Jazz up those Boring Frames with Interchangeable Fabric

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How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Brilliant ideas come to me in my sleep.  Sometimes when I wake up though, the genius idea that I scribbled down doesn’t seem so genius anymore.  Sometimes they don’t even make sense.  This morning I awoke to “turn papasan chair into light fixture.”  Brilliant idea right?  Take a massive papasan chair, turn it upside down, and hang it over my dining room table…  But sometimes I actually get a great idea, like this one!

With just a little bit of fabric and tape you can turn a matted picture frame or a floating frame into a jazzy piece of wall art.  The beauty of this technique is that it’s not permanent so you can change out fabrics when you get bored with them.

I recommend a high-quality fabric with a pattern that can be skewed.  I would avoid stripes or any pattern that has to be lined up perfectly.

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

First Things First…

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Before cutting anything, lay out different fabric and photo options to figure out which will look best.  Fold the fabric to the size of the frame to get an accurate view.

Note: I would not recommend this project for a valuable or antique framed photograph.  Those types of framing projects should be left to the professionals who use archival quality materials.

To Cover a Mat

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Cut a piece of fabric to fit your mat, it should be an inch bigger on all sides. Take your scissors and make a small cut right in the middle of the fabric.  Use good scissors for this project.

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Cut the corners of the rectangle off.

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Tightly fold the fabric over and tape securely to the backside of the mat using masking tape. Use small pieces of tape to secure the corners. Don’t skimp on the amount of tape you use back here. It may not be pretty, but if the fabric is not tight, it won’t look finished and professional on the front-side.

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Starting with the little incision you made in the middle of the fabric and cut from the center to each corner. Leave a millimeter or two at each corner so you don’t cut too far into the fabric.

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Trim down the center triangles leaving about an inch overlap.

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Pulling tightly, tape down the inner edges. You may need to take your scissors and snip a little farther into the corners.

And you’re finished!  To recover: carefully remove fabric and start over.

To Add Fabric to a Floating Frame:

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Adding fabric to a floating frame couldn’t be easier. Cut a piece of fabric to fit inside the frame, using the glass as a guide. Place the picture in the middle of the frame, lay fabric on top, then finish with the second piece of glass and the back.  I like to attach the picture to the fabric with a little piece of tape to keep everything secure.

And Remember…

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way

Remember to clean the glass and all parts of your frame before reassembling, it makes all the difference!

And here’s my version #2!

How to Cover Photo Mats with Fabric the Non-Permanent Way