How to Frame a Jersey

Whether you collect sports memorabilia for fun or hope to make some money from your collection, it is important to display your items and preserve their value. There are many different ways to show off your sports memorabilia, including frames and display cases. If you own a replica sports jersey, use a shadowbox frame to display the garment; framing your jersey at home is easy, and will save you loads of money compared to going to a professional framer. Read on in Step One for directions on framing your own jersey.
Choose the right frame. To display a sports jersey, use a shadowbox frame, which is a shallow, framed, rectangular box is usually use. Shadow boxes have a glass front that is ideal for displaying and protecting bulky items, because they provide more space between the backing and the glass than a traditional frame does. The inside of the frame will need to have at least 1 inch (25.4 mm) of space between it and your jersey. The typical jersey-size frame is 40-inches by 32-inches.[1]Select a backing. Unlike with a regular picture frame, the backing that comes with your shadow box may not be all you need to use for your framing project. For a jersey, typically you need foam backing to provide support (this might come in the frame), and an acid-free archival backing paper to go over the top. You may or may not choose to use matting around the edges for extra effect.[2]

Get the rest of your supplies. For completing your project, you’ll also need a measuring tape, an x-acto knife, a sewing needle (embroidery works best), clear thread (like fishing line), and whatever mounting materials you chose to use (specific to the type of backing you’re using). You’ll probably also want a clothing iron, so that you can prepare your jersey for framing and help the folds to lie flat inside the frame.

Prepare your backing. Cut your foam or backing board to shape, using an x-acto knife. The board should be the same size as your frame. Then, place your mounting paper over the top. If you’re dry mounting the backing, you should do so now.
Cut your foam board insert. If you have enough room inside the shadow box frame, it is a nice addition to insert a sheet of foam inside the jersey, inside the frame. This will provide support and help the jersey to look a bit more filled-out than if you pin it flat to the board. Cut a piece of your foam board into a rectangle the size of the torso of the jersey, and insert it inside. You can sew the backside of the jersey to the board to help secure it in place, or just use a few straight pins.

Fold your jersey. Although there are a few different ways to fold your jersey, they all are done so that the major logos and symbols are visible inside the frame. Lay your jersey flat on a tabletop, and fold the sleeves over so that they go downwards. Use an iron to keep the jersey in this position, to prepare it for its life in a frame.

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