Friday, October 15, 2010

A new approach to framed pictures

Pictures above my dresser.
My dad and I on Lake Michigan when I was a little girl.
Sick of boring framed pictures on your walls? Here is a great new way to hang pictures of friends and loved ones.

I originally made these when I bought four framed cross-stitched horse wall hangings at Valueland in Muskegon, when I still lived in Michigan. I used the fabric with the cross stitch, scrap materials, and zippers from old pants (they're so short you can't do much with them) to make little coin purses. A girl in Hong Kong bought two of the four pouches. I forget where the other ones went. I think a little girl bought one at a show and the other was also sold on Etsy. 

When I was done making the coin purses, I had these awesome rubber frames I didn't want to go to waste. Since I had photo transfer paper that I used to make labels, I thought, "Well hey, why don't I print a picture on this fabric and frame it like a picture frame?" I made four wall hangings, my cats, my sisters, my dad and I, and my friend Sara and I.

I've wanted to make more and create a wall collage of pictures like this, mixing in color photos and some more black and white. I've been collecting them and now I'm finally making more. I found these funny cross stitched bears at a Salvation Army in Myrtle Beach.

You will need:
  • plastic frames, from a craft store, or thrift store
  • an inkjet printer
  • photo transfer paper
  • scissors
  • a picture
  • a photo editing program
  • all purpose glue (optional)
  • a marker
  • fabric, I'm using old linen napkins 

Start with the frame. Remove the cross-stitching and set aside. You can use this as applique on something, maybe even turn it into a pouch! The frame is two seperate pieces. Measure it and find out how big your picture needs to be. You can measure the frame itself or the fabric you took from it. These oval ones I will be using require the picture to be 5 1/2" x 4" but the fabric is 6 1/2" x 5".

Pick out some pretty pictures, I choose pictures of me with my cats. Using Photoshop, do whatever color corrections you'd like and flip the image horizontally. Print the pictures on the photo transfer paper. I'm printing both pictures as 4.5" x 6.75" prints so I'm not wasting the paper. A 4"x 6" print would work just fine for this size of frame.

 After printing is complete, cut out the prints and place face down on clean linen. I make sure I run a lint brush over the fabric first because my cat's hair is on everything! The last thing you want is fuzz or hair in between your transfer. Space them far enough apart so you have a border. An inch or two will do. Using the instructions provided with the paper, iron the print onto the fabric. Press hard!

 Once it is nice and cool, remove the white paper. Your transfer will be revealed!

 Using a permanent marker, trace around the wide piece of the frame. You will need enough allowance for the picture to be clamped will in the frame. Cut out around your marking.

 Sandwich the transfer between both pieces of the frame, centering it just right. Carefully work the frame back together, the picture should fit perfectly.

 Trim excess fabric from the back so it will lay flush with the wall you choose to hang it on.


Your new pictures are complete! Now you can hang them anywhere. My crazy cat lady photos will probably remain in my living room. Clementine and Stella will certainly love them! I think a wall of cat pictures would be fun. Or creepy. We'll see.

Another idea, combine mediums and create a combination of a print and cross-stitch. This technique of framed pictures can be used in combination with other photoshop techniques as well, like adding words to a fun picture of you and your friends!

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