Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Grain Sack Photo Frame

I had seen some photo frames in Pottery Barn's catalog a while back. They were a bit pricey, and I thought I would wait for them to go on sale. Well, they did, and I missed it. They are sold out. So, I decided to make my own. I learned a lot making the first one, and will probably do it a little differently if I make more.

The list of items I used to make my own DIY Grain Sack Frame:

  • frame {clearance for $1}
  • dropcloth {for my faux grain sack fabric}
  • scissors
  • craft paint
  • small paintbrush
  • tape
  • ruler
  • self-healing mat
  • craft knife
  • cotton batting 
  • quick dry tacky glue
  • stapler
Gosh, this list looks long, but really, I had everything on hand.

You'll want to pick your frame first. I have several out-dated, damaged, clearance or dollar store frames that I keep around just for the random photo frame inspiration. 

Here is the original inspiration for my DIY, but I decided I wanted to change up the stripes a bit:

via Pinterest (from Pottery Barn)

You can use any fabric you chose. I decided to use a drop cloth I had tucked away. Osnaburg is a good and inexpensive choice. Or if you're really lucky, you have some actual old grain sacks lying around. If that is the case, I'm jealous, you can skip the painting steps.

I cut the dropcloth fit the dimensions of the frame plus about 4 inches extra on each side. I chose a piece with some obvious flaws/nubby areas. 

Next, I taped off my lines. Sorry, no photos. But I used standard tape, not even painter's tape. {Too lazy busy to find it.} You can do just the 2 skinny lines like the original Pottery Barn style, or just one thick stripe. I chose 2 skinny with 1 thick stripe in the middle.

I mixed my blue craft paint with a little black to make it in between royal blue and navy. Then I painted away between the tape. {Tip: put something underneath your fabric, so the paint won't bleed through. Seems obvious, but I anyone can forget that detail.}

Set it aside to dry completely. Yeah, like any of us have that kind of patience. Ha! But seriously, the next step is with the frame and batting, so you really can set the painted fabric aside to dry. :)

I cut skinny strips from my cotton batting because I wanted to fill in the bevel in my frame. {Looking at it now, I wish I had actually done 2 of these layers.} I just used my quick dry tacky glue and placed them on the frame.

Then I added thicker pieces on top, again gluing them onto the current layer of batting and the outer part of the frame. I over-cut the thickness for overhang to cause a soft outer edge, but kept the inner edge close when gluing. {You need the glass, photo, and backer to still fit once you wrap it.} I cut my corners on an angle to not cause too much overlap and lumpy spots on the frame.

Then I flipped it over onto the dry {wink, wink}, painted fabric. I tried to straighten it as much as possible and line it up where I wanted the finished lines to be.

I added my glue to the back of the frame and proceeded to wrap the outer edges over. I was not very aggressive about pulling the fabric too tight - just straight.

After wrapping 3 sides, I decided to cut the fabric on an angle at the corners. I did not cut all the way to the outer edge though.

Then I stapled the edges down for good measure, continuing to straighten and pull just a little.

I trimmed off all the excess fabric from the outer edges and did my best to tuck in the 4 corners to look flat, but covered. I added more staples as necessary.

Then I laid the piece down on my self-healing mat and used my exacto knife to cut an X in the center. Again, getting close to the corners, but not too close. 

Then I added glue to the inner ledge of the frame and stapled it down. I continued to press the fabric onto the glued areas, and then put the glass inside to flatten and help the fabric adhere to the frame.

I removed the staples on the four points shown above once the glue dried. Then I trimmed this excess fabric with the exacto knife. {Note: Every frame is a little different in its width, depth, and how the glass and backer are incorporated. For this particular frame, the fabric needed to be as short as possible, but long enough the wrap around to the inside.

I completed this frame on September 11. The date was heavy on my mind, and that is why I changed my frame - because I changed what I wanted inside the frame.

I found this printable around 4th of July by A Little Crafting, and I tweaked it a bit. I made the colors more muted (vs. the 4th) because I feel somber in remembrance of this day - and the days, weeks, months, and even years that followed.

It reminds me to feel blessed. The little things tend to disappear and I realize how lucky I am.


  1. These are so cute....Thank you for linking up to Share it One More Time

  2. A darn cute idea...thanks for sharing it at my party. Do you mind if I share it on my blog?


  3. So cute and easy. Totally looks like something I would thing of, so why haven't I? Ugh!! I will be doing this very soon.
    Hi, I'm your newest follower from Weekend Blog Hop. Hope you have a great Saturday!

  4. New follower from the Friendly Friday Blog Hop. This is an great diy. I love it.


  5. This is beautiful you did a great job, I'm going to try to make one,



  6. I really like this frame. It looks great placed next to the vase.

    Stopping by from the Weekend Blog Hop. Have a fabulous weekend!


  7. Those are great--what a good idea. So nice you showed how to do it!

  8. Hi there! I found you on the Blog Hop and am now a new follower. I'd love a follow back at and on Pinterest. I follow back all my Pinterest followers :)

  9. This is beautiful! What a great use for a feed sack!

  10. Freakin love it, and so darn creative of you! So glad you showed us how to make one too! My fingers are crossed you’ll share your pumpkin inspiration tonight with Sunday’s Best ( – sharing is a good thing!

  11. Visiting from Coastal Charm and am your newest follower! Love your little frame!

  12. What a great project. Thanks for linking up to Tasty Thursdays on The Mandatory Mooch. I hope you link up again this week. The party will be live tomorrow night.

    And don't forget to "like" my Facebook page if you haven't already.

    Thanks, Nichi

  13. Very clever Dori and beautifully done. Thanks for sharing on Shabbilicious Friday.

  14. I LOVE this quote. My grandpa, dad, and now my husband all were/are active duty Military so that quote holds a special place in my heart! Love the frame too, nice work!


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