How to frame a football kit

October 1, 2020

If you have typed this query into a search engine, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across some concerning stories about framing football kits costing hundreds of pounds. Luckily, there are ways to receive similar results at a far lower price. There are pros and cons to the homemade and the more expensive options. Ultimately, this decision will usually come down to how much you value the item and how much control you’d want over how it looks. If the shirt has more personal meaning to you, it might be better to frame it yourself, even if the end result is less professional looking. If you own a shirt signed by Pele in the 1960’s, it’s probably going to be worth paying a hundred pounds, to show it off and keep a priceless item in the best condition possible.

What is the cheapest way to frame a football kit?

If you don’t want to pay for a professional to frame your shirt, you have a few lower cost options. You could buy a specialist shirt frame, usually for around £40-£50, or you could measure the shirt and find an appropriately sized frame for half the price. As with the option between professional or self-framing, it comes down to a choice between convenience and value. It probably makes more sense to look for a frame yourself but if you don’t want to spend time doing that, the option to buy one designed for football kits is always there. You should also consider how you’d like to frame the shirt. Some might fold it, so that the front or name and number are highlighted, while others might prefer to have the entire shirt on display.

The size of the frame needed will vary dramatically depending on the size of the shirt. This will also be impacted by your decision of whether to fold the shirt or not. Unfortunately, we can’t give much advice for a specific situation, you will just need to position the shirt in the way you want to frame it and measure it. Once you have your measurements, you can start looking for a case.

What type of frame should you buy for a football shirt?

We would recommend a shadow box, specifically designed to block UV rays, because these will help to protect the shirt from sunlight. Feel free to choose any frame that you like the look of though. Other than the protection afforded by shadow boxes, every other difference is mostly aesthetic.

As well as the frame, you will also want to buy archival paper and a backing board (the frame may already come with this). The backing board can be made of a number of materials but it needs to provide enough support to the shirt. Foam would work well and is probably the easiest option to work with. You will also need another large piece of foam or cardboard to cut into the shape of the shirt. The archival paper you choose will be the visible background so make sure you choose a colour that complements your shirt.

Once you have all of your materials, you can begin to work on the construction.

  1. Cut the foam and archival paper to the shape of the frame, so that it fits snugly within it.
  2. Attach the foam and paper, using tape or a small amount of adhesive.
  3. Cut the foam or cardboard into the shape of the shirt. You should fold the sleeves inwards and trace around your shirt onto the foam, creating a rounded rectangle with a cut out at the top, where the neckline is. Once you have this shape, cut it out and place it inside the shirt. You can make minor adjustments at this point. The shirt should have more shape to it and be supported by the foam, to the point where it can stand up and lean against something. Trim the foam if it is visible within the shirt.
  4. Lay the shirt on the archival paper and foam that you attached earlier. Use a ruler or measuring tape to make sure that the shirt is centred in the way that you want it to be.
  5. This step is optional so feel free to skip it. Fold the sleeves of the shirt inwards, so that the badges and logos are facing outwards and pin them in place. Fold the bottom of the shirt inwards so that it is flat and fasten it in place in the same way.
  6. Next, you need to fasten the shirt to the backboard. Depending on the rarity, value and age of the kit, you may want to avoid certain options. For example, pins might work best but could damage older kits. You could use blu tack, magnets, Velcro, tape, pins or a combination but the decision ultimately comes down to individual preference.
  7. Once the kit is fastened, you can customise it in any way you want. Some people create a frame that they apply to the front, highlighting a certain area of the shirt. Others add detailing like pictures or other smaller decorations around the kit. You could also choose to leave it plain.
  8. After everything is done, put the backboard into the frame and shut it. Adjustments should be fairly easy to make at any point.

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