Step 1 - Purchase suitable frame
I create a lot of quilling for sale and for the most part, I like to frame it under glass. Since I have no idea where my quilling will find a home, I feel better knowing it has that extra protection. Custom framing is expensive, but there are ready-made frames out there with enough depth for the quilling if you look for them.
Step 2 - Assemble painting materials
I found a wonderful double-matted frame that had plenty of room, and with a 40% coupon, it was a good price. The only problem was that both of the mats were white and they didn’t add any punch to the quilling.
I wanted the inside mat to be black to match the frame and really set off the quilling, but having a custom mat cut around here is at least $10. So I put on my creative thinking cap and decided to paint the mat.
Step 3 - Paint mat with acrylic paint
I used a quality craft store acrylic paint (Americana Lamp Black — but any quality acrylic paint should do nicely) and a good paint brush left over from my ceramic days.
When I took the frame apart I discovered that the two mats had been glued together with a cardboard spacer, so I pulled out my craft knife and cut them apart.
Step 4 - Assemble the pieces and frame your quilling
I painted the smaller inside mat, being careful to apply the paint smoothly so that the brush strokes wouldn’t show. Once dry, I glued the two pieces back together and finished framing my quilling.
I think it looks great and really highlights the quilling. Plus, it saved me the cost of having a special mat cut. And since I was framing three pieces, the savings really added up.
Don’t be afraid to alter ready-made photo mats to enhance your quilling. Besides painting the mats, you can cover them with fabric, decorative papers, or even stamp on them.
Here are the three pieces of quill art that I framed using this technique. You can see how the black on the inside mat really shows off the quilling.
Downloadable PDF quilling patterns (ePatterns) containing complete easy-to-follow instructions, full color photo tutorials, and all pattern templates are available for these three folk art quilling pieces. Visit the Quilling Patterns
section for more information.