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Holiday Photo Wall Hanging with Fabric-Covered Frames
easy-to-do craft project and a great
gift idea any time of the year - Pick Spring colors and patterns for Easter and Mother's Day, Patriotic for 4th of July, Bandanas for a western theme, or just use colors that match your everyday style. The ideas are endless!
Any parent knows
pictures and kids just go together. But when kids are young, displaying
heavy, breakable or sharp-cornered picture frames in child-accessible
areas can be a bit risky. Displaying favorite photos in padded, fabric-covered
photo frames is a great kid-smart alternative. Fabric covered frames
can be made in any size or shape, in fabrics, colors and textures
to suit any décor, and they can safety withstand the bumps and bonks
of an active household.
Here, we've used our holiday wall hanging project to illustrate the
basic steps for making fabric covered picture frames.
Plus, you'll find tips for making shapes, adding embellishments, making
holiday ornaments and other decorating ideas. These padded frames
are a great craft project for kids from about 4 years old and older
(with mom's help) and make thoughtful holiday gifts.
Sturdy, thick cardboard
For each frame you'll need 2 pieces the
final size of your frame
(plus a scrap if making an easel-style tabletop frame)
use inexpensive pre-cut photo mats from the craft store
2 pieces about 2" longer and wider than the final frame size,
plus additional if you're making an easel-style tabletop frame
(We used 2 complementary fabrics for our holiday wall
Masking tape or Glue your preference
masking tape, glue sticks are great for younger kids, mom may prefer hot
glue Double-Sided Tape
Polyfill quilt and craft batting
Clear heavyweight plastic acetate (optional -- for the "glass") Scissors or craft knife (mom only!) Pencil Ruler For the holiday wall hanging project or ornaments:
Wide ribbon (we used green velveteen) Thin ribbon or cording if making ornament frames
1 -- Measure and Cut Cardboard
Measure and cut both cardboard pieces to your final frame size and shape
(if using the pre-cut photo mats, just cut one piece of cardboard to the
size of the mat and skip to step 3)
For our holiday wall hanging project -
we made 3 5"x5" frames - so cut 6 5"x5" squares for this project.
2 - Measure and Cut Picture Window
Cut a photo window in one piece of cardboard. Remember to cut it a little
smaller than the picture size (for a 4x6 photo, cut a window about 3.75
x 5.75). To center your picture window in the frame, find the middle of
the cardboard by drawing an "X" from corner to corner, then measure one-half
of the window's height and width from that center point toward each side.
Photo Frame style tip: Remember, not all frames are rectangular and
equal all around. Experiment with a higher picture window (leaving the bottom
side wider than the other three sides), and with fun shapes like circular
picture windows, perfectly square frames with a small picture window, even
circular frames, triangles, star shapes...
For our holiday wall hanging project
we cut one square photo window and two circular photo windows - we used
a glass to trace the circle -- a compass works, too.
3 - Cut polyfill batting
Cut polyfill batting to the size of your frame, leave about 1/8" extra around
the edge to slightly round the edges of the frame. Cut out the window area
to match. Use double-sided tape or a dot of glue to lightly secure the batting
to the cardboard frame
4 - Cut Fabric
Lay one piece of fabric right side down and place the cut frame with batting,
batting-side down, on the wrong side of the fabric. Mark and cut the window
opening on the fabric, leaving ample fabric (about ¾ to 1 inch) for folding
back and attaching to the frame. Also cut an angle in each corner of the
fabric at the corners of the picture window (or around the circle)- cut
this just short of the window so the cardboard won't peek through when done.
Also trim the outer corners leaving about 1/8" to spare.
For our holiday wall hanging
project we used two complementary fabrics, alternating
for the front and back of each frame - so we cut 3 squares of each style
of fabric, 6 squares total.
5 - Attach Fabric to the Frame Window
Begin on the outside, working on opposite sides one side at a time, pull
the fabric around to the cardboard and tape or glue. Next, pull fabric through
the window to the cardboard and tape or glue. (make sure the edges of the
fabric are secured to the cardboard)
6 - Attach Fabric to the Frame Back
Lay the second piece of fabric wrong side down and place the second piece
of cardboard on top. Cut the outer corners of the fabric as in Step 4. Pull
the fabric around and tape or glue to cardboard as in Step 5
*** If you want to add embellishments to the inside or outside edges of
the frame, glue these on now. Pillow cording works well, since it has a
flange to attach to the frame.
7 - Attach Frame Front to Back (regular frames)
Attach the two fabric-covered pieces of cardboard together using glue or
double-stick tape on three sides, leaving one side open to insert the picture.
Hint: make sure the bottom edge of the picture window has a line of tape
or glue that is about 1/2" from the window opening to keep the picture from
sliding too low in the frame. (see below to make an easel back)
7 - Attach Frame Front to Back on Holiday Wall
For our holiday wall hanging project we sandwiched a wide velvet ribbon
between the front and back pieces of the 3 frames. This helps the frames
hang better and gives a more finished look. To do this, lay the 3 frame
backs on the work surface, aligned and evenly spaced - we spaced them about
2" apart. Cut a length of ribbon leaving about 8" extra at the top and bottom,
center it across the frame backs. Glue the back of the ribbon to the inside
of the frame backs.
Then glue the frame fronts to the frame backs on three sides, ribbon in
between, leaving the top edge open for photo insertion.
finish the holiday wall hanging project:
1. Cut a 10" piece of ribbon, fold the ends in to the middle and crimp
to create a bow. Glue the bow to the top of the ribbon on the back side
of the ribbon, leaving enough ribbon to fold to the back over the bow.
Fold ribbon over the bow and glue to the back side, just below bow.
2. Cut a length
of ribbon a bit longer than the main strip attached to the frames. Glue
this strip to the back of the main strip at the top and at a bit of an
angle. Trim the bottom of each ribbon strip, at slightly different lengths.
3. Glue a small
loop of cording to the back of the bow for a hanger.
frame decorating ideas: To make an easel-back tabletop frame: Cut a wedge-shape from scrap
cardboard that is about two-thirds the height of the finished frame. Following
the directions from steps 4 & 5 above, cover with fabric, leaving about
an inch of extra fabric on the side that will attach to the frame. Attach
the easel to the frame using glue or double-stick tape. Last, attach a small
strip of fabric between the easel and frame so the easel stays in place.
Holiday Ornaments: Great gifts for grandma! Make small versions in
different shapes and glue a loop of ribbon to the back to hang. This is
also a fun way to track a child's growth from year to year - just make several
ornaments at once to use over the years, and insert a picture each holiday
season and date the back. This will be a great keepsake collection for years
Growth Chart: Modify the wall hanging idea to make a growth chart.
Make several small frames and glue to a wide ribbon. Insert pictures over
time and chart your child's growth in the ribbon.
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