Saturday, January 13, 2007

Framing: Step by Step Tutorial

Above is Step 1: the finished artwork and the 1/4" foam core on which it will be mounted for the Dakota Shadowbox Frame. The art is 8 1/2" x 11." The frame is 11" x 14." The foam core has been cut 1/2" shorter than the art, allowing the art to extent about 1/4" all the way around. The foam core lifts the work off the backing and creates a bit of a shadow behind the image to further set it apart from the backing board.

Use a nail to create holes in the foam core - all the better to get the needle and thread through for attaching the art to the foam core.

Step 2: Marking the back of the art through the holes in the foam core so that one can sew the art exactly where it belongs on the foam core.

Step 3: the first knot in the back of the art. Make sure this does not pierce the front of the work and also that the knot is secure so you can pull the threads taut later, as you go around the piece.

Step 4: Sewing down the first corner. Bring the thread from the art up through the back side of the foam core.

Step 5: Securing the first corner by going back down through the foam core for the second stitch - then back up the first hole to begin moving on to the next corner.

Step 6: At corner two; put the needle down through one hole and, noting the marks on the back of the art, run the needle through the back of the art from one mark to the second mark (making sure not to pierce the front of the work). Pull the thread semi taut and move on to corner three.

Step 7: Repeat the same procedure for the third corner.

Step 8: Using the same procedure for the final corner, pull thread taut - checking all corners - and then knot on the back of the work.

Step 9: Some prefer to put a dot of fabric glue in each corner to secure the artwork in place. This step is optional. The black backing board must then be marked so as to insure proper centering of the art. Lightly pencil in just the corner markings as measured by a ruler. For this frame, there is 1 1/2" on each side and 2" on the top and bottom.

Step 10: Assembling the frame. First, was the glass on both sides. Then replace the glass, followed by the wooden spacer - which can easily be seen below - first separated, then adjoined.

Step 11: Replace the backing board and it is ready for hanging.

Here is the completed piece - "done" - almost... but I forgot to sign it! I'll be taking it apart and signing it prior to my show. I prefer to use a fine-line gel pen in gold or silver for signature on a black background. On light backgrounds, I use pencil.

Chaos/Opportunity - framed 11" x 14"(c)Pat Dolan


Allison said...

What a great tutorial.
Thanks, Pat!

Emmie Seaman said...

Thanks for sharing your shadow box technique. It's great.e

Bonnie McCaffery said...

What an excellent tutorial to frame a quilt. Great graphics.
Bonnie McCaffery

Vicky said...

Looks great! I use a similar system and have found that the addition of rubber framing pad to the back corners of the frame (where the corners touch the wall) can very nicely prevent the frame and components from scratching the wall. It's just a thought...

Gloria said...

Thank you Pat! This is a great tutorial. Also appreciate your informtion on what you use to sign your art too. This will all be a big help to me.