To get the look of a mural, I’m stretching fabric over the DIY frame inspired by this oversized sign by Sawdust 2 Stitches. To save on cost, I’m swapping fabric for a graphic shower curtain layered over a basic drop cloth I picked up at the home center.
One thing to note when sizing the frame is the opening to the space where it will be installed. The height of a typical door opening is 80-inches tall, so anything larger than that size will possibly need extra bracing and need to be assembled in the area it will be installed.
Steps for Building a Wall-Sized Frame for Fabric
1. Cut the Frame Pieces
- Using a miter saw, cut the two side boards to the height of the fabric, minus 5 inches to allow the fabric to wrap securely around the edges of the frame.
- Next cut the two horizontal boards the width of the fabric, again, minus 5 inches, and also minus the width of the two side boards, which in the case of my 1x4’s that are each 3½-inches-wide.
- Cut the corner braces to size with opposing 45-degree angles mitered at each end.
2. Prep the Boards for Assembly
- Prep the top and bottom boards with two pocket holes drilled into each end.
- Prep the corner braces with two pocket holes drilled at each end.
3. Assemble the Frame
- Since this can take up a large amount of space, it can help to set up sawhorses near the edge of your work surface or to work on the floor.
- Apply glue to the ends of the top and bottom boards and position them between the sides.
- Check that the joint is square, and then screw through the pocket holes in the top and bottom board and into the sides to hold the pieces in place.
- Now, slide the corner braches into place, making sure they set evenly along the length of each side, and then glue and screw them into place.
- Let the glue dry before wrapping the fabric.
4. Attach the Drop Cloth to the Frame
- Since the fabric shower curtain is a bit thin, I’m first layering a drop cloth around the frame. This will ensure that when the sun hits the art, there won’t be any variations in color from the boards behind it.
- Also, I ironed both pieces of fabric to ensure they set smooth and don’t show creases once framed. To wrap the drop cloth, first lay it on the floor.
- Set the frame centered on the drop cloth. Pull one edge over the frame, and staple it to the back of the frame about every 3-inches.
- Repeat this process on the opposite side of the frame, starting from the middle and working your way out towards the edges.
- Repeat on the remaining edges, using pliers to pull the fabric up and into position as needed.
- To secure the corners, pinch the fabric at the corner, and then fold it over one edge.
- Staple in place and then cutaway the excess.
5. Secure the Fabric over the Drop Cloth
- Position the fabric face down on the floor.
- Lay the frame onto the fabric with the canvas drop cloth facing down.
- Wrap the top edge of the fabric over the top edge of the frame—I used the hemline of the shower curtain as a guide to keep fabric straight.
- Staple the top edge of the fabric to the backside of the frame ever 2-3 inches.
- Repeat this process on the opposite side of the frame, starting from the middle and working your way out towards the edges, pulling the fabric taunt, but not so tightly that the fabric ripples. Repeat on the remaining edges, leaving the corners free.
- To secure the corners, pinch the fabric at the corner, and then fold it over one edge. Staple in place and then cutaway the excess.
6. Trim and Attach the Lattice Frame
- To finish the look of the art, I’m attaching an optional frame. It’s made from 1 1/8-inch lattice boards that when centered on the edges of my art will push the frame out from the wall just enough to conceal my hanger on the back, and also create a finish-looking lip that extends just beyond the art’s surface.
- If you decide to attach a frame, ensure that you paint or stain the pieces before installation.
- To add the frame, cut two lattice strips to the height of the art.
- Position the strips, and then nail them into place.
- Now measure the width of the art plus the strips, and cut the two remaining pieces to size. Nail them in place to complete the look.
7. Add a Hanger
- Lastly, install the hanger centered on the back of the frame. Since this is going in my little one’s room, I want it to withstand and tugging, so I’m using a metal French cleat.
- Hang the second part of the hanger on the wall, and then hang the frame in place. Tip: I might go one step further and add a small strip of double-sided tape or Velcro along the bottom edge of the frame to make sure my kids don’t pull it away from the wall.
Tools & Materials Needed:
Here’s what you’ll need for this project, including the cut list.
- (5) 1 x 4 x 6’ Boards
- (4) ¼” x 1 1/8” Primed Lattice Time Boards
- (1) 6’ x 9’ Medium Duty Canvas Drop Cloth
- (1) 6’ x 6’ Fabric Shower Curtain
- 1 x 4 Sides – 2 @ 69 inches
- 1 x 4 Top and Bottom – 2 @ 59 inches
- 1 x 4 Corner Braces 4 @ 20 5/8” (miter ends at opposing 45-degree angles)
- ¼ x 1 1/8” Trim for Sides – 2 @ 69 inches
- ¼ x 1 1/8” Trim for Top and Bottom– 2 @ 66 ½ inches