A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

Framing The Bookshelf


I wanted to get The Bookshelf framed and hanging on a wall as I really love this piece but getting cross stitch framed is rather expensive as the stretching can be rather time consuming. The last project that I had framed cost around £50 and that was ten years ago so I wasn’t optimistic about getting this slightly larger stitch done any time soon. Then I came across something at the NEC show that made it look possible to do it myself so I’ve been gradually acquiring all the necessary bits and have been taking photos along the way – as you do.

Here’s the results. Firstly the materials. There’s a lovely shop in a local shopping centre that sells framed prints and also frames and mounts. I took The Bookcase in to find a frame for it and the very helpful chap in there found this for me after trying loads of other frames.

Framing The Bookshelf
Just the right size and colour and the print inside could be disposed of. And at half price, I wasn’t going to complain. The problem came with finding a mount the right size and colour but as he offered a custom mount service it wasn’t too big of a problem. £4 to make me a mount that was going to be perfect.

This is the gizmo that I got at the NEC. It looks much like a carpet gripper. It fits onto the backboard of the frame and you just stretch the fabric over it, which then is gripped by the little pegs. There was an offer if you bought two boxes and as I had a demo, and was let loose with the demo myself to see how easy it was, I went for it. There’s loads in there so I assumed that if it was as easy to use once I got it home, I could frame many projects with it.

Framing The Bookshelf
The first step was to attach the Grip-n-Frame all around the back board of the picture frame, cutting to size so it fitted neatly. This was very easy to do.

Framing The Bookshelf
Next I cut to size some batting and attached it with double sided tape. This was to cushion the stitching and make it sit nice and evenly.

Framing The Bookshelf
The next step was to stretch the fabric onto the Grip-n-frame. I had a think about the best way to do this so that it would be centred. I didn’t want to have to keep adjusting it as the fabric I’d used was a linen and was fairly delicate. I decided that the best thing to do was to measure from the sides of the design and work out where the fabric should be gripped and mark it with my gridding pen.

Framing The Bookshelf
This worked out brilliantly. I laid it over the board so that the marks were lined up with the gripper and then gently started stretching the fabric onto the pegs. I made sure that I kept to the lines all the way around and just had a slight bit of trouble with the very last corner where it was a bit tight. Other than that it was fine. I put the mount over it and saw one place where it needed a very slight adjustment, which took a second or two but it really couldn’t have been easier. I think if I hadn’t have thought to draw the lines it might have been a different story so I’m rather glad I took the time to do the preparation first.

Once I was happy that it was as even and level as it could be, I fastened down the back with masking tape. Yes, I know. Shock, horror. Not archival. Strictly speaking it should be laced but this only has to last for my lifetime. I’m quite sure no-one is going to want it after I’ve gone so masking tape will do very nicely. And it’s much faster than fiddly lacing.

Framing The Bookshelf
And you’re the only ones that will know anyway, because after I’d done that – I popped it into the frame, on top of the glass and mount, and covered it all up with brown paper and paper tape so it looked all lovely and neat.

Framing The Bookshelf
You might be able to tell from this photo that the frame wasn’t actually deep enough. The wee metal bits that hold it all in place are just about doing their job but it’s a close thing. So, I have learnt from this to buy deeper frames in future and have in fact found some nice ones in Hobbycraft, where you can buy the frames, mounts and backs/glass all separately. This one will do though. It will hold, and it has all been finished off properly at the back so that’ll help the metal bits to hang on too. I just need to add hooks and wire so I can hang it and then it’s going up on the wall. Would you like to see the front? I had the devil of a job getting a decent photo. Another thing I’ve learnt is that this frame did not come with non-reflective glass. This photo isn’t bad, but it’s a bit skewed. It was the only way I could get a photo without myself in it too, I’m afraid.

Framing The Bookshelf
The mount is a lovely chocolate brown, which you can’t tell from the photo, and it does look rather good with the colours in the design. I’m really pleased with how my first attempt at framing turned out and I reckon it cost under £20 for all the bits.
Right, what can I frame next…



Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

4 thoughts on “Framing The Bookshelf

  1. It looks lovely! I’ll keep those gripper things in mind for when I finally finish the Blessed Be sampler I am working on


  2. Excellent job, it looks fantastic . Those grip things look like they were well worth the investment 😀


  3. Carole, it looks lovely.
    It’s a while since I finished a cross stitch, but I used to frame them myself using masking tape – not ideal I know, but it seemed to work and it was cheap!


  4. That is beautiful Carole : 0 )
    I Know nothing about the technical stuff but I do love the finished article.


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