Monday, May 15, 2017

Framing Tutorial

  Some of my Instagram friends asked for a tutorial on how my husband frames. I hope this helps.
  He gets all of his supplies at craft stores (like Hobby Lobby), and his frames from everywhere!
First you center the ironed stitching (yes, carefully iron it!) on foam board. He uses white or black - depends on how it looks behind the picture. Black makes it darker, but can be useful when there are lots of threads on the back side, showing through light colored fabric.
 Cut the board to fit inside the frame - not tight.

Ignore the mat - he was just showing me how it would look.  Center the picture on the foam - measure measure measure!!!
 Begin pinning the fabric to the sides of the foam board - Scott uses dress makers pins, 1 and 1/16th inches long, and you will need a lot!! Then stretch the fabric tight and put a few pins in the other side - measure and see how it looks to you. You can "eyeball center" pictures without a border, but if the picture has a border, you will want to be as close to perfectly centered as possible.  An unevenly mounted picture with a straight line border stands out like a sore thumb. Put some pins in the top - pull tight, then put some in the bottom and measure to make sure it is still even - and look at it to make sure it looks right. Some pictures may look funny if only measured - really depends on the picture. If you have it on there the way you want start putting in more pins.
  He does a few on one side, then switches to the opposite side, pulling the fabric tight each time.  He does a few pins in each side in this fashion. That way he can make it closer to evenly stretched.

 Once you get it pinned and it looks right and measures right, trim away large pieces of fabric on the side, but leave enough to re-stretch in the future if it should need it. (He didn't trim any off of the picture shown here.) Then use masking tape to tape down the excess. This is just keeping it down - with all those pins the fabric isn't going anywhere.

 Layer the glass (if using any) and the mat (if using one), then the picture into the back of the frame.  Look at it before you secure it, and make sure the picture is facing the way you want it to.  It's amazing how a wood frame with no pattern in the wood will look different, depending on the direction the picture is facing.  He secures it all into the frame using glazier points.

 Put a small amount of wood glue around frame.  He uses wood glue on every frame, even if it's not a wooden frame.  Spreads it flat with his finger.

 Then butcher block paper
 Trimming of excess - this is easier in a straight line if you've got a straight edge to cut against.
 Wipe off extra glue.
 measure for your hanger
 Carefully drill starter hole
 Screw in eyelet, and bend slightly toward the body of the frame.  Keeps it from standing out too far from the wall.

 Framing wire, tied into a small knot, then wound around itself.

 Wrap it around itself and cut off excess.  You want the wire tight, as the weight of the picture will cause it to stretch over time.
  It takes a few tries before you get it right, but it beats what they charge at a framing store!


  1. What great advice! My DH stretches much the same way. We just have a hard time finding frames that we can use without ordering one from a frame shop. Any advice on how to find good frames?

  2. Excellent tutorial! I think I'll go ahead and do up a couple of my own pieces that I've made for myself. Thank you so much for taking your time to help so many of us out!

  3. Thanks for sharing that great tutorial! I've only framed a couple pieces so I'm really a novice. My son-in-law has been making frames for me and this tutorial helps me a lot.

  4. This is a really great tutorial, I appreciate all the step by step photos. I actually had a judge at the State Fair comment on my framing (not in a good way) once, and I know they look at if the fabric is straight or not.

  5. Wonderful tutorial, Jamie! It takes a lot of patience to put all those pins in the foam core and make sure every side is even!

  6. That's pretty much how I do mine, except sometimes I'll lace it. I use a framing stapler to put points in. And double sided tape instead of glue. I used to use glue but the bumps drove me crazy, lol

  7. Thanks for the great tutorial! I am working up the courage to frame one of my stitched projects. Will start looking for the perfect frame!

    What is the tool in the photo with the glazier points? I assume it helps push them in?