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Felt Frame Cover

Using felt in a range of complementary colors, you can transform a self-standing clear Lucite frame into a wonderful gift or keepsake. Three colors of felt -- for the frame's front, back, and edging -- will produce the best decorative effect. Or, you can use leather for a more sophisticated look; just be sure to stick with one color, forgo the trim, and assemble the cover using a sewing-machine needle intended for leather. Make sure to use a frame whose borders are wide enough for decorating; for a 4-by-6-inch photo, use a frame that is at least 5 by 7 inches.

Tools and Materials
Lucite frame
Felt
Pencil
Pinking shears
Paper
Rotary cutter or small scissors
Fabric glue
Sewing machine

Felt Frame Cover How-To
1. Lay the frame on the piece of felt that will cover the front borders of your frame. Align the bottom of the frame with the bottom edge of the felt, then trace along the top edge and two side edges 1/2 inch away from the frame. Cut along the pencil marks with pinking shears.

2. Determine the size of the opening that will expose your picture. (Imagine a traditional frame.) To create a template for the opening, center your photograph on a piece of paper cut to the size of the front cover. Cut out the template, making it slightly smaller than the actual photograph so its edges won't show.

3. To make the edging, cut four 1-inch-wide strips, each slightly longer than the four corresponding sides of the opening. Pink one side of each strip. Use craft or fabric glue to glue the strips to the back of the opening. Leave about 1/4 inch of the pinked edge protruding from the opening.

4. The corners of your strips will overlap a bit. Trim them at 45-degree angles with scissors so that they are mitered. This will allow the corners to lay flat.

5. Lay the front cover on a slightly larger piece of felt (about 1/2 inch bigger on all sides than your front piece). This piece will cover the back of your frame. Pin the front cover to the back cover, and sew around the top and the sides, leaving the bottom open. Use a 1/4-inch seam allowance. The edge of your presser foot can serve as a guide. Make sure the top thread color matches the top layer, and the bobbin matches the bottom layer.

6. Trim the back layer with pinking shears, leaving about 1/4 inch exposed as a decorative edge.

7. Trim the bottom back edge so it is slightly shorter than the front. This will help the cover lie flat against the frame without buckling.

8. Slip the cover onto the frame.

Comments (3)

  • 22 Jan, 2009

    For Nicahe: Have you looked for a disappearing ink? You could mark the front this way and the lines would disappear afterwards; some inks erase or rub off and others wash out, so beware because I don't think you can easily wash felt... I'd test it first by hand washing...

  • 22 Jan, 2009

    What a cool idea this is! I can't wait to try it!

  • 25 Feb, 2008

    I am having trouble knowing exactly where to sew on the front of the frame to make it fit the pattern I cut out - not being able to mark on the front. If they dont fit properly they pull at the edges. Thanks!