Monday, November 14, 2011

Making A Canvas Keepsake Frame

I recently saw a new kind of Keepsake Frame in The Company Store's catalog that interested me. The Keepsake Frames has distressed wood frames around a canvas middle that was slatted to create pockets for pictures, postcards and other mementos.

I liked the casual look of the pieces but at almost $40 a piece ON SALE, I immediately started thinking about how to go about making my own version.

Soon after, while browsing through a thrift store, I came across an empty frame and some thick canvas cloth. The frame wasn't quite right to create a distressed look, but it was a nice size, a neutral color and the price was right. I would be doing a test run of this anyway and wasn't at all sure if the project would turn out quite like I planned it.

That was all several months ago. In fact, it was so long ago that I don't remember when. I had the pieces ready to assemble but never made the time to do it until I started on my de-cluttering campaign. With most of my chores done for the day, I spent a quiet Sunday afternoon on my project attempting to assemble my own Keepsake Frame. Mr. LH and I thought it would be a nice accent in a guest room or our office to hold postcards we had received from friends and family or that we had purchased ourselves during our travels.

To begin, I measured the inner area of the frame (the frame I purchased didn't have a backing which would have made it MUCH easier in determining the width of cloth needed). I then cut a long strip of the canvas fabric to the width of the inside of the frame. I made the fabric extra long to allow for the pockets.

I decided to make each of the pockets 2.5 inches deep and folded the fabric so the top of one pocket came up to the bottom of another pocket pinning the fabric in place as I went. Then with a steam iron, I ironed the canvas to create creases, removing the pins as I ironed.

I decided to stitch the pocket tops and bottoms to help them keep their shape. I started by unfolding the fabric and one by one stitched the tops of each pocket about 1/4 inch from the crease edge.

Then I turned the fabric over and once again stitched the pocket bottoms one by one to the canvas backing (being careful not to stitch the pockets closed).

With all the pockets stitched, I sewed up the sides of the canvas. The pockets seemed to hang forward more than I would have liked so I also sewed straight up the middle of the canvas which created 2 pockets on each row.

I cut a cardboard backing to fit the frame and used tacky glue on the edges of the cardboard to attach the canvas to the board. If your frame came with a back, use it instead of the cardboard. I then placed the cardboard with the attached canvas into the frame (the fit was quite snug) and used a staple gun to secure the board. NOTE: I stapled against the cardboard into the sides of the frame - not through the cardboard into the front of the frame.

I was quite pleased with the finished product. I spent approximately $4 on materials and about an hour of time making this. I think I'll make another of these once we have moved and I know what type of decor I'll need to match it to. I definitely think I would like a frame with more color to it.

There are a lot of different things you could do with this from painting the frames, using different fabric (use a heavy fabric) or simply using the canvas fabric and sewing a ribbon trim to each pocket top.

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Joy said...

That's great! It looks like a good way to display Christmas cards too!

Trish said...

I thought of that once I put a Thanksgiving card in it. I haven't yet found a Christmas card holder/display that I like so I might just use this instead.