Framing Tutorial – Pin MethodJuly 14, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Posted in cross stitch | 12 Comments
As promised, I framed my Gingerbread Cottage today and took pictures of the process to perhaps aid those interested in doing their own framing. This method utilizes the pinning method as opposed to the lacing method.
Doing your own framing is not difficult, nor very expensive. The most expensive tool required is a Point Driver which runs about $75.00 and is pictured below on the far right. Mine is made by Fletcher and is called the Fleximaster. You will require acid free foamcore which comes in two thicknesses – single and double. The double thickness is about 3/16″ thick. Single thickness is 1/8″ in thickness. Foamcore board is as the name implies – a thin core of foam sided with thin matboard like material. The thickness of the foamcore that you use is dependent on the width of the rabbet on your selected frame. The rabbet is the depth of the frame that you plop everything into – your glass, mats, pinned needlework on foamcore, and scrap matboard backing.
Occasionally I use “spacers” which are hollow plastic squared tubes that are placed at the edge of the rabbet in between the frame and your needlework. It’s purpose is to prevent the glass from setting directly on your needlework either because you have might have materials that stick up, like JABCO buttons, or you aren’t using mats and your needlework needs to “breathe”. I have elected not to use spacers on this piece because I’m using a double mat which provides enough breathing room. And I’m using single foamcore because the depth of my rabbet isn’t all that accomodating. I have bought foamcore from the online store listed at the bottom of the tutorial and just purchased 2 large thin pieces from my LNS at a cost of $7.50/ea. My LNS charges me just slightly more than their cost which is awfully nice of them. I purchased the glass, mats and frame from them and my bill was under $50.00, so with some time and a few materials I can have a framed piece that would cost over $100.00 for someone else to do. BTW, I just recently saw acid free foamcore at Michael’s in the art section by the poster board. The sheets are 32″ X 40″ and would be a good deal with a 40% off coupon!!
Pictured below are some of the tools needed for this framing job. Your frame, glass, mats, cleaned and pressed needlework, cutting mat, pins, ruler, pencil, scissors, assorted job cutting Xacto knives, hammer, pins, double sided tape, artist’s tape, and a point driver. Pins used in this application are NOT straight pins. Well, they are straight pins, lol, but they don’t have a head on them like regular straight pins which are kind of knobby and convex. The head on the pins we use is flat and they aren’t quite as long as a regular straight pin. They also need to be nickel plated because of the rust issue. They are available in any craft or fabric store.
Start with a clean protected workspace, using towels or something soft and cushiony to protect your frame from scratches and to capture wayward pins. Measure the length and width of the inside of your frame and cut your foamcore approximately 1/8″ less than measured to allow for the material and pins on the edge. The foamcore is cut on my cutting mat using the gray tool marked Xacto in the tools picture above. It is made specifically for cutting foamcore and like materials. There is a small knob on the underside that loosens the blade and will allow you to move it up and down as needed for the depth of what you’re going to cut.
I really don’t have a precise scientific method for centering my needlework on my foamcore board. I kind of eyeball it and start pinning, adjusting as necessary. This is the most critical and time consuming part of the whole process. I pin, unpin, place it in the frame with the mats, measure, pin, unpin. You get the idea. You need to have the same amount of threads showing all around and your vertical and horizontal thread lines need to run parallel to the edges of your mats. Stretch as you pin, making sure that you stretch straight outwards and not to either side or you will end up with it stretching sidewickered. I place my pins about 1/4 inch apart.
All that’s left to do is attach your hanger and optional rubber bumper pads to the four corners to protect the walls.
Hope you enjoyed my tutorial!! I had fun making it.
BTW, I use www.framingsupplies.com if I can’t buy locally. Not affiliated, just a satisfied customer.