Hopefully by now, you’ve all seen the picture of our mischievous pups on their new bed! We were very excited that they stayed together long enough for us to get that shot (and it only took 5 takes!).
These moments don’t come along that often, so we wanted to frame the picture. We’ve always found that it’s expensive to have your photos framed, and we are never able to find fun and interesting frames that we liked enough to buy.
I thought of the excess chenille fabric from the bed, and Brent knew of a piece of 1 x 4 in the basement. Of course, for us, those two things just spell a beautiful upholstered picture frame! (Brent, all of the sudden, feels like he’s in a Judy Garland and Andy Rooney movie? I don’t know what this means…)
Here’s what we needed to make the frame:
Honestly, we didn’t buy anything but the L-brackets. All of the other items were scraps that we had around the house from other projects.
- 6 foot long 1 x 4
- Chenille (All you’ll need is a remnant.)
- Backing Fabric (We’ve been using an old curtain.)
- Old 4 x 6 picture frame (We only used the glass from this, so you could go to the glass store.)
- 4 L-brackets with screws
- 6 finishing brads (small nails)
- Sawtooth hanger
This is what we needed to put it together:
- Miter Box (Either the manual kind or an electric Miter Saw.)
- Staple Gun
- Tape Measure
- Router (Not necessary, but I did use one.)
- Tweezers (really…)
Let’s make the frame:
- First Brent routed one side of the entire 1 x 4.
- Next, it’s time to cut the four pieces to size. We’re making a frame for a 4×6 picture and because we’re making a square, all four sides have to have a 45 degree angle. This is where the miter box comes in.
- Brent starts by cutting one end of the 1 x 4 at a 45 degree angle. The long side should be the unrouted side. Don’t be daunted…we always have to think about the angle for five minutes before each cut.
- Brent cuts both of these measurements by 1/4-inch (5 3/8-inches x 3 3/8-inches). It will make fitting the glass a little easier at the end.
- We measure the long side first and start measuring from the inside of the frame (the routed side), then cut the 45 degree angle out from the mark.
- Recut the end to make the routed side the short end again.
- We use the piece that Brent has already cut as a template for the other long side, so they match.
- Repeat the steps for the other 2 sides.
- We used the pieces of wood as a template, and cut the batting the exact same size as the wood and the fabric 1-inch larger than the wood.
All that’s left to do is assemble, but it’s about time for a cocktail. One of our old favorites, and it always comes through in a pinch: the classic Vodka martini with a twist! I’m off to make them!
Back to the project:
- Brent starts upholstering the smaller sides of the wood by placing the fabric face down with the wood on top (routed side up).
- He folds the fabric into the routed opening, and staples the fabric to the wood (start in the middle). He staples the wood down into the larger mass so that he doesn’t break the small lip of the routed edge.
- After placing the batting between the fabric and the wood, pull the fabric toward the longer side, and staple the middle of the fabric.
- Complete stapling either side of the wood by pulling the fabric taught. For the ends, neatly fold the fabric and staple.
- Do this for all four pieces of wood.
Putting It Together (insert worn down Broadway joke here…)
- Start with one short side and one long side, and place them end to end.
- Place the L-bracket on the long side (in the middle of the board) so that the arrow points to the corner. Make sure that the point of the L-bracket lines up with the end of one of the long side.
- Squeeze the smaller side into the larger side, and place one screw into the bracket on the smaller side. Do the same thing on the other four corners. We place only one screw on each side of the joints until all sides are connected (helpful if you need to make minor adjustments before screwing all four pieces together.)
- Once all four sides are connected, add the other screws paying attention to the shape of the overall frame.
- Once the frame is securely fastened together, cut a piece of cardboard the full size of the routed opening. The cardboard is intended to hold the glass and the picture in place.
- Place the glass in the opening, put the picture in, add some batting behind the picture and place the cardboard on top of everything.
- Take the brads, and secure the cardboard into the routed opening. Obviously you should make sure that the picture and glass look good in the frame.
- To make the back look finished, take a piece of fabric and staple it to the back. Brent places the frame face up on top of the backing fabric.
- Then he cuts the backing fabric approximately 1/4-inch bigger than the frame.
- Starting in the middle of one side, we folded under the fabric by the 1/4-inch, and Brent stapled it close to the edge. After applying a few staples to one side, he repeats this process on the opposite side, and then on either end.
- Once the main pattern is secured, he finishes off the rest of the back placing staples every 1/3-inch.
- Finally, we nail a saw tooth to the back and hang it on the wall!
NOTE: the nails in the saw tooth are so small…we had to use tweezers!
What could be better than a picture of our precious pups while we enjoy a vodka martini? Nothing! (well, except having another martini…)