I love to crochet and I’m a dedicated recycler, repurposer, reuser. I came up with this quick and easy idea for framing a doily or other flat crochet piece the other day. So, I rifled through the house to find a suitable box, grabbed a doily I had just made (not exactly an heirloom and I wouldn’t really recommend this technique for your heirlooms), broke out a few bottles of inexpensive acrylic craft paint (less than $1/bottle) and some paints and made this thing. You’ll also need some tape (paper tape will work best), some white glue (or whatever kind you’ve got on hand), and some sort of hanger (a pop top will work fine as will a twist of yarn or a twist tie). You’ll find this quick and easy to put together and no one will know where you got this nifty frame.
As with many artistic endeavors, if you make and hang more than one, you can use almost any shape and size container and it WILL work!
So, take this:
to make this:
Using white acrylic paint and any old brush, cover your box with a coat of paint. This box was shiny and the first coat of paint acts as a sealant. Of course, your first coat can be a sealant if you have it. Let dry then coat with white paint (or a color that will set off your crochet masterpiece). This box happens to be from Trader Joe’s and originally held a simple tray of yummy dried fruit that I received for Christmas.
When the first coat of white paint is dry, paint on another one. It takes less than a half hour for each coat to dry.
For the ‘frame’, I used a gold metallic acrylic paint. Other good choices would be black, brown, or a fun color to match your decor and set off your crochet. First, tape down the sides of the box, wrapping the tape to the back and not to the front. Then paint on a coat of paint around the sides of your box. Paint a thin coat of gold (in my case) around the inside of the top of the box to create a contrast frame. This line is hand painted so it WILL NOT be perfect! If you demand perfection, use a ruler to paint on your line. I prefer the hand painted imperfections.
Your crochet should already be finished, blocked and dried. I use only a light coating of spray starch on most of my thread work.
Turn your box over and glue on your hanger. Hardest part is centering it. Remember, you can chose to hang your frame on the diagonal or point if you want. It’s YOURS so do it like you want. Let that dry well.
Get some white glue and thin it with some water. Not too thin. Paint a little on the back of your doily and center the doily on the frame. Leave to dry.
Voila! You have a nice little wall hanging without spending any money (in my case). YMMV.
Other ideas? If you don’t have paints on hand, cover your box with pretty but simply designed paper or fabric and glue it in place. Buy small artist’s framed canvas at the thrift store and paint over it or buy new ones at the craft store and follow the same directions to create the finished piece. This would be a good idea if you want to hang a bunch of matching framed items.
The entire framing process took me not more than 90 minutes from start to finish. I think this would be a great way to turn some fairly simple crocheted items like coasters, Christmas motifs, squares, etc into framed ‘art’. The idea will also work for scraps of crocheted or quilted items that you might have salvaged from the attic or thrift store. Since the items don’t have much weight, you can use such a small amount of white glue to hang them that it shouldn’t damage the items. Of course, I wouldn’t use this idea for true family heirlooms.