How to Choose Furniture Mouldings
This tutorial will help you to select the perfect designs.
Having problems deciding what mouldings to use on your project? With all the many designs available, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose. This tutorial will help you choose furniture mouldings that you can be sure will look great.
As a former stylist and designer for events, I found it incredibly useful to have a visual aid to help me choose the correct design elements. It helped my workflow become more efficient as I’d know i was buying the right materials first time. It may have taken a little time to draw up my design layouts, but it saved time and money in the long run as the design would always work when it came to production.
I thought it might be helpful for some customers if I shared a way to do this in the context of choosing the right moulding for your projects.
This is a step by step guide about creating a digital mock-up of your project so that you can get a really good visual on how the mouldings will fit with your project. .
Step 1 – Photograph Furniture
Take a photo of the piece you are going to up-cycle. Make sure you take a photo front on, and as square as possible, so the sides are not distorted. That is, you want the vertical edges of the piece to be parallel with the sides of the photo. I have illustrated this below.
Step 2 – Measure Furniture
Measure the Height and Width of the face of the furniture that you want to mock up. In this case, I will measure the height and width of the front of the furniture as illustrated below.
Step 3 – Choose Furniture Mouldings
Save pictures of the moulding/s you want to use for the mock-up from the description on the moulding’s product page in the Chic Mouldings shop. To do this, right click on the image and select “Save Image As”. Then save it to the location on your computer of your choice.
Step 4 – Obtain Moulding Dimensions
Take note of the height and width of the moulding/s as written in the product description box.
Now comes the fun part. We need to scale the photo of the furniture to the correct scale, and then add the mouldings onto it and make sure they are also scaled correctly.
Step 5 – Open your drawing software.
Open your layout software, or if you don’t have any yet, download and install suitable software.
I usually use a program called Adobe Illustrator to do this, but for the purpose of this tutorial, I will show you how to do it using a free program called Inkscape.
Step 6 – Import your furniture photo.
1 – Import your furniture photo. Select File>Import (see picture below) and then find and import the photo you took of your furniture. Click on it, then hit Open.
2 – Select import options as shown below, then click OK. You should now see your image in your work area. It doesn’t matter if the image is not sitting on the artboard.
3 – Save your file. Click File > Save As and save the file in the usual way.
How to zoom
You should now see your image in the workspace. If at any point the images is too big or small on the workspace, you can zoom in or out to a more useful size view. Hold down the Ctrl key while you roll the scroll wheel (between the left and right buttons) on your mouse, this will zoom you in and out.
Step 7 – Draw a rectangle
Draw a rectangle that match the dimensions of the front of your whole piece of furniture.
To do this:
1 – Click the rectangle tool in the toolbox on the left of the screen.
2 – Click and hold anywhere on your workspace, then drag the mouse down and to the right, then release, You should now have square or rectangle.
3 – Correct the dimensions in the fields indicated in the image below. Make this the width and height of your object. In this example, I will change it to 760mm H x 870mm Wide.
If the square is not blue don’t worry, we will correct this in the next step.
Step 8 – Make the rectangle into an outline
1 – Make sure you have selected the black arrow (selection) tool in the toolbox on the left side of the screen.
Click on the square to select it. (It is selected when you wee black arrows on the corners and half way along each edge.)
2 – In the menu at the top of the window, click Object > Fill and Stroke. See below image
In the box that opens, you can see 3 tabs along the top. Fill, Stroke Paint and Stroke Style.
3 – Click on the Fill tab, then click the black X to select “no fill”.
4 – Click on the Stroke Paint tab, then click on the grey box next to the X.
5 – On the same tag, make sure the colour is set up as show below. R = 0, G = 0, B = 0, A = 100.
6 – Click on the Stroke Style tab and make the width 1.
7 – Close the Fill and Stroke Panel.
8 – Click File > Save to save your work.
In your work area, you should now have an outline of a square, which has the dimensions of your furniture, and the photo you imported earlier.
Step 9 – Scale your furniture photo.
1 – Make sure you have selected the black arrow tool, then click on your photo. Click it again ,and you will notice the black arrows around the edge change, Click until the black arrows look like the arrows in the below image.
2 – Next, use the little arrows on the corners and the sides to re-size your photo until the top, bottom and sides line up with the rectangle you created earlier.
You will notice the arrows turn green when you move the mouse onto them. Click and drag the arrow on the corner to move a corner, or on the side to move an edge.
You will now have something like the image below. Please note, I changed the colour of the rectangle outline to pink and 2mm thickness, so it shows up better. You can make your outline any colour and width you like in Step 10.
Step 10 – Import Moulding photo/s
Go ahead and import the photos of the mouldings that you want to mock up onto your furniture photo, and scale them.
To do this, follow STEP 6 for as many mouldings as you would like to test out. Don’t forget to save your work, and use the zoom tool to help you see around the workspace. You can click on and move the photos to organise your workspace better.
Step 11 – Re-scale the Moulding Photo/s.
1 – Select the rectangle that you used to scale your furniture photo.
2 – You will find that the rectangle is now BEHIND the photos of the mouldings. To bring this up to the top layer, select it, then click Object Menu > Raise to Top.
3 – Next, change the dimensions of the rectangle (refer to STEP 7) to match the height and width of teh moulding you need to scale.
4 – Now refer to the instructions in STEP 9 to scale the photo of the moulding/s to the correct size.
NB – if your mouldings are a pair, set the size of your rectangle to ONE of the mouldings.
Below you can see that I have resized the moulding to the correct scale.
STEP 12 – Cut out the Moulding
Now we need to cut out the moulding.
1 – Select the rectangle and drag it away to the side. You can delete it if you have finished scaling all your photos.
2 – Zoom in on the moulding until it fills the screen.
3 – Select the “Draw Bezier and Straight lines” Tool from toolbox on the left as shown below.
4 – Practice using this tool at first. Click to make a point, then click again to make a second point, which will give you a line. Then keep clicking wherever you want a point to be. Each time you make a point, a line will be created from the last point. When you want to finish, either click on the starting point (which will turn red when you hover the mouse pointer over it) or hit enter on your keyboard. The outline will turn from green to black.
5 – Now click on your practice lines and delete them (using delete or backspace on your keyboard) and use the same method to draw a line around your moulding.
You will notice that the new line you are drawing is in red, and the lines that have been “set” in place by clicking the next point are shown in green.
6 – When you are done, save your work.
The image below shows a partially complete outline. As you can see, it is a jagged line. This will work perfectly well for the purpose of a moulding layout mock up. If you want it to be a bit smoother, you can draw it using curves using the more advance method described next.
6 – ADVANCED. If you want to be fussy about your moulding outline and do not like the jagged edges, you can create curves when you make each point.
Use the same tool as previously. Instead of clicking from point to point click, hold down the mouse button and drag. You will see a blue “handle” appear. Without releasing the mouse button, try moving the mouse pointer around, and you will see the line you are creating (shown in red) change.
When you are satisfied that the line is curved as you require, release the mouse button, then continue to make your next point in the same way. Continue until you join up with the beginning point. You will end up wiht a much neater looking outline as shown below.
7 – Select the black arrow tool, then click on the moulding photo.
Next, hold down shift and click on the moulding outline. You should now have both the moulding photo and the outline selected.
From the menu tabs, select Object > Clip > Set.
STEP 13 – Place the Moulding over the furniture photo.
This is where it all starts to come together. We will now place the moulding over the photo of the furniture.
1 – You will now have a photo of the moulding that has had the background removed. Click on the moulding to select it. and raise it it to the top as you did in STEP 11.
2 – Zoom out if you need to using the Ctrl button and your mouse wheel. Then click on the moulding and drag it over the photo wherever you would like to try out the moulding.
You can fine-tune the position of the moulding using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Step 14 – Duplicate and Mirror a Moulding
If you are using a pair of mouldings, instead of repeating the above to create your opposite pair, you can simply duplicate and mirror the moulding.
1 – Select the moulding and make a duplicate. I use CTRL C to copy and CTRL V to paste. You can also use Edit > Copy and Edit > Paste to do the same thing.
2 – With the duplicated picture selected, got to the Objects Menu > Flip Horizontal as indicated in the picture below.
Step 15 – Finish laying out the rest of your mouldings.
You now have the tools and instructions to create a many mouldings as you need to mock up your piece.
In this example, I have used the same pair of mouldings, so it was just a case of selecting the mouldings together (click on one then hold down SHIFT to select the others.
By selecting 4 at once, I was able to then copy and move them as a group, which speeds things up.
Don’t forget to save!
The Final Result
As you can see, the result is a very useful mock-up of how the mouldings will sit in the space available on the drawers. It a reliable way to help you choose furniture mouldings.
You can use this technique with other decorative items such as stencils and transfers too.
I hope you find this tutorial useful. It’s a method similar to one I used for many years as a professional event stylist and pro make. Once you get the hang of it, it will only take a few minutes to do.
It can save a lot of time and money because you will be confident that the mouldings you are purchasing for your project will fit and look good.
At some point in the future, I hope to find a way to make it even easier and quicker for you by supplying ready to use outlines of the mouldings that you can download. Let me know if you think this would be helpful, and feel free to reach out if you need any help with this tutorial too.
Bye for now! Becky.