Do you have a vintage piece of needlework, favorite photo, decorative plate, or piece of artwork stashed away in a closet that doesn't fit your current style? You know, the one that you can't seem to part with, because your really did like it and still like it, but it doesn't "fit in" with your current decor? I had just such a piece. My brother, Tom, gave me this sweet, Hummel, needlework kit of two children peaking over the fence over 30 years ago. I had moved to Pittsburgh and was very homesick. I suspect it was his way of helping me keep myself occupied. (He's a good brother!)
I have always like this image and I spent a lot of time and effort stitching it together. It hung in our home for many years, and then it got packed away in a closet. It wasn't fitting in with our decor, but it was too, good to throw away. I came across it again recently, and began to think about what I could do to update this piece. Want to see what I did? Check out the updated, very functional, and dare I say, beautiful bulletin board in my sewing room!
After perusing some blogs and pinning some pins, I came up with the idea of giving this sweet, little piece more presence. Posts such as the one above was the inspiration for the upcycle.
Originally, I was going to get a frame from a thrift shop, paint it, distress it, cover a backing piece with burlap, and attach the needlepoint to the center of the newly created frame. Then, I happened upon this white painted, distressed, bulletin board, with a burlap background, for $20.00 at TJ Maxx. It was perfect and all ready for me to implement my plan.
I realized the one thing I didn't like about the framed needlework, was the cheap looking frame. Round frames can be pricey, there seems to be a limited selection, and then there is the whole issue of finding the right size. I decided to paint the frame to match the purchased bulletin board. Paint can totally transform a piece, and it certainly made a big difference on this frame. It went from dated and a little cheap looking, to vintage and glam!
Now that I had a plan, to bring more presence to the needlepoint image by framing it within a frame, the rest of the project was very simple and quick to assemble. Waiting for paint to dry, was literally the longest part of the project.
I was delighted with it. I debated about printing a clever saying or inspirational word on it. For now, I decided against it. This board will be used to keep post-it notes, receipts, and other items organized in my sewing room.
At first, I was going to hang the bulletin board above my sewing machine. It seemed like a perfect spot to view it and appreciate it. But, I already have my great-grandmother's, hand sewn quilt hanging there. It, too, is an inspiration piece and a connection to my past. I like the scenario I have going on here. Time to check out another wall!
Ultimately, I decided to hang it on the wall perpendicular to my cutting table. I spend a lot of time at the cutting table, so the the board is still in my full view most of the time. The burlap background really made the bright colors in the needlework pop. Once again, it has become a treasured piece!
Before hanging it, I found this Parisian styled, hanging shelf on sale at JoAnn Fabrics. It was a perfect addition to accompany the bulletin board.
Now I had two pieces that are very functional, decorative, and are more in line with my current design sense.
I am so happy to have updated this sweet piece of cross stitch, that was a gift from my brother, so many years ago. I am glad I held onto it and updated it.
Do you have a needlework piece, decorative plate, photo, or piece of art work that could use a a little TLC? This technique of "framing" a smaller piece within a larger piece can give added presence and a new personality to an old favorite. I encourage you to dust off your treasures, and try your hand at up cycling. To paraphrase a saying, "what's old, can be made new again!"
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