How to Frame a 36 x 36 Designer Silk Scarf

Confession: I own a large square silk scarf that cost an exorbitant amount of money (to me) and I have worn approximately 3 times (maximum).  I have always wanted to frame it, because it is BEAUTIFUL, but getting a custom frame that size was expen$$$ive.  

I saw that Kathleen Barnes at had framed a similarly-sized Hermes scarf that was making a statement in her living room, that she acknowledged would have cost a fortune to get custom framed but she found an acrylic alternative on Etsy. I loved it! I had the 36" x 36" frame in my Etsy cart for a long time, but even the $350 price tag for the frame was still a little steep for me! 

About the scarf: When I visited Gucci Garden in Florence in April 2018, I knew I wanted to buy something to commemorate the trip, but I didn't anticipate spending 400 euros on a silk scarf.  However, travel makes you do silly things. I rationalized it because I didn't have a silk scarf this size, I loved that it had a cat/tiger on it, and I LOVED that it spelled Gucci with a Y. 

I hemmed and hawed about the frame, and thought maybe it would go on sale, and decided I could be patient.  I've also been perusing eBay pretty often for custom-sized frames (per a recommendation from Krista Robertson, who ALSO got a scarf framed although not in this gigantic acrylic beast) and came across a listing for a custom acrylic frame that looked very similar to the Etsy version, but around $100 less.  I immediately made sure they had a size that would fit a 36x36, and added to cart.  You can find it here (eBay seller alpinamfgllc).


The frame arrived a week or two later, in a gigantic and very heavy box that I thought might kill me when I was trying to bring it up the stairs.  It sat next to my window in my office for the next two weeks, because I could tell it would be a two-person job and required drilling into the wall...aka I needed Andrew to help me and it would have to wait until we were free on the weekend.  I finally bugged him enough to get him to hang it last night, and boy was it a struggle.

As I mentioned, the frame is very heavy. It's made up of two large acrylic pieces that stick together and hold your art piece or scarf in between them like a sandwich. 

The way the frame works (which is not apparent from the eBay or the Etsy listings): the frame that fits a 36x36 scarf has 8 little nubs, one in each corner, and one in the middle of each corner.  You will have to drill a hole into your wall, insert a little plastic anchor, and then screw 3/4 of the little nub into the wall.  We held up one acrylic piece to the wall where we wanted it to go, and then marked little X's in each hole to know where to drill the holes. 

Once the drills are done, you will have to set your scarf onto the back piece of the acrylic.   I steamed mine first, which also took some time to let it dry off.  The frame comes with a little strip of double-sided adhesive that you can use to affix your art piece to the back piece of the frame. 

There are little markings for the "corners," but they were not marked at the 36 x 36 measurement that I ordered from.  I basically eyeballed it as best as I could to get each corner of the scarf the same distance from the little marked corners.  Once you get the scarf where you want it (this takes a while too, it's so large and staticky that I had to just get it as acceptable as I could get it), you carefully lay the top acrylic piece to make the art sandwich.  From there, you somehow have to get both pieces (the sandwich) over to wear the little nubs are.  

Contrary to my previous belief, the holes of the acrylic frame do not rest over or on top of the nubs. No, the acrylic sheets stay up only by the tiny section of the screws of the top of the nubs.  This means that someone has to hold both acrylic pieces in place, where the holes in the acrylic match up with each nub hole, and someone else has to go through and screw in the tops of the nubs to keep it in place.  This was absolutely the hardest part, as if the other parts didn't sound hard enough.  We initially started with screwing in the bottom, as I thought that would be the easiest in terms of supporting the frames. However, once we got to the top screws, they wouldn't line up with the acrylic holes.  We had to start over, from the top this time.  This time, it worked much better and miraculously we were able to fit every screw into the holes.  NOT without effort though! The entire project probably took around an hour and a half to put up, and a lot of added stress and increased blood pressure.  

I still think it's worth it though. I had been looking at Oliver Gal pieces to put in this same space, for an addition of color and whimsy, but I really knew that this was the lewk I was going for. It's the statement I wanted to be able to see while I'm sitting at my desk!  Would I recommend this same frame set up to someone else?  Only with this caveat, that it is not easy to put up, and you might risk your relationship over it.  Now that it's up though, I've already almost forgotten about that stressful time, and now I'm just enjoying this souvenir from an amazing Florence trip every day that I have to sit down at my desk! 

And of course, here's a little before and after for how it transformed the Pelly corner: 

The best part is, you could change the scarf/art/print inside the frame. The bad part is, the effort that will be required to do so makes it so that we will probably never change the inside of this frame! It's still a great idea for a large piece of decor and allows you to display a precious item that you might not get to appreciate very often.  I love it! 



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