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You are here:Hampton Photo Arts arrow Framing Information arrow Framing Your Own Needlework
Framing Your Own Needlework

Begin by centering the stitching on the foam core...just "eyeball" it for now, you will exactly center it later. Place a pin in the fabric and into the foam core at the top of the piece, and then stretch the fabric and place a second pin in the foam core at the bottom of the piece. Repeat for the two sides. Be sure you're stretching the fabric before you pin. You will end up with four pins securing your piece to the foam core, one pin in the center of each side.

With a purple fabric marker, draw a small line by each pin in the fabric. Then, take out the four pins and lay your needlework flat on the table.

You will now determine how to exactly center your needlework. Use a cross stitch ruler (available for different counts of fabric, linen or Aida, at craft and needlework stores). Measure from the top edge of the design to the purple mark on the fabric. Then, measure from the bottom edge of the design to the purple mark at the bottom of the fabric. Both top and bottom need to have the same number of threads or squares. Figure out how many threads this should be, and make a new longer purple mark on the fabric at the correct measurement.

Repeat this same process to center the design right to left.

Now take your marker and find the thread that you marked with the longer purple line in the step above. Pressing firmly on the fabric, draw a purple line the length of the thread.

Repeat on all four sides until you have a purple box around your design. (Make sure your marker is the kind that disappears in a few hours!) OR use the sewing thread to baste all the way around your design.

Take your scissors and trim away any excess fabric. You should leave only an inch and a half to two inches beyond the purple line -- any more than that will be too bulky.

Now you will pin your needlework to the foam core.

Start at the top left corner. Pull the purple line just over the edge of the foam core and place two pins (one on each side of the corner). Do the same in the lower right corner, then the top right corner, then the bottom left. Also place a pin in the center of each side, pulling the purple line over the edge as you do so. Beginning at the shortest side, place a pin every 1/8 inch or so. As you are pinning, pull the fabric up and over so that the purple line is just over the edge of the foam core. Follow the threads in the fabric -- the purple line is just a guide. Continue pinning all the way around the piece. OR place a few pins on one side of the piece, then the other, so that you are pinning on opposite sides of your piece. This helps keep an even tension. When you are finished pinning around the piece, check your work carefully to make sure you pinned it evenly. Sometimes placing the piece in the frame (or the mat if you're using one) can help you spot any uneven places. Once you are happy with the stretching, take the small hammer and use it to gently tap the pins down, all the way around the piece. Now you'll want to secure the excess fabric on the back of your piece. Use acid free artist's tape to tape down the excess fabric, starting with the long sides and then the short sides. OR use the dental floss to lace your excess fabric.

Now place your needlework in the frame. Use the small brads or finishing nails to hold the foam core in the frame. You can use needle nose pliers to push the nails into the frame. Now you will want to add a dust cover to the back of the frame to protect your work. Use a pretty paper bag, some wrapping paper, or brown mailing wrap. Put double stick tape all around the edges of your frame. Then, place the paper on the tape and push down to secure. Use a utility knife to trim the paper just inside the edge of the frame. You can also use a Pro-Trim knife, which is a utility knife with a special edger that makes it easy to cut just in from the edge. If needed, add a hanger to the center top of the frame. You can also add plastic bumpers to the bottom corners of the frame so that it hangs evenly and doesn't scratch the wall.

Congratulations! You just framed your own needlework!

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

Art Prints – How are they made?

Photography by Laurie Barone-Shafer
Nowadays just about anyone can take a good quality photographs with a digital camera. Or take a few hundred pictures and the chances are few will be good, and even one or two outstanding.

Here are a few tips, tricks and techniques on how to make art print poster ready photographs and print ready digital files. Don’t get overwhelmed, there is a lot of information here, but a lot of it is just intuitive. Well, a bit of patience will always help.

First thing – Photo Size

If you taking a digital photo of you family or friend the largest size you would print is usually 5 by 7 inches, maybe 8 by 10 at the most. Even small size digital photographs (2MB or less) are ‘good enough’ to create a decent print. But if you want to create prints that are 16 by 20, 20 by 24 inches or larger you need more pixels (in pixels 20 by 24 inches photo is actually about 40 times larger than 3 by 4 inches photo assuming they have the same resolution).

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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