Tag Archives: how to make a bag for a framed painting

How to Make a Painting Pouch


Make your own painting pouches for presentations, transportation, or just for storing the frames you got on sale (the ones for those paintings you haven’t yet finished).

I happen to have fabric remnants because I made market bags (like this), once upon a time.  But you can repurpose old drapes, Red.Indianuse an old quilt–if you have one you don’t mind cutting–or recycle a clean but beat-up canvas drop-cloth.

I had fabric remnants, and also some leftover, thick foam underlayment (the padding used under pool liners), and used it for all but one of the painting pouches shown above.  The foam-less one is the pink-flamingo-on-black pouch in front, on the floor in the photo.  It was made with a quilted lining instead, which makes it more washable but also more difficult to slide a framed painting inside.

The foam interfacing I use here isn’t necessary, but it does add a level of protection and this is a way to repurpose it.  (Do you know somebody who installs pools?)  You’ll want good, heavy fabric like cotton duck, if you eliminate the foam interfacing.

Measure your painting side-to-side, and add the depth of both sides;  do the same for the top and bottom.  Add a couple inches (at least) for seams to those figures, and find two pieces of fabric long enough, when folded in half, to fulfill those measurements and give you an inner and outer finished “bag.”

Here are a series of photos and simple instructions:

You’ll need an inner bag and an outer bag.  Cut two pieces of fabric;  fold both in half.  Cut corners; reserve corner pieces.

I cut these corners a bit larger because I wanted to cut the scraps in half lengthwise, and use the eight pieces for four handle straps.  Unless you have a very large frame, cut a smaller rectangle, an inch tall and an inch and a half wide (allowing for the side seams).  That one-inch cut upward translates into  the “floor” of the finished painting pouch–which, since the fabric is folded, already gives you a two-inch width.  After it’s sewn, you’ll be adding another half-inch, at least.

cornersCut a length of interfacing to a bit less than the length of the (unfolded) fabric;  fold in half and lay over your folded fabric.  Use clothespins to hold the fold temporarily.  Then cut the foam interfacing corners a bit larger than the fabric corners, to allow for seams (the interfacing will sit between two finished “bags”).

foam corner cuts


The hard part is over.  Or not.  Oops…



foam interfacingAfter the mistakes are corrected…mistake

(I had to remove an inch, and re-do.  I remembered that the foam sits inside two “bags,” and I had to allow for seams.)




Sew the side seamstack seam

Tack (sew down) the selvages.


corner reverseOnce both the inner and outer pouches are side-seamed and tacked, fold the four corners and sew each.

Turn the outer pouch right-side out.match corners

Fit inner (in this case, black) pouch into the outer (flowered) pouch, finding the corners and pinning them together.

pin in & out together(At this step, if your painting pouch isn’t huge, you can insert the foam interfacing into the outer pouch, insert the inner pouch, and then proceed with the corner seam.  For a larger pouch, it’s easier to sew the corners together without all that bulky foam already inside.)

corner seamSew the corners of the inner and outer pouches together.



fit foam 1Insert the foam interfacing, wrestling it into place between the inner and pouter pouch.fit foam 2

For this project, I wanted to use some unused purse handles from my bag making days, so I made straps from the fabric corners, which will be sewn into the top of the pouch.

strapsFabric straps are more practical, though, and easily made from leftovers of the same heavy fabric used for the painting pouch.  The large red painting pouch in the introductory photo uses the same duck canvas fabric for its handles, cut and sewn into two 32″ straps.  I rolled and sewed down the center of each strap for a comfortable grip handle, and set them into the top about eight inches apart.

These straps are set in about six inches apart at center, and the handle strapsinner and outer pouches are pinned together, starting at the side seams and working around the top.  Ease the interfacing down as you go, so it sits snugly between its fabric pouches.

Since I used snap hooks in this project (with visions of metal scratching a framed painting), I tucked the edge of the outer pouch deeper in before pinning everything together, allowing the inner pouch to come up higher.

finished bagLast step:  sew the inner and outer pouches together.  Sew it twice. Use a decorative stitch even, but do tack down the handle straps!

Seriously, a half-hour of cutting  and two hours of sewing.  I think it took longer to explain than to make!