xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Frame It - Upcycle Your Old Fabrics into Wall Art

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Frame It - Upcycle Your Old Fabrics into Wall Art

One of the things we here at OriginalStitch Towers get to notice in our frequent prowls round charity shops, is the kind of stuff that's always there.....and then we try and think of ways to use it.  From a business point of view that's sensible coz you know for sure if you have a rush of orders, or need to be able to guarantee a certain supply level to retailers, you'll have enough supply to get you by.

And one thing you always see is picture frames.
I'm right no?
Boxes crammed with 'em.  Ok, so sometimes they're really vomit-worthy plastic ones, but most are ok, and they're cheap as chips, if not cheaper, especially if you didn't get the fish or a battered sausage.
Oh, unwise thing to do so close to lunch...can you smell vinegar.....mmmmm......

Um, so, anyhoo....in the spirit of OriginalStitch and our obsession for all things upcyclable, for Amanda Dormouse Moneybag's birthday I went a-rummagin' and dug out some nice old photo frames.  Then I got back to OS Towers and waded through my stash, throwing bits of fabric willy-nilly over my shoulder.  (I do this in an ever so slightly manic way - it's a bit scary, should you wish to know, like a rabbit trying to get under a fence, or a Husband attempting to find a passport 3 minutes before he's due to fly to Las Vegas in 2010, or similar).

I was given, years ago, a great little collection of old postcards, and have been meaning to turn them into wall art ever since, so I dug it out and found 3 sewing related postcards.

All I did here, and I bet you'd be better at it than me, was to cut a piece of fabric marginally larger than the size of the frame, glue the postcard to the fabric right-side, and then insert into the frame as you would a picture.  Even better would have been to glue the fabric to some stiff card, but I didn't have any to hand, so I bodged it a bit, I'm proud to say.

Now, don't stop there, there's a million things you could do to a piece of fabric in a frame.  How about these ideas, off the top of my bonce, and therefore by no means the best....
  • Sew buttons in a heart shape, or to look like cogs interlocking.
  • Embroider a simple picture over the top - make it unrelated to the fabric for a quirky effect
  • Use it as a collage - stitch lavender sprigs, leaves, buttons, ribbons, newspaper or magazine off-cuts onto it
  • Make up quick patchwork pieces to frame - just wallop some 3 inch squares together, you'll only need a few, but it will look great
  • Use two very contrasting fabrics - cut an easily identifiable shape (a foot? A bird? A sewing machine?) out of the top fabric, and stitch or glue that piece over the other piece. 
These make great presents, and they're fab for using up scrippy scraps of fabric, and random bits and bobs you've got lying around.  I like the idea of doing them in twos, or a triptych of frames, so you can built a theme into your picture. 

To be honest, I was a little peeved Amanda took her pics home.  I dropped a considerable number of hints that they would look nice in our little nook of an office here, but no.  She weren't 'avin' none of it.
Amanda's beautifully wrapped gifts.  Ahem.
Ooh, she's hard that Moneybags.


Bluebell said...

I love fabric used in wall art and these look great! Bit peeved though, I never manage to find these old linens in the fabric shops by me! I am, however, collecting tons of photo frames!


Mairi said...

A great idea I've seen is stretching a piece of fabric over an embroidery hoop and then hanging it with some matching or contrasting ribbon, it looks especially nice if you group 3 designs, with a big, medium and small hoop. It's also a good way of being able to use a fabric that you think is a fab design, but you would necessarily want soft furnishings in, or is a bit of a pig to sew with!

Catherine said...

Yes, that's a lovely idea - and you do see them in charity shops too. You're right about keeping back your good'uns for that sort of thing - I have some bonkers pictorials that would be great in those!
x x x

Shelagh said...

If you have given Amanda the picture with the Anchor on, you will have to steal it back, as it is our heritage! Paisley was the home of Clarkes and Coats mills, and our family worked in them. I didn't know you had a stash of postcards like that, or I would have had that one!

x x x Love Mum!

Amanda Jane said...

I am very pleased with my birthday pictures, they look very nice in my sewing room. I suppose I could be persuaded to do a trade for a different postcard if it were for family heritage reasons! Putting a piece of your favourite fabric into a frame could help with the disappointment and longing you have when you have to use up your best stash on a make for sale! Or to show off that fabulous stuff that is just too lovely to ever use on an ordinary make. x

Catherine said...

Naah, I will just send me mother round with a balaclava on if she wants it back that badly..!!!

Kath said...

Some great ideas, I have just bought a bag full of frames from the charity shops here in Glaston.
Hope your business is going from strength to strength.