Tuesday, October 20, 2009

DIY: Custom Matted Frames

A mini gallery wall that I made for a recent project spurred lots of comments and emails.

You all know that I love a good DIY project and I always love sharing my experience so here goes!

The lovely ladies that reside in this Chelsea apt have a very narrow and very long hallway! Filling it with a massive gallery wall, would have been very expensive and I didn’t have it in the budget.



RubieGreenChelseaApt 020

After: Close up shot

RubieGreenChelseaApt 142




So what’s a girl to do? Well this lady went searching in the basement for discarded items that never got just used with old projects and found a cool mirror made out of recycled magazines!


Now since the walls are so massive I needed some additional pieces to add to the wall. After a quick trip to the Dollar Tree I came home with these frames with actual glass not plastic!!!




Next was a trip to JoAnn’s to pick up some fabric and mats with a 5 x 7 opening.  You will also need spray adhesive and a fabric rotary cutter. I already had those items at home.


RubieGreenChelseaApt 083

Now to get a more custom and add some glam to my dollar store frames I used the fabric  to wrap around the mats. It’s super simple and really adds something special to the picture.


First step is to cut a piece a piece of fabric that extends about half an inch past the mat so that you have fabric to fold over. I used tacky spray, which requires you to spray the piece first and let it sit for a couple of seconds before adhering fabric.


RubieGreenChelseaApt 088

Then you can start folding the fabric along the edges and adhering it to the mats.


RubieGreenChelseaApt 089

Make sure you fold a nice corner!

RubieGreenChelseaApt 092

Once that is complete the next step is to work on the inside of the mat. Again make sure you leave a bit of extra fabric so that you something to fold over the mat.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 094

This is what it will look like after you cut all sides:

RubieGreenChelseaApt 096

Now you need to make an additional cut to ensure that the corners will fold properly.


* Try and get as close to the mat as you can without cutting into the mat!

RubieGreenChelseaApt 097

Once that is done you are able to start attaching the fabric to the mat. Because you spray the majority of the mat in the first step it will mostly likely just stick right away! If it doesn’t then simply spray adhesive again and let it sit for a couple of seconds before applying fabric.

RubieGreenChelseaApt 098

Here is the mat all complete:

RubieGreenChelseaApt 099

Here is a close up of the frame with a picture:


RubieGreenChelseaApt 143

Since the mirror had many different colors I decided to go more neutral with the pictures and get them printed in black and white. They add a whole other dimension to the frame and my clients loved it!


I know a lot of designers/decorators don’t like putting personal pictures in a space, but this is a clients home and not a designer showcase so I think personal photos in small doses are a nice touch to a room!


This DIY project can be done with any size mat and your choice of fabric! If you have a designer fabric you love, but don’t have the money to use it for window treatments or upholstery then using them for a mat would still incorporate the fabric you like into the room on a budget!


You can use personal photos or if you are on budget go onto Vintage Printable and print out some artwork for free! The possibilities are endless!

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a great tutorial! I want to do gallery-style displays in our staircases (eventually), and this is such cool way of making basic frames more unique.

October 20, 2009 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Scientific Housewife said...

Thanks for the DIY, that's such a great idea!

October 20, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger MMW said...

oh I love it. I've been looking around for tutorials on how to make my own Linen-Covered mats. To no avail. Thanks for YOUR post today.

October 20, 2009 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I've covered many a mat in my day. It's a great way to get exactly the look you want for very little money. Fabric stores often have small remnants at good prices. This would be the ideal project to do with a small piece of fabric you love.

October 20, 2009 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

That is such a good idea to use fabric with an inexpensive frame. I love this! I'll be linking.

October 20, 2009 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Averill said...

I love personal photos in a house (which, designer or not, SHOULD be personal) and I love the idea of printing them in b&w and using a fun fabric matting. Great tutorial!

October 20, 2009 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Bumpus said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 20, 2009 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Bumpus said...

OMG - I posted a similar tutorial yesterday! Ha ha - great and stylish minds think a like...

I used scrapbooking paper but love the idea about fabric. So fun!


October 20, 2009 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love it! Great idea, Camila! I didn't see them close-up in your earlier shots, so glad you did a "round two" so I can see them better! Oh, how I love a good DIY!

October 20, 2009 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

What a great way to use a super expensive fabric that you can't afford to use on a bigger project! I'm tucking this idea away!

October 20, 2009 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger SimonsSistaSaw said...

Great post - thanks for the guidance and especially for the vintage printable tip. Another great site, if you have a printer at home, is feed your soul (http://indiefixx.com/Feed_your_soul/downloads.html)

I'm off to peruse some more on VP and see if I can find just what I didn't know I was missing!

October 20, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Claire Watkins, ASID allied said...

First of all the fabric gives the frames a unique element that personalizes them to the space. Great idea. Second, designers that don't like putting personal photos in a space? Seriously-those people are dull stoics whose spaces will match but be void of personality-and well, anybody can match stuff ;-)

I could see leaving personal pics out of say a law office design, but a home! No way! Go get em Camila!

October 20, 2009 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Red Lipstick Style said...

Oh that's how you fold the fabric. I've tried this, they turned out NOTHING like yours! Yours are beautiful. thank you so much for the tips.

October 20, 2009 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Lavender and Lilies said...

I was wondering how you did that. Those are so cute.

October 20, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Porchlight Interiors said...

Great idea, and looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! Tracey xx

October 21, 2009 at 2:20 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

What a great idea! I am a fan of the Dollar Store Frames! I will have to try this out!

October 21, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I needed today. Looking for ways to frame a bunch of pictures in a little girls room... this is perfect!!
Thanks for the ideas. xoRH

October 21, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

These came out great! Wonderful job all around. Love learning about all your projects!!

October 21, 2009 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I LOVE this idea and will definitely be using it soon! I've been looking for a way to incorporate fabric with my frames and pics and this will be perfect.


October 22, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Anny said...

Thank you for the tutorial, the end result is lovely :)

November 9, 2009 at 1:37 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home