Alternative Framing Tutorial

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This is a guest post by the awesome and clever Meredith Mendola. You can find a link to her framing service at the end of this article. a1 While I wish I could take credit for the great idea of mounting finished needlework on canvas, I cannot. It is a pretty simple way to put the finishing touches on any piece, and it's less expensive than most frames. Depending upon what types of crafting you like to do, you probably already have most of the needed materials handy.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: Your finished piece Pre-stretched paint canvases Hot glue gun (the cheap kind) and glue sticks A butter knife, finger guards, or calloused fingers Scissors Ribbon or whatever you are planning to use to finish the edges

When you are done stitching, prepare your fabric however you usually do. Many people like to wash and iron their pieces; some people prefer just to iron and not wash. Make sure to heat up your glue gun so it's ready to go. a2 I like to use pre-stretched paint canvases because they are readily available in most craft stores and are fairly variable for your tastes. They can be back-stapled, gallery wrapped, or whatever style you prefer. They come in many sizes, so choose what works best for your piece. Make sure to leave about an extra 2inches (5cm) of space (or more) around the actual design area on your fabric. This ensures you will have enough fabric to wrap around the canvas. a3 Line up your piece on the canvas so that the design area is centered on the canvas front. It can help to hold both pieces up to a bright light. You can also break out a ruler or count rows in order to measure the margins. Personally, a little imperfection here is not the end of the world and is not very noticeable when you have a more creative framing design. Place the two pieces face down on your workspace and apply hot glue to one edge. Take care when folding over the piece as the glue can be very hot. I occasionally employ a butter knife to help fold over the edges without burning my fingers. Once you complete that edge, repeat on the opposite edge of the canvas, NOT one of the adjacent ones. This helps ensure that the fabric is tautly and evenly affixed. a6 Next, you will fold the other edges over as if you were wrapping as present. Again apply hot glue here and affix the edges tightly. Repeat on the opposite side. After the aida is affixed, double check your edges and see if any of the fabric is still loose around the edges. If so, just add a little bit more glue. When wrapping/gluing ribbon, fabric tape, or anything in one continuous piece, I start on the bottom edge of the frame, as I assume this is the edge less likely to be visible. Then glue a few inches at a time, being sure to keep the ribbon lined up on the edge. I use one hand to guide the ribbon and another to run the glue gun. When you reach your starting point, make sure to trim your ribbon so that it meets up with the beginning of the piece. a4 For finishing the edges, there are so many things you could use. I like to use fabric tape, ribbon, and card stock a lot. But you could also use puff balls, leaves, coins or other metal, leather, buttons, embellishments for scrapbooks, etc. This is my I Love Lucy tin full of different ribbon and tape. a7 And voila!! It only takes a few minutes to have a nice looking finished piece to give as a gift or beautify your home. If you're not the most handy and are looking for more pointers, or if you would like to hire me to do this for you, please feel free to email me at or visit my Facebook page at Dolly's Designs. I also create custom patterns and finished pieces.

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