Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Poor Man's Custom Framing


Okay, so I'm not a man and I'm not poor but I am a gal that likes to save a buck or two. Knowing how much I like birds, my mom hand embroidered me three adorable birds on white muslin for my living room. I was so excited when they were done and went searching for frames. Ummm...wow. Priced framing lately? Not what I wanted to spend. The fact that I needed three of them only made it worse.


So I thought, who needs matching frames?? Not me, no sir. Off to the thrift store I went and found this beautiful picture for $2.98. The picture is pretty bad but the frame was large and solid wood.

I knew I could make the matting out of the ugly print...





I took the backing off, pulled out the print (which was attached to a heavy cardboard, score!) and measured how big I wanted my opening to be. A few pencil lines and I was ready to cut.




This went quickly with a razor blade and the straight edge ruler. HINT: Be careful not to press too much, forcing the razor through the cardboard so hard the end of it hits your dining room table. Nope, please don't do that.







I decided to cover my mat with fabric. I had a neutral fabric that I had purchased when I was deciding on what to use for my rocking chair and it was the loser. There was plenty for this purpose though. Isn't that great when you have something you can reuse in a way you didn't think of when you bought it?





Iron your fabric first so it is nice and smooth, then place your mat over the back of the fabric....




Get out your trusty glue gun......





And start folding over the edges, gluing them to the back of the mat. I used a fabric scissor to cut the fabric toward the corner, making it easier to fold. When you get to the inside, trim the fabric so that you have an empty square in the middle.





Be careful when you cut toward the inside corner not to go too far. You don't want to see the mat at all from the front of the picture. I cut almost to the inside corner, leaving a bit so when it is folded, you have a slightly rounded edge of fabric and the cut does not show.




After this was done I put it into the frame, placed my embroidery over it and tucked it all in. It looked unfinished on the back and I was concerned about dust getting in so I made a backing for it.




I had this wallpaper left over in the basement so I cut a piece and glued it around the frame. Not the best job but you won't see it anyway.





And here is the finished product!! Wasn't that easy?





It's not a perfect, professional framing job but I'm happy with how it turned out. And the best part is that it only cost me $2.98!! This frame is 17x20. Try finding a new, solid wood frame in that size for that price.




Now I need to search for two more so I can get the others framed up. After that I'll decide what color to paint them. Since I'll be buying mismatched frames, I plan on painting them all up the same color for unity. White or black, I haven't decided yet.








I'm sharing this project today at these great blogs! Be sure to check them out!

http://asoftplacetoland-kimba.blogspot.com/

35 comments:

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

It looks gorgeous. I love the beautiful bird embroidry. What a wonderful gift from your mom and it now looks so beautiful hanging in your new frame and mat. Great job. Hugs, Marty

Amanda Jo said...

The bird your mom embroidered is beautiful! What a great re-do of an old thrifted frame - I'm certainly inspired to run out and find one of my own!

Sunshine said...

Great job on that project! Aren't thrift stores the best! I found a cute little old school chair at our thrift store yesterday that I posted. It only cost me $2! I ws very excited!

cindy@cottage instincts said...

Lookin' great! I use thrift store frames for lots of stuff, or the ReStore for solid wood cabinet frames. Generally 2 bucks :O)
Can't wait to see what all three look like all nested together.
peace.

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

That looks wonderful and you are totally right! Framing is crazy expensive and preframed pictures can be had cheap - and the are well done - and need only to be remade.

Peggy said...

Great job on the frame. It's looks perfect with the embroidery your mom did.
Peggy

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Oh how pretty and what a treasure your mother made for you!

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

I love it! I too do the Poor Man thing all the time! I love that I get a one-of-a-kind look.

Thanks for sharing!
KAte

Theresa said...

You are the crafty one! I think it is just beautiful, frame and the bird! Have a blessed day!

beth said...

Oh, that looks great! Your mom's embroidery is beautiful, and your framing job is perfect! You guys make a great team! :)

Your cool friend Cheryl said...

Great job!

I never thought about it, but I say "poor man's (fill in the blank)" all the time...and I'm really not either. lol!

Jamie said...

I looks wonderful! Such a clever idea!

Darlene said...

The bird embroidery is absolutely GORGEOUS! Love how you used the frame for that. I can't wait to see all of them finished.

Lee Laurie said...

Thanks for the great idea! It is beautiful!

Kasey said...

great job..i love it.
xo

artis1111 said...

Great job,I got some great frames at the thrift shop. Kathy

tales from an oc cottage said...

Love it!!!

m ^..^

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I've been thinking of making my own mattes out of cardboard and covering them with burlap or linen. I'm so glad to see that it will work. Thanks for showing us how!!

Ana said...

Hi Michelle,
Great idea! Your mom's embroidered birdie looks beautiful in its new frame. The frame was an awesome find...$2.98 huh? That was a great deal. Hope you find the other two frames soon. Thanks for sharing your idea. Have a wonderful day.

Blessings,
♥Ana~A Petite Cottage

Geezees Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

It looks great...I'm very impressed.

carolinajewel said...

Great idea at any price - but at $ 2.98, it's genius! :D Jewel

Tootsie said...

awesome!!! and I love the tutorial too!

The Elegant Thrifter said...

Excellent job. And a great how-to! Stan

Melissa Miller said...

Great project idea Michelle! What a deal. It sure does look amazing.

~Happy Halloween! ~Melissa :)

TheOldPostRoad said...

That looks great! How smart. I wouldn't call it "poor man" - because now you have a pocket full of money you would have otherwise given to the framing store!

Rue said...

Not professional?! Whatever Michelle! You're brilliant and it looks GREAT.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the embroidery your mom did too :)

xo,
rue

Astrid said...

Love, love, love that bird! Great job framing it! I'm constantly on the look out for nice looking frames at the thrift store.

Sarah said...

OH, aren't you cute and clever!

XOXO,
Your random internet friend.

Janean said...

CLEVER poor man...er...gal!

Anonymous said...

It looks gorgeous
Another suggestion: sew a border of small print fabric (quilters fat quarters are great) and this becomes the "frame" then stretch over a painter's canvas. Another suggestion: use the fabric as above but make a casing on top for a piece of timber dowel and hang.
Cathy of Mt Tamborine, Australia.

santamaker said...

Genius girl, and I'm all about saving the money when I can do it for less. Getting pictures framed at the store is outrageous. Looks great!

LillySue said...

For me knowing something has been reused makes it even more beautiful! Great job, and Love the sweet little bird!
Blessings~LillySue

Anonymous said...

I bought that same framed print Michelle, from a thrift store and did the same thing, as I loved the frame to makeover as my own. But I wasn't liking the print either so into the recycle bin it went. I framed some beatiful fabric that looked like a tapestry. Your Mom is very sweet to make the bird prints for you. Just lovely.
Thanks for sharing.
JolieAnne

Claudia said...

It turned out beautifully! Well done. I've been behind in reading your blog, so I've just now caught up! Love your aqua door and your corbels! I've also become a follower (which I thought I already was.)

xo
Claudia

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

Great job! And saved yourself a lot of money. I had something framed recently and one thing was almost $200 bucks. I love my glue gun, but don't go near razors!
Brenda