How to make a Photo Mat from your Wedding Dress

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As promised, my friends, part 2 in the “Re-purpose your Wedding Dress” series!! Today I will break down how to make a photo mat with a piece of your dress.

What you’ll need:

Dress

Colored Chalk

Aleene’s Fabric Fusion or Tacky Glue (Aleene’s Spray Tacky Glue may work as well, use gloves though and be wary of sticky overspray)

Wax paper roughly the size of your mat

Heavy book/object to hold edges down while glue dries

Photo Mat (any size desired, there is PLENTY of dress! My mat had a thicker bottom so I could display the embellishments a little better)

Scissors (If you don’t have a pair dedicated to cutting fabric, you can sharpen any old pair by cutting sandpaper! Make sure to clean them well before cutting into your white dress)

Lay the dress out onto your work surface so you can clearly see what you are working with. I used a piece from the skirt so I could highlight a portion of the beadwork but still have plain fabric as well. Take the time to position your ma t exactly where you want it. Be sure that there won’t be any embellishments over the photo area unless you plan on cutting them.

Once you have the mat placed where you want it on the dress, use your chalk to mark where your corners will be when you cut. I made my marks about 2 inches out from the edge of the mat so my marks would be on the back of the mat if they showed when my project was done and I knew I was cutting enough fabric to wrap around the mat.

When your corners are all marked, you are ready to make the cut. Cut straight lines from corner to corner until you have a rectangle completely cut away from your dress. Turn that piece of dress over and begin to cut away the lining. Be very careful to not snip the threads that hold the embellishments in place. Cut away as much lining as you can without damaging the beadwork.

Now that the lining is cut away, place the mat face down on the back of the dress. You need to mark where the cutout for the photo is. Using your chalk, make a mark on the back of the dress similar to the one below. Cut along these lines to create the cutout for your photo.

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Now all of your cuts have been made and its time to start gluing! With the delicate fabrics that most dresses are made with, it is VERY important that no matter what glue you use, you DO NOT place any glue on the front side of your mat. There is a chance that it will bleed through and leave unsightly stains that will ruin your project! Only use glue on the back side of the mat where it won’t be seen.

Aleene’s (Fabric Fusion and Tacky Glue) is very tacky and won’t dry immediately. This gives you some time to make sure the fabric is pulled tight around the mat and that you have the mat placed correctly. You may have to trim the corners of excess fabric so the mat will fit into a frame once the glue is dry. If your embellishments wrap around a corner they may need to be trimmed off too at the edges.

When you have placed your glue on the back of the mat and pulled the inside and outside edges tight, lay your wax paper down over the back of the mat and then your heavy object to keep your edges in place while the glue dries. The wax paper will keep the glue from sticking to your book. Let the glue dry for a few hours and then you are ready to take a look at your finished product! And if by chance there’s a funky spot, you can pull up the edges and straighten it out with no worries!

Here’s the video: http://youtu.be/g_qGSpegFVg

Happy Crafting and stay tuned for:

Heirloom Bouquet Covers

Evening Bag

Fabric Necklace

and MORE all from your gown!

See you soon!

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