Sunday, September 24, 2017

How I Do It - Framing Part C

In Part A I showed how I measured for the frame and how I mounted and pinned the piece to prepare it for the frame.

In Part B I showed how I lace the piece.

Part C - I will show how I put everything together in the frame.

Part D - I will show how I finish the back of the frame, attach the hanger hardware and apply the bumpers.

This is how I do it.  What works for me.

Once I get to this part of the framing process, I'm sliding down hill so to speak.  It doesn't take long at all.  Less than 30 minutes or so.

First thing I do is clean both sides of my glass.  I make sure there are no smudges, dust, lint, kitty hair (I share my space with a precious kitty, Leah).  I use warm water and a wee bit of Windex.  I lay out the glass on a clean white towel, spray the Windex and then wipe with a damp cloth, using circular motions so I get all the Windex off and the glass is dry.  I then lift the glass up against a window or a light making sure it's clean and dry.

Will interject this here, I have used museum glass when framing a piece and take note of which side that has the special coating and need to go next to the fabric.  It is usually printed somewhere on the glass.  It says "this side faces towards artwork" or something to that effect.  If it's not on the glass, ask.

I take my frame, glass, spacers and mounted and laced piece to the basement where I have my framing tools and a nice wood table to work on.

All I need tool wise is my point driver.  I used this tool years ago when I worked in a frame shop in a craft store.  Makes it nice.  Prior to having this driver, I would struggle with putting points in with a screwdriver.  I bought this on Amazon.  Came with one package of points.

Other items for this part of framing I will need are spacers.  I am using 1/8" clear spacers.  I have used 1/4" spacers.  I have bought them precut as in the framer cuts them for me and wraps them with the glass or I have bought a length of spacer, usually comes in one yard lengths.  When I've bought a length of spacer, I use a wire cutter or strong scissors to snip the length I need.

TIP: When snipping a length, hold the shorter length in your hand and snip. The longer length will fall to the floor and you can find it easier.  If snipping off a smaller section, do it over a wastebasket - the material has a tendency to fly and it might be hard to locate.

TIP: Spacers differ in color and construction.  May be clear, may be white, may be black.  They are different in type/construction.  Some are hollow (as is the case with the ones I am using with this project) and some are solid acrylic - can be hard to snip or cut but I've found using a wire cutter works best when I've had to cut or trim to fit.

My glass is washed and resting in the frame.  My mounted cross stitch is ready to be put in the frame.


First thing I do is peel the strip off of the adhesive on the back of the spacer and attach it.  I've been told by a professional framer that it is best to attach the spacers to the FRAME and not the glass.  Reason for that is if the glass shifts, your work inside the frame, resting on the spacer shifts too.  I've done that.  Put the spacers on the frame.  However, in this case, with this piece, my glass is snug against the frame, my spacers are such that if I attach them to the frame it will raise my mounted piece higher in the frame due to the side that the adhesive is on.  I don't want that.  I need the space in the rabbet for my piece - it has buttons on it. So I make the decision to attach my spacers to the glass, butting snug up against the frame.  When I attach the spacers, I do the long sides FIRST, then the short sides.

I start at the top, gently place the spacer down and work my way down the side.  The adhesive is strong and sticky!  Once in place, hard to remove it.  I use one hand to push down the spacer and the other hand to guide the spacer down along the frame.  I want the spacer on the glass and at the same tie right next to the frame.  When it is all in place, I run my hand down the spacer making sure it is secure and in place.  First side is done.  I repeat the process with the spacer for the opposite side - the other long side.

Then I do the short sides.  If my spacers are too long for the area on the short side between the two long sides, and sometimes they are, I do a quick trim and I'm good to go.



All the spacers are in, looks good.


Now I take my mounted piece and before I drop it into the frame I do another check to make sure there's no bits of anything on the glass or on my stitched piece.  I also make a tiny X at the top.  This lets me know where the top of my frame is.

Mounted piece is resting in the frame on top of the spacers.  Looks good.


Now I use my point driver and eyeballing where the center is, I drive a point in the center on each side.  Just one point, at the center, each side.

I gently push the driver down on my fabric(don't want to catch my fabric in the point) and at an angle into the frame and pull up the lever.  The driver pops and a point is released.  I don't press too hard as I don't want to crack the glass.  I have overshot on the frame and when that happens I just use a pliers and pull the point out and redo.  No biggie.



All four sides done.  The purpose for points is to secure everything in the frame.  I don't need to go overboard and go point driving crazy!  With this piece I put two additional points (forgot to take a picture to show that) in on the long sides.  One on each side of the center point, centering it between the center point and the end.  The short ends didn't need it.


This shows the spacer.  It is keeping the fabric up and away from the glass, allowing space for the buttons.


Some of the larger sized buttons.  Look good. Not smooched or damaged.  I'm a happy camper.




Next up is how I finish the back and attach the hardware.