DIY Home

For One-of-a-Kind Artwork, Just Frame Textiles

Not only is it personal to you, but it's super easy to do.

September 16, 2021
Photo by Jacinda Boneau

I’m of the belief that one can never have too many pieces of wall art—my own home is filled with prints, beautiful abstracts, and funky portraits—but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that traditional prints and paintings, while lovely, are not the only kind of artwork worth celebrating.

Recently, I’ve become majorly obsessed with framed textiles, and I love incorporating these throughout my home. I’ve enjoyed displaying everything from scarves to fabric remnants to cloth cocktail napkins, and that’s just the beginning! Still not sold? Sentimental T-shirts, special rugs, and pocket squares also make for ideal textiles to pop into a frame. In her own home, blogger Jacinda Boneau chose to feature a vibrant rug she picked up during her travels to Jordan.

Jacinda Boneau's framed rug she sourced while on a trip in Jordan. Photo by Jacinda Boneau

Just as there are a number of types of textiles that you may wish to showcase, you can go a few different routes when it comes to framing your pieces. If you’re a skilled DIYer, you may wish to take framing matters into your own hands. After spotting beautiful but expensive framed fabric artwork at Pottery Barn, design blogger Jenna Kate Shaughnessy was inspired to create replicas without breaking the bank. Shaughnessy turned to Etsy for her fabric, opting for a beautiful blue and white design that she then cut and framed to her liking. “Framing textiles is an easy and inexpensive way to add beauty and color to your home,” Shaughnessy says.

Pottery Barn inspired textile set by Jenna Kate Shaughnessy. Photo by Jenna Kate Shaughnessy

Of course, there’s no need to order fabric if you already have gorgeous textiles on hand. “For unique art for any room, consider framing fabric scraps from towels, placemats or tablecloths as well as scarves, handkerchiefs, or sentimental items such as baby blankets,” she advises. Shaughnessy encourages those eager to complete a project like hers to keep frame style top of mind. “Using a frame with a mat will provide the best look and help hide any uneven edges,” she notes. Of course, for a piece such as a baby onesie, you may wish to float mount it as blogger Jeanne Chan did—the pink background adds a sweet touch.

A framed baby onesie by Jeanne Chan. Photo by Jeanne Chan

If you’re dealing with an expensive or one of a kind piece, you may wish to bring it into a pro. Just keep in mind that some frame shops have a limit as to the size of textile they’ll work with—a large Hermès scarf, for example—a designer favorite—measures 35 by 35 inches and may require attention from someone who specializes in bigger pieces. Additionally, note that professional framing is generally on the pricier side, so you’ll want to take cost into account when budgeting for a special piece. That said, if you do wish to truly preserve a textile and ensure that it will shine for decades to come, pro framing is certainly a worthwhile investment. And of course, when bringing a textile into the framer’s, you’ll want to make sure that it is wrinkle- and stain-free—the item will not be easy to remove from its frame down the line!

Dabito Photo by Blue and white Otomi framed textile by Dabito.

Whether you go the professional framing route, complete a DIY, or are lucky enough to source a pre-framed piece from either a major retailer or a vintage seller, you may be wondering where to hang your new art. Generally, large framed textiles look best displayed alone to allow for maximum impact, but their exact placement is completely up to you. Blogger Dabito hung a framed Otomi textile from St. Frank above his bed, and the hues perfectly complement the other blues and whites he incorporated in the room. In my own home, I chose to display a thrifted Hermès scarf above my large, executive-style desk. I needed something sizable to fill the blank wall above my workspace and was drawn to the scarf’s bold colors, which pop paired with burlwood.

Framed vintage Hermés scarf by Sarah Lyon. Photo by Lauren Zillinger for Laura Metzler Photo

Not looking to hammer or drill into the wall? We’ve got you covered. Because of the artful, oversized nature of framed textiles, they also look beautiful leaning—place a frame atop a sideboard or mantel and let it make a major statement, no toolkit needed.

Do you have any non-traditional framed items hanging in your home? Tell us about them below!

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Sarah Lyon

Written by: Sarah Lyon

Freelance writer and interior design enthusiast