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 materialscardboard 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
(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,
(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).
Cut cardboard rings for the frame:
This method is quick-and-easythe rings don't require a high level of precision.
- Protect your working surface.
Mark center of circle; draw inner ring:
Refer to picture #4 above.
Punch a large flat-top nail through the cardboard from the bottom at a point that will be the center of the circles.
Wrap string (I used my flexible measuring tape) around the nail.
Hold your pencil firmly at the end and draw the inner circle.
Check the picture to be framed inside this inner circle, to make sure it fits the way you want.
Draw the outer circle.
Remember that wrapping the ring with jute will make it a bit wider.
Cut out the first ring.
Again, check that you like the looks of the frame around your picture.
This first ring will be used as a template to make several more rings.
Put a pencil mark on this first ring (so it doesn't get mixed up with later rings).
Cut out several more rings.
You get better uniformity in your rings by always using the same (first/marked) template.
Glue the rings together.
Refer to picture #5 above.
Use a hot glue gun.
I used four rings to achieve about a 5/8" thickness.
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.
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:
There are always two cords on one side, one on the other.
Always take the BACK cord on the two-side.
If coming from the RIGHT: go over top to left, under, pass through, pull to left.
If coming from the LEFT: go over top to right, under, pass through, pull to right.
- Note: the back cord from one side always ends up in front on the other side.
- After each pass, pull the two bottom cords straight across (perpendicular to the ring) to tighten.
I put the three ‘piles’ of cord (that keep getting passed back-and-forth) in plastic bags, loosely tied.
This made it easier to work with, and kept things cleaner. (Jute tends to shed.)
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.)