How to Frame 3D Wooden Art: Vintage Cat Edition

Have you seen the vintage wooden wall art from the mid-century era? There were birds, retro shapes and cats, of course!

You can hang them on the wall as-is. But for a more prominent display, it’s simple to mount them over fabric in a set of frames. Here’s how to recreate this popular 1960s trend.

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Vintage Wooden Cat Art

If you search eBay or Etsy’s vintage section for midcentury wooden wall art, wooden cat wall art, vintage wooden cats or similar terms, you should be able to track down some fantastic kitties!

You might also find owls, seagulls, or the beloved spoon and fork of the era, depending on the look you’re going for. Just make sure they aren’t too heavy to glue to the frame.

We were thrilled to find a trio of wooden mod cats at a flea market.

Framing Wooden Cat Art


  • 3D wooden wall art
  • Frames (I used two 10 x 20-inch frames for my trio of cats)
  • Textured fabric (canvas, burlap or Sunbrella work well; I used this style)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and sticks
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker or pencil

Cut and Glue Textured Fabric

Start by cutting a piece of fabric about four inches larger than your frame all the way around, leaving enough to wrap the fabric around the glass. Pull the frame apart and set aside the mat.

Close-up of textured Sunbrella fabric behind wooden art display
Here’s a close-up of the textured Sunbrella fabric.

Then with the front side of the fabric facing outward, center it over the glass and insert it into the frame. Try to keep the textured lines of the fabric level within the frame.

Wrapping textured fabric around glass in frame

Add the mat (or some kind of cardboard backing) behind the glass to help fill in the frame and give you a surface to glue down the fabric.

Then pretend like you’re upholstering a chair, but with hot glue instead of staples. Start pulling the fabric around the glass and gluing it down nice and tight, making sure the textured lines stay level.

At first the fabric will be a little puffy or baggy in front of the frame, so keep gluing it tight and checking how it looks.

Once the fabric is smooth and flat in front, you can close up the frame.

Position Wooden Cats

Now it’s time to position the cats (or birds or forks)! You can use a ruler to help with spacing.

Positioning wooden cats on front of frame for display

Use a fabric marker or pencil to lightly mark a few spots around the cats so you know where to glue them.

Attach Wooden Cats

There are a few different ways you could attach the art to the fabric on the frame. Some options are command hooks, clear adhesive dots and hot glue.

I tried to cut a few holes in the fabric and use clear adhesive dots to hold the cats to the glass, but the adhesive stretched out under the weight of the bigger cats.

Hot glue on back of wooden cat art to attach to canvas and frame

So I went with hot glue to hold the art securely in place. Hot glue can be scraped off and sanded away if you ever want to return the art to its original look.

Squeeze glue onto the back of a wooden cat, staying away from the edges to prevent any glue from oozing out the sides. Then position the cat within the marks on your fabric, and press it down.

Continue attaching the wooden cats until the set is complete.

Vintage wooden cat art displayed on textured fabric in frame
Mid-century wooden wall art displayed with Cathrineholm collection

If you don’t want to use glue, you might be able to use command hooks to loosely hang the cat art on the frame. Or wrap a thin wood board with fabric (instead of the glass), and then hammer nails in it to hang the art in the frame.

Displaying Wooden Cat Art

The result is so very mid-century!

This wooden wall art looks great in the dining room, living room, kitchen or anywhere. You could also mix and match different fabric colors, or try other wooden shapes.

Mid-century wooden cat wall art

However, I think Jane is a little jealous of all these new cats getting attention around the house.

You might also like these cat decor ideas.

How to frame wooden mid-century cat art
How to frame wooden cat art

2 thoughts on “How to Frame 3D Wooden Art: Vintage Cat Edition”

  1. What an awesome find from a flea market! WOW!! They go perfect in your MCM home. I am sure Jane and Charlie approve! πŸ˜‰ And a great way to frame and display them! (I had the big wooden spoon and fork I got at one of those home decorating type parties years ago. I also had owls instead of kitties.)So long ago hard to remember all the details of them but do remember that much!) You guys find great β€œstuff” at flea markets and antique stores and also thrift stores. You did good and great instructions for the framing!

    • I love the fork and spoon and retro owls! We were really happy to find these kitties at a flea market. And I love how they look with Cathrineholm. It’s a cheerful little section in the dining room now. πŸ™‚


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