with your next piece of fabric -- I'll show you how in step 16. :)
  16. Instead of tracing the diagonal, cut a square out of the corner of your scrap. 
  17. Then cut a slit from the corner in. (The square is where my thumb is.)
  18. ModPodge the frame and fold the long piece around, folding (and ModPodging) the other piece on top to cover the whole corner. 
  19. Continue trimming and ModPodging your scraps until you've covered the whole frame.
  20. Double-check that the fabric is secured to the back of the frame.
    • If your frame is wood, you can staple the fabric if needed.
  21. Apply one (or two) coats of ModPodge on top of the fabric and let it dry.
Add a cute picture (which means you'll have to actually print one...which I forgot to do :) ) and you're done! 
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