Framing a Piece of Fabric

Frame a piece of fabric to inexpensively add excitement, pattern and color to your walls. This simple tutorial will walk you through the steps and in the end you’ll have a beautiful piece to hang on the wall!

Gather the following supplies:

• Piece of fabric
• 2 mounting boards
• Mat board of your choice
• Frame
• Acrylic
• Utility knife
• Pencil
• Ruler
• Point driver

To begin, determine how much of your material you want to show in the project. These measurements will be the opening in the mat board that will be placed on top. Next, determine how wide you would like the borders of the decorative mat that is being placed on top. Now we have to figure the size of the frame. In our project, the material showing is 7 ¾” x 7 ¾” and the mat borders are 3”. Example: 7 ¾” + 3” (right border) + 3” (left border) = 13 ¾” Repeat for the top and bottom sides. The resulting frame, Plexiglass for picture frames, mat and backing boards are 13 ¾” x 13 ¾”.  For the following step, we will need to cut a center opening in one of the pieces of backing board (also known as foam core), with a utility knife. To determine where to cut, measure from the outside border width, minus ¼”. In this sample the mat border is 3” and we are marking at  2 ¾” This is marked all the way around the backing board and will be the cut lines.

mark the mounting board

Using a utility knife, or other sharp blade, cut out the opening of the mounting board. Be sure to cut straight down, so the opening does NOT have a bevel.

cut opening in the board with a utility knife

Then, lay the fabric on top of the mounting board center piece you just cut out. Line up the fabric so it’s centered on the mounting board. Once it’s properly aligned, take the piece of mounting board with the opening in it, and fit the two pieces back together like so:

stretch fabric between mounting board and cut out

(The ‘cut out’ piece is under the fabric, while the piece with the opening is on top of the fabric)

The two pieces will fit together tightly and stretch the fabric as it goes on. If using a heavy fabric, the center piece may have to be trimmed back a smidgen.

fit the two pieces back together

Carefully trim the fabric to the size of the mounting board.

trim extra fabric

This is how it would appear from behind.

view of the back of the fabric

Now begin the framing process. Place the mat board on top of the fabric piece and place an additional piece of mounting board under the first piece of mounting board. Carefully peel the acrylic sheet and place on top of the entire stack. Next, place the frame on top and flip over.

begin framing process

To finish the framing treatment, use the provided spring clips or a point driver to secure the items into the back of the frame.

And there you have it: a fun, inexpensive piece of artwork to adorn your walls!

completed framed piece of fabric

Have you framed something that might not typically be considered “artwork”? Share your projects with us in the comments or on social media!

AubreyK | 2/4/2015 11:07:11 AM | 11 comments
Rare Posters
Useful notes. Very well done!
4/14/2015 12:47:58 PM

American Frame
Thanks Joanne! You could really get creative with this one. The possibilities are endless.
2/17/2015 11:34:51 AM

There are so many great fabrics out that could be framed. Thanks for the tutorial this is really helpful.
2/10/2015 3:00:14 PM

American Frame
Thanks Leslie
2/10/2015 9:23:25 AM

American Frame
That's another great idea! Very cost effective.
2/10/2015 9:22:36 AM

American Frame
Glad you found the tutorial helpful!
2/10/2015 9:21:48 AM

American Frame
It definitely is! And you can even change it out with the seasons or as your decor changes.
2/10/2015 9:20:35 AM

Looks like an easy DIY way to add color and excitement to my walls!
2/6/2015 1:56:39 PM

Looks alot less complicated than I tought it would be. Plus I can make it match my drapes!
2/6/2015 11:49:40 AM

I have framed pieces of scrapbook paper in my kitchen for quick, easy,and budget friendly holiday decor
2/6/2015 10:30:10 AM

What an economical idea for quick artwork!
2/6/2015 10:28:51 AM

About this blog

Mike Cromly
So, who’s Mike? He is the man behind the mission of getting your picture frames produced and out the door quickly, correctly, with custom frame shop quality. Once your order is placed, it is in the hands of Mike and the many people he has trained over his 35+ years with the company. A natural teacher, he loves to tinker and experiment. Of course he has a nice office, but we rarely find him there. Working in the plant and improving our processes is his passion. Outside of American Frame, Mike is an outdoorsman, avid fisherman, devoted family man and Ohio State Buckeye fan. Mike's Twitter
For more tutorials and articles, take a look at our other blogs - A Good Frame of Mind or At Your Service

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