DIY: Cloth photo mat

Greetings Readers!

I recently signed up for National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) through BlogHer, a media company specialized in blogging and social media. Basically all this means is that I have to publish a blog post everyday throughout the month of October, except Saturday’s and Sunday’s. The theme this month is simply: FALL. I have no idea what blogging every day will be like, but I do know that every single time I write, I learn something new. I’m excited to see what it will be this month. Now come on everybody, FALLow along with me!

Ok, so I was very close to calling this post Lost without a memory (card). However, the point of this post is to share a meaningful way to create a cloth photo mat. I’ll get to that in a minute. But first…

A true story.

Just after lunch today, I was getting ready to upload photos to my computer. The kids were playing quietly, I had just finished making my first cloth photo mat, and I was about to start drafting a post before I had to put them in bed for nap time.

As I was about to insert my memory card into the side of my computer, I fumbled it, and it slipped right out of my hand. Not at all worried, I got down on my hands and knees and expected to find it on the floor. But it was gone. Vanished into thin air. Not dismayed I got back up and moved a few things around on my desk. Nope. Still missing.

At this point my feathers were a little ruffled, but I thought I’d go play with the kids before their nap and look for it later. We’ve all dropped something and it’s literally vanished into thin air like a magic trick, but it eventually turns up. Right?

Hours later I am still perplexed. Where is my f’in memory card? I’ve quickly moved from not worried to feathers ruffled to perplexed to straight up pissed. I finally devised the following theory in my head: It must have dropped down into my sleeve instead of falling to the ground. The more I thought about it, I realized I technically never heard it hit the ground. Instead, I just assumed that was the only place it could go.

Once I convinced myself that my theory needed further investigation, I began to retrace my steps. Because if I was right, it had to have eventually fallen out of my sleeve and be lying somewhere in my own house. I had already shaken out my shirt at this point with no luck of it magically appearing.

With new purpose, I quickly headed to the toy area because that was the first place I went after I gave up my initial search. I scoured the area with sharp eyes, felt around the mess of toys, moved things around, and dumped out the toy bin that Lance asked me to look for his Lego motorcycle in. Nothing.

I went back into the bathroom where I earlier went for a potty break. Nothing.

I dumped out Vivian’s toy bin because I remembered gathering a few of her toys and tossing them in when I came back from the bathroom. Nothing.

Then I went into the kitchen to check the area where I snuck a cookie when Lance wasn’t looking. Nothing.

I went back into the living and did everything short of turning the furniture over. Nothing.

Then it was back to the kitchen to check the area where I snuck my second cookie (there was only one left) when Lance wasn’t looking. Feeling desperate I even pulled the empty cookie tray out of the trash to see if it had fallen in there in my moment of sweet treat weakness. Nothing.

By this time, it was nap time. I took the kids into Lance’s room for stories, then covered him up and left the room when after we read. Next I got Vivian settled in her crib then came back into the living room completely and utterly befuddled.

I did a final scan of the room before resorting to plan B and taking two pictures on my pocket camera of the DIY cloth frame mat that I had previously shot (in steps) on my nice camera. I can deal, I thought. For now.

Luckily I recently uploaded all the pictures on that particular memory card so I’m not missing a lot of images, but I did shoot of bunch of outdoor leaf pictures earlier today, and of course, various steps in the DIY cloth photo mat that I better share now and end this very sad story.


I’ll keep this brief since I’ve already exceeded my intended word count (twice over) for this post.

Basically, a 4X6 print of Lance and Vivian, that I’ve wanted to frame for a while now, has been sitting idle on my desk. I found a frame I really liked at Hobby Lobby, but it was a 5X7 frame. I bought it anyway with the intent to think of a way to mat the 4X6 picture into the 5X7 frame. I sat on the project for a while before it finally hit me.

You see, I have been struggling with what outgrown kid clothes to save and what outgrown kid clothes to give away. I’m pretty sure I’m done having kids, but even if not, baby clothes are pretty easy to come by. A friend recently suggested making a quilt out of favorite pieces of clothing as a keepsake. I am definitely going to do this in the future, but I am not there yet.

In the meantime I got the idea to cut the shirt Vivian was wearing in the photo and use it as the mat. She’s already outgrown the outfit and it was on its way to a Rubbermaid bin anyway, but using it as the mat would be a great way to “keep” the outfit and frame a special picture of my kids.

I’m not going to lie, it hurt a little when I cut it, but now that I have the  photo in the frame and on display I am really happy with my decision – even if it was one of the first baby girl outfits I ever bought for her. Wah! I’m sentimental like that.


If you’d like to do something similar, follow these easy steps:

1. Choose a picture and frame (one size larger) that you love.

2. Iron the article of clothing you plan to cut.

3. Fold it around the hard backing placed behind the glass.

4. Tape or use fabric glue to keep it in place.

5. Mount the picture and insert it into the frame.


Photo credit: Carrie Steil

Pretty neat way to make an already special picture even more special. If you like using artsy fabrics but aren’t fluent in pressor foots and zig-zag stitches, this is also a great no-sew project.


If anyone can tell me where my memory card might be I will love you forever.


The Banter Lady

To read yesterday’s post click here: White Fall Farm: Pumpkin Patch

About britta326

blogger, picture-taker, diaper-changer, runner

7 thoughts on “DIY: Cloth photo mat

  1. I hope you find your memory card. I lost a journal once for over a year and through 2 moves! I thought it was lost forever having gone through EVERYTHING I had owned. I finally found it! It was pure bliss.

    Great photo idea. I will be sure to store that one in the back of my mind!

    • I know, I keep thinking that all of the sudden I will walk over to my desk and it will have miraculously appeared, but no such luck.

      You could do the photo mat with hiking or camping clothing that’s worn out!

  2. Pingback: These shorter, darker days | Britta's Banter

  3. What a clever girl!! I’m totally doing this!! Hope the memory card turns up. I too know how frustrating it is to have something disappear in your house. My house has swallowed many a sippy cup, lovey, and most recently Georgia’s nightlight. Things that make you go hmmm

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