Sew Decorative Altered Frame

Crafty Secrets Sew Decorative Altered Frame

Hello, Friends!

One of my fondest childhood memories is of sitting beside my mother while she sewed on her old White sewing machine.  Using newspaper patterns that she drew and cut out herself, she would take one of her old coats that was stained on the front (coffee…she was a coffee hound) turn it inside out and stitch up a darling little coat and bonnet for my baby sister.  Or, she’d take old sheets and stitch them up into ruffled curtains for the kitchen.  She really was “the Queen of the Machine; there was nothing she couldn’t sew.  When I found this beautiful image on the Crafty Secrets Sew Decorative CD, it made me think of her and I knew I wanted to use it in a project.  Then, while out “junkin'” one day, I found a hideous shadowbox for just a few pennies.  So today I got out paint, glue, paper and some fun vintage embellies and transformed it into an altered frame worthy of Mom’s stamp of approval.

Kathy by Design/Sew Decorative Altered Frame 01I thought it would be fun to give you a look at the original version of this altered frame.

Sew Decorative Altered Frame 05I told you it was hideous!  Clearly I was speaking the truth. After giving it a good cleaning, I removed the frame back and added a coat of Tattered Angels Crystal Decorative DIY paint to the inside and outside.  The paint was thick and creamy, covering up the ugly gray paint and smoothing out the surface.  After this dried, I dry brushed on a coat of Tim Holtz Tumbled Glass Distress Paint, and when that had dried, I sponged the frame lightly with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  What a transformation!

Sew Decorative Altered Frame 04I hit the surface lightly with sandpaper and I love the wonderful vintage shabby chic finish this gave.  I lined the outside edges with this fancy trim and added the little silver scissors and Petaloo Blossoms.  The leaves are made with and old book page.  I tucked a loopy burlap bow made from both ivory and natural burlap string beneath the flower.  I debated adding more to the outside of the frame, but decided I liked it just like this.

Sew Decorative Altered Frame 02The hardest part of making this altered frame was deciding which papers to use.  The Sew Decorative CD is loaded with gorgeous papers, ephemera, frames, spool ends, buttons images, button cards and images like the one seen here.  I wrapped a vintage spool with Aqua Delicate Stitched Satin ribbon and glued it inside the frame along with a miniature cast iron sewing machine, a miniature yardstick and other assorted goodies.   These are all bits and pieces that I’ve picked up here and there.  But one of my favorite sources for affordable embellishments like this is the Funkie Junkie Boutique.

This frame would be adorable hanging in a sewing room…who knows, maybe I’ll even hang it in mine!  Actually, I think I’ll load it up into my ETSY shop, so if you want to purchase it for your favorite seamstress (even if that favorite seamstress is YOU) you can find it there.

Thanks for stopping by,



15 thoughts on “Sew Decorative Altered Frame

  1. Pamellia

    Almost fell over when I saw this one Kathy!! GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS!!! Wow, I just got sucked right into all those luscious flowers and laces! Your embellishments are all placed just exactly so, love the scissors!! Another truly stunning piece my friend! hugs 🙂

  2. JudyB

    I love how you can take bits and pieces from everywhere and make something so beautiful out of it. Simply gorgeous.

  3. ncguygirl

    Beautiful! And I love the memory of Mom sewing. I loved that little coat and hat she made for me! Remember the robes she made us out of the fleece blankets? Fun memories. You captured her essence in this piece. Love it!

  4. Robin

    Kathy – I love this frame so much, I bought it! Picture me sitting at my computer with a hugh smile… I’m so happy to finally own something that your creative mind and hard-working (playing) hands put together. Plus, The Sewing Queen becomes my new role model. I never really ever learned how to sew on a machine, but it one of my goals for 2015. The Sewing Queen will shine a little light on me working away in my crafty machine room and hopefully bring me all kinds of good karma. Considering my brief encounter with a sewing machine in seventh grade, I need all the help I can get. Here’s one memory: We had to sew on lined paper to show that we could sew a straight line. All the other girls had moved on to sewing on real material, but my paper lines were always crooked. Finally the teacher asked me what I was doing wrong. I said, “I’m lining up the needle and sewing foot with the line and then I’m letting it go.” She said, “You have to guide it…” Oh! I thought it I lined it up straight, it would go straight. Obviously, not a straight A student in that class…but hoping your Sewing Queen will bring me good luck as I try to learn again how to sew! Love you and all your wonderful projects! Hugs – Robin

  5. Pattie Jns

    Hi Kathy, The shadow box makes me feel that I can walk right in the room with your Mum. beautifully remembered and presented. that sewing machines is just like our old treadle sewing machine. In fact that was the first machine I had ever used. let me tell you hurray for electric. but wow! what was done on the old machine is amazing……LOL ….

  6. Barbara

    This is a beautiful tribute to your Mother & it certainly made me think fondly of my Mother.
    Thank you.

  7. soozyb2013

    Very lovely thing to do to an old frame just sitting around! My Mum was a great sewer, but I never really “got it” but did enjoy watching her sew. I used to love the sound of the machine and I would doze off sometimes. This was going back quite a few years! She had an old Piedmont, deluxe machine these days.
    Carol you are so right about complaining about the weather! It’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s raining a lot. We here in Victoria BC Canada are suffering a heat wave also. Breaking temperatures here.
    Great altered picture frame Kathy! Really like it.

  8. Carol

    I now see where your love of sewing comes from Kathy. This is definitely made with lots of love and memories. Love what you have done with the frame you rescued, the colours are so matching the image. My dad used to sew at home and taught me about the old treadle machine and cutting out patterns, this came from his engineering background. We are having a bit of a heatwave in the UK, now it’s too hot and humid with thunderstorms. Never quite happy are we? X

  9. Candy Colwell

    Oh my goodness, Kathy. This altered frame is gorgeous! You completely had me at just the color of the frame. I love that shabby teal look. But the intricate interior you have created in the interior and the lovely trim that frames it all is just fabulous! You rock, girl!

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