homepage: Dr. Carol JVF Burns
See the Sewing/Crafts section of my main Table of Contents for other sewing projects.

Macrame/Cardboard Picture Frames

Frames can be so costly, particularly if you need an unusual shape!
This simple frame is made from inexpensive materials—cardboard and jute.
The instructions here are for a circular frame, but could be easily adapted to other shapes.
Several layers of cardboard are glued together and wrapped with jute using cockscombing.
Perfect for things you want to hang in a special way, but don't want to spend a fortune on!

(And, it's another fun way to use up boxes from my Amazon purchases.)

(1) Finished frame!

(2) Finished frame, laid over unfinished contents.

(3) cockscombing edge detail

(4) There's a nail sticking up in the center;
the string/ruler is wrapped around it.
Mark the circles on the cardboard.
Check your picture inside, to make sure you like the fit.
Cut out the ring; use it as a template to make several more rings.

(5) Use a hot glue gun to glue the rings together,
for sturdiness.

(6) Cut two solid cardboard circles,
with radius slightly smaller than the outer ring,
for the back of the picture.

(7) Tape down several inches of the three cords to begin;
these will be covered at the end of the cockscombing.

(8) cardboard held between my knees for cockscombing

(9) I put the three bundles of cords in loosely-tied bags.
This made them easier to pass back-and-forth while working.
Also, it kept things cleaner (jute tends to shed).
  1. Cut cardboard rings for the frame:
    This method is quick-and-easy—the rings don't require a high level of precision.
  2. Cut cardboard for the back of the frame.
    Refer to picture #6 above.
    Cut two extra solid circles of cardboard, slightly smaller than the outside of the ring.
    My fabric will be stapled to one; the second will cover the folded-under fabric.
    I intend to staple the perimeter to the jute-wrapped cardboard frame.
  3. Wrap the cardboard with jute, using cockscombing:
    Refer to pictures #7, #8, and #9 above.
    Here is an excellent youtube video for cockscombing (7:34).
    I used thick, rough, natural jute.
    Here are tips for cockscombing:
  4. If you need to add on more cord:
    The sheet bend knot is good for attaching ropes of different thicknesses.
    (I ran out of the thick jute, and had to finish with a thinner product.)