How to cover a wooden picture frame with fabric

Updated April 17, 2017

You can make a fabric-covered picture frame for a memorable occasion or as an accent piece in your decorating scheme. Fabric should be light or medium weight. Thick fabrics will not allow a good fit in the rebate recess of the frame. This is the area that the glass sits in. Fabric is glued around the frame and into this shallow groove to fasten it in place. Consider any pattern on your fabric and how to position it for the desired effect.

Remove the glass and back from the frame.

Cut fabric so it is 2 inches (5cm) larger than the outside dimensions of your frame.

Iron the fabric.

Lay the fabric down on a work surface with the right side down.

Cover the top of the wooden frame with a thin film of glue and set it down on the fabric. Make certain that the fabric side you want showing is face down when you put the glued frame on top of it.

Draw a 45-degree angle on the fabric across each outer corner. Use a ruler to make sure your line is straight.

Cut these corner pieces off of the fabric. This will create a good fit when you turn the fabric over the frame to finish gluing it.

Spread glue on the back of the frame, from the edge to the rebate, which is the groove for the glass.

Pull the fabric around the frame, working on opposite sides to create an even tension. Do not pull so hard that you distort the fabric. Ease the material around the corners to make them lay neat and flat. Use two C clamps on each side of the frame to secure the fabric in place.

Allow the glue to dry.

Trim the fabric off of the back by running a razor blade down the edge of the rebate.

Turn the frame right side up.

Draw a pencil line diagonally connecting the inside corners of the frame with an "X.''

Cut on these lines with scissors, to open the fabric for turning.

Cut four small strips of fabric and glue to the inside of the corners. Make them the same dimension as the inside edge of the frame. This will assure none of the wooden frame shows through as the fabric is turned over these edges.

Spread a thin film of glue on the inside edges of the frame and in the rebate.

Pull the four fabric flaps up from the centre of the frame and press them into the rebate. Use a bone folder to exert extra force and finish pushing the fabric snugly into the rebate.

Cut the excess fabric off at the inner edge of the rebate with a razor knife.

Replace the glass when all the glue is dry.


Consider the alignment of any patterned fabric and how you want it to appear on your finished frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • White glue
  • Ruler
  • 8 C clamps
  • Razor blade knife
  • Bone folder
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Patti Perry is currently attending West Virginia University and expanding her knowledge base. She has worked as a freelance visual artist for 30 years, with specialties in watercolor and scherenschnitte. Originality of creation is her motivation and she continues to pursue this avenue in her writing. Perry is currently contributing articles to eHow.