Custom Framing a Sports Jersey

Framed jerseys make great mementos for the sports enthusiast and fun décor in dens, finished basements, boys’ rooms and “man-caves.” Contrary to popular belief, jerseys are also simple and inexpensive to frame.

Materials Needed:

1. A frame
2. An uncut mat large enough to hold the jersey (for mounting the jersey to)
3. Extra mat board and mounting board for spacers (The mat board should match the mat you’re using to mount the jersey.)
4. Mounting board
5. Acrylic

The first step to designing a treatment is choosing a frame. We recommend those with deeper rabbets so there will be an air gap between the jersey and the acrylic to prevent wrinkles and glare. (The gap will be created by inserting spacers; more on that later). In this case, we chose a frame from our Infinity Collection, frame #51401 . It’s solid wood and has a 2˝ rabbet (or channel).

Next, choose a mat to which you’ll mount the jersey and decide how much of it you’d like showing as a border. A color which contrasts the jersey is ideal. Once you decide on the mat and how much of it you’d like to see behind the jersey, measure your jersey laid out flat and add the mat borders to get the length and width of your frame, mat, mounting board and acrylic.

When you receive your materials, start by unwrapping the mat and attaching the jersey to it with a few strategic hand stitches, usually at the shoulder, collar, sleeves and hem.

stitch jersey to mat board

Now you’re ready to create the spacers that hold the acrylic off the jersey. The strips for the top and bottom will be the same length as the frame. The sides will be ¼˝ less than the height of the frame. How wide the strips should be depends on the frame’s rabbet and the thickness of your materials. (In our example those materials are the mat with mounted jersey, the mounting board and the acrylic.)

First, insert all your materials (mounting board, mat and acrylic) into the frame. Now, measure the remaining rabbet space. Cut the strips just slightly smaller than this measurement.

Once cut, use double-sided tape to adhere the mat board strips to the mounting board strips with the face (colored side) of the mat board up.

make spacers with mat board strips

At this point, leave your acrylic in the frame, but remove the mounting board and mat with jersey. Now you’ll put the spacers in. They should be adhered to the frame’s channel with double-sided tape. Put the tape on the spacers (not the frame), then push the acrylic all the way against the frame’s front and place the top and side spacers against it. (If you are working with a metal frame, do these steps with three sides of the frame put together and attach the last section of your frame after your final materials are inserted.)

insert spacers into wood picture frame
Now, put your mat (with jersey) and mounting board in the gap between the spacer and the back of the frame.

put mounting board into back of frame

To secure the items in the framing treatment, insert framers points into the back of the frame following this method. If you are working with a metal frame, use the included spring clips.

Congratulations! Your custom framing project is complete!

completed framed jersey

Have you ever custom framed a jersey or any kind of sports memorabilia? Where is it hanging? Share the details with us in the comments! We’d love to see your handiwork.

For more DIY projects, see our other tutorials:

How to Make a Picture Frame? – Tutorial on Building a Frame from Scratch
How to Frame a Corkboard or Chalkboard Using an Antique Picture Frame
Framing Artwork between Two Pieces of Acrylic
Stacking Metal Frames: Framing Treatment Technique
Custom Framing a 3-D Fish Between Two Pieces of Acrylic
How to Build Your Own Shadow Box
What Kind of Special Framing Tools Do I Need for Using Spacers?

AubreyK | 10/27/2014 1:47:39 PM | 6 comments
Indigo Wolf
Great quality and attention to detail! It looks pretty sweet.
10/6/2015 12:35:29 AM

American Frame
Thanks Valerie! It just adds a bit of dimension to the piece.
11/4/2014 1:29:01 PM

American Frame

It is really pretty simple!
11/4/2014 1:28:15 PM

This project is easier than it looks.
10/31/2014 4:18:18 PM

American Frame

Thank you! The mat board spacers are pretty easy to create!
10/28/2014 1:55:21 PM

I like the attention to detail where the blue strips go inside the inner edge of the frame.
10/28/2014 12:27:22 PM

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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