Fabric Covered Cardboard Frame

9 May

I brought two photos for my cube at work. One had a frame, the other didn’t.

The other was jealous. So it got a frame…

A fabric covered cardboard frame, which cost $0, and took about 30 minutes to make.

Fabric Frame

What you need: (materials) cardboard, scrap fabric, semi-stiff paper/junk flyer from your mail, (tools) utility knife, cutting mat, ruler, Elmer’s glue, and pencil.

Using your utility knife, ruler and cutting mat, cut out your cardboard frame. I made my frame (for my 3″ x 4″ photo) 1.25″ wide throughout. The total measurement of my frame was 4″ x 5″, with an overlap of 0.25″ on each side of the photo.

Fabric Frame

Pick your fabric. I used some funky scrap fabric that is a weird material – silky, yet thread-y. I can’t sew well with it, so it was perfect for this project.

Fabric Frame

Fabric Frame

Lay out your fabric. Place your frame on top. Make sure the direction of your fabric pattern is the way you would like. Cut out your fabric larger than your frame, similar to the picture below.

Fabric Frame

With fabric right side down, place your frame on top again. On your fabric, mark the center of the photo hole, and the corners of the photo hole. Remove your frame and cut the fabric from the center mark to the corners (it’s better to undershoot the corner marks, and cut a little further later). This will create four cut triangles connected on one side each.

Since it’s hard to see the cuts in my photo, I’ve photoshopped bright green markings to show where to mark and where to cut.

Fabric Frame

Put your frame back on top of the fabric. Pull each fabric triangle taut, folding it over the back of the frame, and glueing it in place. Only glue to the back of your frame, if there is excess fabric, simply fold it over on the back of the frame or trim it off. Do all four sides, cutting the corners deeper, as needed.

Fabric Frame

Then, pull the other loose sides of the fabric taut, gluing it to the back of the frame as well. As you go, make sure the front side of the frame lays smoothly. Do it for all four sides. The back of your frame should now look something like this:

Fabric Frame

There may be loose fabric in the back, go around and glue the loose fabric down.

Fabric Frame

Let it dry completely. Almost done. The front will look like this:

Fabric Frame

Now, make the slots to hold your photo. Using a somewhat stiff piece of paper (I used a flyer I received in the mail), cut out eight right angle triangles.

Fabric Frame

Taking four of the triangles, dab the three corners with a little bit of glue and glue them on to the fabric at the corners of the photo hole, lining it up so the photo will fit in, without the triangles overlapping the photo hole. After the first four triangles are securely on, dab two corners (not the right angle corner) of the other four triangles with glue and glue them directly on top of the original four triangles. The corners of your photo will sit in between the two triangles at each corner.

Fabric Frame

Decide which photo you want to use.

Fabric Frame

Fabric Frame

Bring it to work and hang it up. (If you don’t want to use a clip like I did at my desk, simply use a needle to hook some thread to run across the back of the frame.)

Fabric Frame

Fabric Frame

Neutral Milk Hotel’s cover of “Glue:”

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