Having a good sort out of the back bedroom I rediscovered some unused picture frames so thought I would have a go at making some fabric pictures. As I had some pieces of rescued vintage embroidery I thought I would start with that however you could use any fabric as long as it is not too thick. So if you cannot afford those expensive curtains how about getting a sample and make a picture instead or if you have a much loved item of clothing that is no longer worn you could use a piece of its fabric to make a lovely keepsake.
The frame I am going to use for this project is from Ikea and comes in a range of colours however most hobby shops can also provide small frames which you could decorate yourself.
Measure each side of the paper and mark the central point on each side. Then cut out some thin cardboard (I recommend using cereal packets) using the paper as a template and transfer the central points onto the card. If you have more than one frame keep the paper template to be used again.
Then place the card into the recess on the frame to make sure it is a neat fit. Next, to allow room for the fabric to be folded over, trim off around a millimetre from each edge. Make sure your central markings still show.
Next place the card under your fabric and move it around to see what pictures you could make. Once you have made your choice pull the fabric tight under the card and pop the frame over the top so you can see how the finished item will look. You may need to move the card a few millimetres one way or another until you get the look you want.
The next stage will depend on the fabric, if your fabric has a central motif you can measure the final placement of the card, see Option One. If your fabric is not symmetrical or you want the main pattern off centre you need to follow Option Two.
Option 1: Measure the motif across and then top to bottom to identify the centre. Then using this central spot place the long edge of the card on it lining up the central mark on the card. Use a pencil to mark the fabric along the short side of the card. Then turn the fabric round and do the same lining up the short side of the card with the central point. This should leave you with four lines on the fabric which you can now use as a guide to place the cardboard.
Option 2: Having offered up the fabric to the frame carefully remove the frame and turn the fabric upside down on the table, taking care to keep a tight hold of the fabric so the cardboard does not move. Then carefully fold back the fabric and holding the cardboard firmly down draw round it.
Having marked out your final layout you can trim the fabric leaving around half an inch. I would now recommend ironing your fabric and if you have it apply a little spray starch. You can also add to your fabric using appliqué but make sure you don't add anything too bulky as the final version needs to fit within the recess of the picture frame.
Having finished the preparation of the fabric you need to stretch it over the card. Placing the cardboard within the pencil marks start to fold over the fabric on opposite edges and stitch together starting half an inch in from the corner. Pull gently so the fabric is smooth but not too tight so it starts to bend the card. Then continue to stitch pulling the two edges over the fabric until you are half an inch from the other corner.
Next to avoid the corners becoming bulky cut the triangle off each corner making sure you leave enough fabric to still cover the card. Don't worry if you cut it a little too close as this should be covered up by the recess in the frame. Then fold over the other two edges including the corners and stitch them together. You should now have your fabric evenly stretched across the card.
Finally secure your fabric picture in the frame and enjoy. I have also made some others using untreated wood frames which I painted using tester pots (see Recommendations) and I'm very chuffed with the result!