Hello everyone! I have never done a craft blog before, but this is the one thing that I love to do for my girls and I thought I would share it with you. I know that you can purchase these french picture boards, but I’ve never seen ones as large as I make them, and, quite frankly, I think mine are nicer because they are custom made to each one of my girls rooms and personalities. I did not create this idea, and will give credit where credit is due. My sister-in-law, Christine, gave me the first one as a baby shower present for my now almost 7 year old daughter ( I don’t know where she got the idea from). I copied that one to make my next one, and I’ve been making them ever since. I’ve tried to take as many pictures as possible so you can see what I was doing as I made one today. Please don’t hesitate to ask me questions. Enjoy!!
Supplies You Will Need:
- Art canvas with wooden frame (for this craft I used a 24 x 36 but you can use any size).
- Fabric of your choice – Double the size of your canvas selected. I recommend using a cotton, calico-type fabric for this project. A stretchy jersey or t-shirt material as well as a bulky fleece would be very difficult to work with. You will have extra fabric, but I always used double in the beginning and then when you get better at doing this, you can lessen the amount of fabric to about 12 inches more than you need, so long as the width of the fabric exceeds your canvas by at least 12 inches.
- A staple gun with 1/2 inch staples.
- Batting that will cover the size of your canvas (including rounding the edges), times two. (I used 72″ x 90″)
- 2 rolls of coordinating ribbon of your choice. I have found that non-stretch, 5/8 works best and I purchase it in the ribbon-by-the-roll section.
- 5 decorative bottons (preferably those that have a button hole on the underside as opposed to a flat button with 4 holes). But either can work.
- A sewing needle and either thread that matches your button (if you will be able to see it) or plain white thread.
Lay your fabric out, pattern side down, on a large table. Most calico fabric is 46 inches wide. If you open your fabric up and lay your canvas perpendicular in the center, you should have approximately 4 1/2 – 5 inches on either short side, and 6 -7 inches on the long sides. Cut off extra yardage on one side and set it aside. This is an extra piece that you can use in case you make a mistake an need to start over, or if you wish to make another board with the same fabric.
Next, open your package of batting. For this project, I purchased a 72″ x 90″ roll. Unroll it completely, and open it once, until it is the width of your fabric. Then fold it in half so it is approximately the same size as your fabric, pick up your canvas, place it on top of your fabric, and then place your canvas in the center of the batting/fabric combo. It’s ok if the batting doesn’t completely reach the edges of the fabric. As long as the canvas is in the center, and there is at least 4″- 5″ of batting and fabric around every edge of the canvas.
It’s time to staple!! On the bottom middle of your canvas, fold the fabric and batting combo over the edge of the canvas, pull snug, and staple it to the wooden frame. On a canvas this size, there will be a wood cross piece – it’s fine to staple on to that for this initial one. Go to the opposite side, repeat the process, but this time pull VERY snug as you are folding.
Now that you have an initial holding place on either side, proceed from the center outward, pulling as hard as you can on the fabric/bunting combo around the edge of the canvas and staple until you reach about 2 inches from the corner. I space the staples about 1/2 an inch apart. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY! Don’t be afraid to pull a staple out that doesn’t lay flat and put another one in. This side is our working side – no one will see it and it doesn’t have to be pretty. Once you have finished once side, move on to the other side. Before you start at the center staple on this side, be sure that your fabric has not pulled in from the sides. Give it a little tug on the left and the right, make sure it’s not bunching up, remember to PULL very tightly, and start stapling – leaving the same 2 inches from the corner.
This is what your canvas should look like –
Now we are going to repeat the process on the short sides – find your center point, pull tightly and staple. The more stapled your canvas becomes, the harder the batting/fabric combo is to hold down.
Pick a side, and working from the center out, pull hard on the fabric/bunting combo has your wrap it tightly around the canvas and staple it down, moving towards the corners. Leave your 2 inches because we will do the corners last (they are tricky!). As you get closer to the corner, be sure to keep the fabric and bunting clear from the side that you have already stapled so that you do not double staple it.
Once all 4 of your sides are stapled – this is what your canvas should look like –
Now, on to the corners. Think about the corners like wrapping a odd-shaped present. After several times of doing this, I have discovered that the easiest way to do this is to start with clipping the bunting. Hold your bunting triangle straight up – start about an inch off of the canvas and cup the triangle off.
Next, fold the bottom side under while you are rolling the top side over and staple the heck out of it to get it to stay.
Not very scientific, but it seems to work.
I’ve taken as many pictures as I can to show you what I’m doing.
When you have finished stapling, this is what your corner should look like:
Repeat for the other three corners. This is what your canvas should look like when all four corners are completed.
Turn over to admire your progress!
Next, we are going to trim the extra batting and fabric from the back side. Be sure to cut carefully, leaving about 3/4″ – 1″ inch from the staple line all the way around.
Once finished, it’s time to add the decorative ribbon. Take your ribbon and run it from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, wrap it around the corner, to the back side and staple it so it is running at a diagonal from corner to corner. Use the wood cross bar as a guide. Make sure it is pulled tight and it wraps over the true corner of the canvas, not off to one side.
Do the same from the top right to bottom left corner.
Now, take a piece of ribbon and run it from the center edge of the top to the center edge of the right side. Wrap around the canvas, pull tight and staple. Next, go from the center edge of the top to the center edge of the left side. Repeat this step on the bottom edge.
The ribbons will overlap at the center points.
When you’ve completed this step, it should look like this:
We are almost finished! Next, let’s add the buttons. We are placing the buttons at the 5 places on the picture board where the ribbons cross. The purpose of the buttons is to act as a stopper for grouping pictures under the ribbons. With your needle and thread, you want to pull your buttons tightly through the bunting and fabric to make a quilt-like effect.
I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to hang the edge of the canvas off of the kitchen counter and sew your buttons that way. The canvas/bunting/fabric combo is thick and this makes it a little easier. The button in the middle is challenging because of the wooden cross bar, but not impossible.
Just take your time and get the buttons as tight as possible.
When you have fastened all of your buttons, this is what your board should look like.
The last step is to add ribbon to hang it and we are finished!! I am hanging this horizontal – so I cut a piece of ribbon about 39 inches long and stapled it at the top corners, leaving a loop to hang it.
Here are a few more that I’ve done:
I hope you had a great time with this craft. Again, please don’t hesitate to send me your questions and comments. And follow me on Twitter @3girlsmomma19