Friday, February 24, 2012

Consider a Fabric Covered Mat

I was recently contacted by Carly, the daughter of a friend who told me she was obsessed with some roses I framed a while back that her mother now owned.

What I would consider very shabby chic, they were made from diamond cutting some reclaimed oval mats and mounting them onto a pink ground with very antique repainted oval frames.  In the center of it all were some 100 year old embossed Victorian die cuts.  Scrapbooking had another heyday in the late 1800s and these bits of ephemera were all the rage for scrapbookers back then.

Carly considered making these disappear from her mother's home, but instead thought she should contact me and find out where she could get roses like that.  After a brief email discussion, we decided if Carly could find some die cut flowers and frames she liked (I steered her to Etsy), I would put something together for her.

She choose these die cuts from Vintage Cornucopia on Etsy.

We chose these oval frames.  I suspect these were from the 60s-70s when the gold trimmed French provincial bedroom furniture was popular... and yes, that was my bedroom furniture as a teenager.

The flowers arrived.  The frames arrived.

Oh this little Louis XV fancy lad sitting on a white stump soliciting the large vase of flowers sure looks French provincial, doesn't he?  I wonder more about why someone would paint a picture of a little man proposing to a vase of flowers...

Surprise, surprise... the "mat" was painted on the glass!
Easily removed with a razor blade.

A bit of sanding was in order before painting.

I put a few wood screws lightly in the back to raise them off the table for painting.  (I've since heard that push pins would work as well - great idea!)

Custom matched the paint to the fabric.

The fabric.  I wanted to find something fresh like a damask, trellis or suzani but to no avail.  When I saw these perfectly colored dots in the decorator fabric at JoAnn's, the decision was made.

Using a drafting compass, I marked the lines of the mat about two inches in from the frame edge and cut out the oval with an exacto knife.  It doesn't have to be a perfectly cut mat because it will be covered... but make the shape right even if you have to sand out bumpy imperfections with a paper nail file or fine sandpaper.  (My red lines are for lining up the fabric once the mat was sprayed.  I wanted the dots placed the same for each mat.)

Spray glue the mat board and place on your fabric.  Cut the fabric at least a half inch bigger than the mat board.  For wrapping the fabric around the mat, notch at half inch to one inch intervals depending on the curve of the oval.  Closer for the tighter curves and farther apart for the straightaways.  Cut 1/4 - 1/8th inch away from the mat.

Fold over a couple of tabs at a time with a light touch of hot glue.
With clean hands, press the fabric over tightly.

Fabric covered oval mats are ready.
Think of the possibilities - a scalloped mat would be cute.

Frame them up.
Add a fun backing paper (wrapping paper).
Who wants plain ol' brown bag craft paper anyway?

The framed roses are complete.
I hope Carly likes them as much as her mother's!
Update:  check out how they look in Carly's kitchen.


  1. This process reminded me of the Devo Hats. Remember those?

  2. OH! MY! GOSH!! I got butterflies when I checked your blog and saw the roses!!!!! I could not have thought of ANYTHING cuter!!! I do love them more than my moms!... well my moms are DARLING, but these scream me and belong in my house! I can't believe how much work you put into them!!! You way out did yourself. I hope you kept track of the hours you spent making them and cost of supplies :) You are so creative... I am in awe:) In the next life I want your talent haha. Thanks so much Kathy! xoxo

    p.s. I am pinning this! :)

  3. YAY!!! Carly, I'm so happy that you like the roses! I agree that these belong in your house and that's thanks to the pics you sent me. Seeing all your pins also helped me figure out your taste. You need to email me your address so I can ship these out. :)

  4. And Amy, I mean anonymous -- of course I remember making the Devo hats. Should have blogged about those!


Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet-
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

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