FFf Eclectic Red Barn: How to Frame and Preserve a Family Treasure

Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Frame and Preserve a Family Treasure

One of the items that I love to collect the most is vintage linens. Everything from dresser scarfs, tablecloths, to crocheted doilies. I think these are so special to me since my grandmother taught me to do this kind of needle work and I appreciate all the time and effort it takes to create.
I especially love doilies. I have made so many over the years, but don't have many to show for it since I have given them as gifts to others. That is probably why I keep bringing them home when I find them.
I have many items that my grandmother made and use, but I am trying to save a couple pieces for my daughter. I came across this doily that she made. However, it is not crocheted. It was done using a process called tatting. 
Eclectic Red Barn: Grandma's tatted doily
Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops and you use a shuttle instead of a crochet hook. I am not sure why, but she never taught me how to do this. I have her shuttle and I keep saying that one day I am going to learn how. 

Since it is the only one I have and very delicate, I decided to preserve it so that I could use it. Here is the end result.
Eclectic Red Barn: Grandma's tatted doily framed
If you are looking to preserve a special piece, here is how to do it. 
I started with an old frame. This one was round, but you could use any shape. Cutting matte for a round frame can be a bit tricky. A very sharp utility knife is a must. There are also tools for this.

Various types and colors of matting can be found at your local craft store. However, if you want to really preserve it, make sure you are buying a Conservation matte board or museum grade cotton rag matting.  You can find it online.  If you want it to last, you need to protect it. Can you use cheaper, of course.

I used a taupe color matte for mine. I have a lot of inventory since I use to do framing. I also cut a piece of foam core for the back.
Eclectic Red Barn: Matte and foam core for frame
Now to tack the doily to the matting. Be care using glue or other materials to secure it, since they can damage or discolor the doily. I placed mine on the matte and then placed the glass on it to hold it. Once I had the frame on it, it stayed. If you need to tack, do it ever so lightly. 

You should add small stripes around the outside of the edge of the frame to keep the doily from resting on the glass. 

Next place the foam core behind the matte. You can use glazing points to hold the foam core in place. You can push them into the wooden part of the frame.

Eclectic Red Barn: Injector points for the frame
I have a special gun that injects these points into the wood. It is a great tool, but expensive. It's a point injector.
Eclectic Red Barn: Injector points tool

Finally, you need to cover the back with paper. You can buy rolls of brown paper at craft stores. Put a bead of double sided tape around the edges. I have this double sided tape dispenser that I use. 
Eclectic Red Barn: Double sided tape dispenser
Once you have your tape on, cut a piece of paper to cover the back of the frame. Cut any excess off, going as close to the frame as possible. 
Eclectic Red Barn: Brown paper backing

Use a utility knife to cut close to the edge making it smooth. I use another tool for this job.
Eclectic Red Barn: Brown paper cutting tool
Peel away any excess and your frame is done. At this point you can add wire to hang your frame. I am using this as a tray so no wire.
Eclectic Red Barn: Back of frame complete
Like any profession, when you have all of the tools of the trade that makes the job easy. You can still frame without these tools, they just make it easier and professional looking.
Eclectic Red Barn: Tatted doily preserved
It makes a great tray for now on my kitchen table. One day I may hang it. Now I can see it everyday and enjoy it.
Eclectic Red Barn: Grandma's tatted doily framed

If you would like to try framing, I suggest using a square or rectangle frame to start. Round ones are more difficult. If you have any questions, let me know.

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