Intro: How to Make a Flexible Velcro Picture Frame
These picture frames are easy to make, customize, and attach to flat surfaces like walls, furniture, bulletin boards and more. They are made of fabric, and hung on walls with fasteners that work just like Velcro tapes. I made one as a birthday gift for my friend who's going away to study abroad in London. I came up with this idea, because I wanted to help her take pictures of her beloved ones with her without creating extra burden to carry. These are portable, and foldable. Follow the next simple steps to create one (and many more!) yourself!
Step 1: Prepare Materials and Equipment
You will need a photograph that you wish to hang, paper, scissors, glue, a ruler, Command hanging fasteners, and a sewing machine.
Instead of using the sewing machine, you can also hand-sew, or use a stapler. Simply replace the equipment and follow the same set of instructions.
You can use any brand of products other than Command for the adhesive fasteners, as you wish. Just make sure that they are flexible, and have the adhesive sides.
I also recommend using thicker paper, like the ones used for making business name cards, or greeting cards. I just used a page out of my sketchbook.
Measure the dimensions of the photograph to determine the size of the paper and fabric:
- For paper, add 1 inch both vertically and horizontally to the size of the photo. For example, my photo was 4x6 inches, so the paper was cut to be 5x7inches.
- For fabric, add 7 inches to both dimensions. So for the same 4x6'' photo, I used a 11x13'' piece of fabric.
Step 2: Glue the Photograph
Glue the photograph to the paper. Make sure that the photo is centered. You should have 1/2 inch margins on all four sides. Use a ruler if you need to.
I used a regular glue stick that I found in my house for this step. If you own rubber cement, however, I recommend that you use that. It will be a much cleaner process, and the photo should stay on the paper for longer. If you decide to use a glue stick, try your best to not get any on the front side of the photo. It's an easy mistake to make. Also, apply a generous amount, and cover the entire surface.
Then, set the photo aside to move on to the next step.
Step 3: Fold in the Sides
Pull out the fabric that you prepared and trimmed. I got mine from the sales section of a fabric store, but you don't have to limit yourself! Take advantage of old shirts, jeans, bags, curtains, and anything with cool patterns and textures, that lived through their current life cycles, but could still be appreciated. I have a tie-dye shirt that has fantastic colors, but is way too baggy for me, and I plan to make more picture frames with it in the future.
When you are happy with your selection, and have gotten the perfect dimensions down (7 inches added to the photo size in both vertical and horizontal direction; refer back to materials and equipment section for an example), fold in the sides by 1 inch each. Make sure you use a ruler to ensure that you have exactly 1 inch along the edges, because the measurements are very important in this project. They are calculated to fit your picture perfectly. Even if you get the edges to be the right width, the center tends to spread wide. I highly recommend measuring the edges, the center, and double checking the measurements after you make the creases.
Step 4: Fold the Sides One More Time
Fold the side edges one more time. Make 1 1/4 inch margins. Again, make sure you have the exact width. DO NOT unfold the previous 1 inch folds. These second folds should role in the previous folds as shown above, hiding the loose ends of the fabric.
Step 5: Draw a Guiding Line
Now, draw a 1/2inch margins on the sides. This is suppose to guide you make the perfectly straight sewing line. Again, the measurements are very important, so please use a ruler and a straight-edge objects. I drew the lines with a 0.9mm mechanical pencils. You can also use sewing chalk, colored pencils, washable markers, and even permanent markers if you don't mind the line being visible for your final product.
Step 6: Sew It Up
Following the guiding line from the previous step, sew or staple both sides. Please be careful and patient when using the sewing machine, needles, or staplers. After sewing, cut off all fringe threads to keep it neat and clean. :)
Step 7: Fold in the Top & Bottom
Now that we are done with the sides, let's get the top and bottom.
Make the same 1 inch folds on both edges. Mark the creases firmly for the top & bottom folds, because they will be used as reference guides for additional steps. My fabric was stiff enough that I was able to simply press down and run the folds over with my nails a few time to make the creases. If you can't get the same results because you are using softer material, draw lines along the creases.
When the the reference lines are pretty obvious, unfold the edges.
Step 8: Triangle Fold the Four Corners
Using the guiding lines, triangle fold all four corners. Then, fold again the 1 inch folds. It should look as shown above. The ruler is there only to hold the folds down, to show you the details of this step.
Step 9: Double Fold the Top & Bottom
Roll in the loose ends of the fabric by folding each edge again. Make 1 1/4 inch margins. Firmly press the folds, making the creases are obvious, especially for the top.
When done making creases, undo only this 1 1/4 inch fold, and flip the frame over to the back side.
Step 10: Sew on the Adhesive Fastener.
It's time to sew on the adhesive fastener. The fasteners come in pairs. We will only need one of these for now. Tear off the pair apart, until we reunite them later.
Place the fastener slightly below the crease we made earlier. About 1/2 inch or 1 inch below the crease is ideal. If you are making larger frames, you may need more than one pair of fasteners.
Once you have decided the placement(s), sew or staple the fasteners on! Remember to cut off the excess threads.
Step 11: Draw Guiding Lines and Sew the Top & Bottom
We have done this once before in Step 5 and Step 6.
Draw the guiding lines for the top & bottom, making 1/2 inch margins, and sew/staple them shut.
Step 12: Slide in the Photo, and Decorate!
Lifting the curtain edges of the frame, slide in your photo!
Add any decorations as you wish! I pinned a squirrel brooch to mine. Laces, buttons, patches, beads, LED strings, and drawings would make cool decorations too, just to suggest you some ideas.
Step 13: Fastener Reunion
Bring back the other half of the fastener that we set aside earlier. Overlap it with the one that was sewn/stapled on. Press down firmly, ensuring that the two are completely clasped.
Step 14: Stick It on to the Wall and You Are Done!
To attach to the frame to the wall, peel off the protective paper to reveal the sticky side. Place it wherever you would like, and enjoy your creation!
Step 15: Removing/Replacing the Frame
You can always replace the frames with other frames that you may make, or anything else that you hang with the same type of adhesive fasteners. To permanently remove the fastener taps, pull on the round tabs, and it should come off clean.