March 15, 2012

DIY - Framed Photo Collage Using Fabric!

My daddy's birthday was this month, and I wanted to make something special.  I wrote a story for my daddy and my eldest daughter on Christmas Eve while my father and step-mother were spending Christmas at our home.  While very ill with bronchitis, I sat indoors watching Daddy and Abigail build a bird house together, while Donna and our Selah painted ceramic horses.  

I wrote as I watched.  Healing in heart depths as I watched.

I copied the hand-written short story and gifted it to my daddy that day.  He cried.  So I cried.  He said it was precious.  Healing in heart depths as we smiled through wet eyes. 

Husband aware out of knowing his wife's heart, captured a moment of internalizing --
My father is difficult to shop for.  But it is well because he prefers to be made for instead.  I baked his birthday cake: a homemade triple chocolate cheesecake.  It was delicious.  But I knew ahead that I wanted to make something more...  We sang loudly and his grandchildren assisted in blowing out candles.  It was a grand event.
When it was time to open presents, this is what the girls and I presented --
A giant, floral-wrapped, colored masterpiece of a gift.  He gifted back by later hanging the wrapping on the wall.  ;)

I consulted my dear, crafty friend, Carron (who writes thanksgiving from her enchantingly beautiful heart & practical how to's over at Eucharisteo Now).  And thanks to her instruction (and fabric she had on hand), I made an 18x24 photo collage from the images Aaron captured from that Christmas Eve day, plus a typed version of the story: Truth Builders.  

Here's how it turned out--
Considering that I hadn't ever made anything like this before, I am very pleased with the finished product.  :)

My daddy loved it so, so very much.  His eyes wet again.  And my soul abounded in joy.  It was a good gift.

DIY Time!

Pre-upholstery to-dos --
  1. Choose your photos!
  2. And a color theme.  :)
  3. Pick out fabric to match.
  4. You'll need a frame (obviously).  FYI - Poster frames are MUCH less expensive than photo frames, and if you look intently you can find some with wooden frames instead of the traditional plastic.
  5. Upholster the frame backing!  I really enjoyed this part that Carron and I did together as our combined 6 children (and growing) played well.  :)  Here's what you do: 
  • Warm your hot glue gun.
  • Take the backing out of the frame and lay the frame with glass aside.  
  • Lay the fabric, front side down on a large flat surface.  
  • Lay the frame backing face down on top.  
  • Cut the fabric to no more than an inch around all 4 sides.
  • Fold the inch of fabric in half on the table top, meeting the edge of the frame backing. (This will create a cleaner line on the back of the finished frame and prevent fraying.
  • Then starting on the left of one side (if you're holding the glue gun in your right hand, opposite if your left-handed), Fold the now 1/2 inch of fabric up a over the edge of the backing, little by little, hot gluing as you go.
Post-upholstery to-dos --
  1. Good job!  Now turn it over and experiment with different placements for your collage.  Once you're firm on your placement, either use an acid free, photo-safe craft/scrapbooking glue, strips, or "sticky corner tabs" (like I did), to secure your photos in place.
  2. Replace the completed project back into the glass poster frame, and fasten the back.
  3. You're done!  :)
Linking up today with:

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  1. Great Rebecca :) It turned out wonderfully!!!

  2. i LOVE this idea. what a beautiful heartfelt gift that your father will cherish forever. so, so sweet. thanks for linking up!!


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