Covering a simple wooden picture frame with fabric gives a custom look to any room. This beginner-level project is handy for decorating your home and makes a thoughtful gift as well. As with many crafts, you can make fabric-covered picture frames different ways. Regardless of the method you choose, you need the same basic materials.
Things You'll Need
- Flat wooden picture frame
- Glue or decoupage medium
Disposable dish or paper plate
2-inch paintbrush or foam paintbrush
Single Piece of Fabric
Step 1: Measure and Cut
Spread the fabric right-side down onto a flat surface. Remove the backing and glass from the picture frame face and lay it face-down on top of the fabric. Use the ruler to measure 2 inches out from the frame's border on each of the four sides. Mark these measurements with a pencil then connect them to ensure you cut a straight edge. Remove the frame and pick up the fabric. Cut out the fabric piece and again lay it right-side down on a flat surface.
Step 2: Glue
Pour a small amount of glue or decoupage medium into the disposable dish. Dip a brush into the adhesive and brush a thin layer on all four sides of the frame. Place the glued face of the frame onto the back of the fabric, making sure to leave 2 inches of fabric around all sides. Pick up the frame and fabric and flip it so the fabric is facing you. Smooth it out quickly and gently with your hands.
Step 3: Miter the Corners
Brush glue or decoupage medium on one edge of the frame. Push the fabric at the two corners into the adhesive at the edge and on the back. Fold over the remaining fabric on that side and stick it into the adhesive, mitering the corners like you would wrapping a present. Repeat on the remaining three sides.
Step 4: Open Up
Use the craft knife to cut a slit in the center of the fabric. Slip scissors carefully into the slit and cut at a 45-degree angle,up to each of the frame's inner four corners. This is like cutting an "X" into the center of the fabric. Cut away the center portion of fabric, leaving 1 inch of fabric to tuck around the frame's inner edges.
Always cut away from yourself when using a craft knife. Use all safety precautions when using scissors or craft knives.
If you make a mistake in cutting up to the corner, such as cutting crooked or pulling up some of the fabric that already was glued, the glue or decoupage medium will conceal it.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Brush on a thin layer of glue or decoupage medium around the inner edge of the frame. Press the fabric into the adhesive and miter the inner corners as you did the outer ones. Replace the glass before the glue dries completely to make sure it fits.
Strips of fabric can be glued or decoupaged in place using the same technique for a single piece of cloth. Wrapping the strips around the frame eliminates the need for cutting out the interior piece. Be sure to press the fabric into the lip that holds the glass in place as you go.
Using the same process as the single piece of cloth, you also may line up several strips of fabric to create a striped frame design. No matter which strip method you choose, cut the strips wide enough to fold under 1/8 inch down the length of each strip. This hem results in clean borders. Glue the hem to the back of each strip or press with a steam iron.
For a country look, cut the strips with pinking shears and omit the "hem" stage.
The End Result
Once the fabric has dried, it is finished, but you may add a protective coating of decoupage medium over the top and edges of the fabric. This gives the fabric some sheen and makes the frame easier to clean or dust. A top coat of decoupage medium also secures any loose fabric threads that might fray over time. Embellish your fabric-covered frames with rhinestones or appliques glued into place, or add ribbon trim or cording to the edges.