These instructions assume you have some knowledge of picture frame making and framing in general. It's an exacting skill, but with the right tools and a good teacher, the basics can be learned in a short time.
I wished I had photographed my process during the workshop, because I've managed to make it sound so much more complicated than it really is. I hope you are able to get some kind of an idea.
* A piece of textile to frame
* Foam board for backing the textile
* A piece of mount board smaller than the foam board above; the color doesn't matter for piece
* Tapestry T Pins; there are many sites that sell these, but this is one site I found with different size pins.
* Conservation tape
* Mounting board
* Foam board the same size as the mounting board, plus some skinny strips or plastic strips
* Frame and glass, conservation tape, double sided tape, PVC glue, saw tooth or D-rings or triangle hangers, and cord
* Craft knife, scissors, cutting board, straight edge, something with a right angle
* In addition, if you are making the frame yourself: mitre and saw or a frame guillotine, joiner-underpinner, Fleximater or Multimaster point driver, glass cutter (Most if not all of these should be accessible in a good workshop/class.)
* In order to make the textile appear as if it is floating, a deep frame is desirable.
1) Decide the shape and the size of the area of the textile you wish to show, then cut a piece of foam board slightly smaller than what you decided.
My needlepoint piece was not exactly a rectangle, so I placed the piece on top of a foam board, punched holes in the four corners of the design with a T pin, and drew lines connecting these holes. In the illustrations below, I'm showing you a regular rectangle foam board pinned with a irregular piece of textile.
2) Press the textile if appropriate. Flatten and stretch the piece over the cut foam board, and secure with a T pin in the center of one side of the board, followed by a second pin in the center of the opposite side. The third pin goes in the center of a third side; the fourth pin in the center of its opposite side. In other words, place pins in the same way you would tighten a drum. Stick the fifth pink on the first side, the sixth in the opposite side, and so on, until all sides are secured and the textile stretched evenly.(An alternative is to stitch the back of the fabric instead of using pins; this is more time consuming but no pins or stitches will be visible in the final display.)
3) Fold the corners into a square (?). (Teacher Lance said "hospital tucks" but we use fitted sheets!!)
4) Tape the turned part of the fabric to the back of the foam board with conservation tape. (Yellow strips below.)
5) Cut a piece of mounting board a tad smaller than the area of the foam board showing in the back. (The green shape.) Depending on the thickness of your fabric, you may wish to cut two pieces of mounting board, or a piece of foam board instead. This is to give the whole piece an even thickness, so the color or the texture of the mounting board is inconsequential.
6) Use double-sided tape and PVA glue to secure the mounting board to the back of the foam board and conservation tape. Place a weight on top if necessary. 7) If you are using a ready-made frame, measure and cut a piece of foam board and an appropriate colored/textured mounting board to go in the frame; they are usually the same as the glass. If you are making your frame, decide on the size and shape of the foam and mounting boards and cut accordingly. There is no need to, but you can secure the mounting board to the foam board.
8) Secure the textile-on-foam-board, textile side up, onto the cut mounting board with double-sided tape and PVA. Apply weight if necessary.
9) Decide how far the textile should be off set from the glass. Cut enough strips of foam board in that width to go all around the inside of the frame. (See pink below.) If your frame or mat is dark, you may wish to use a black foam board; there are clear plastic sticks for this purpose available from frame supply shops and possibly from craft or model supply shops. Personally I can also see using mounting boards, but you're best to ask a professional's opinion.
10) Assemble frame. Fit the foam board strips, sideways so the papered side is shown, all the way around the inside of the frame; use PVA to secure to the inside of frame. Sit the textile/mounting board/foam board piece on top of the foam strips. Secure the foam board to the frame with a point driver. Affix a setup of your choice to hang the frame.
If I were to cut the completed picture frame in half, the cross section would look something like this: The lighting is hideous today, but here are a few more pictures of my frame.
(Ooops, clean laundry in the corner. Thank you for putting up with my wordiness.)
(And the name, "Floating Island", I just made it up. There's probably a correct term somewhere...)
Halcyon Yarns has T-pins, 1.75 inches long, in a box of 35.