Make a Decorated Frame with Heidi

Hi everyone, Heidi here, today I would like to show you how you can transform a boring frame into your own fun art piece! I choose a mirror frame but you can also use the same techniques for creating a picture frame. This is quite a picture heavy post, so, grab something to drink and let’s get started!

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

I started with a mirror from the dollar store (I bought this from an Action store in Europe), the size is 27 x 37 centimeters.

I looked for a frame where I could take the mirror piece out while I worked on the project, it made things easier while crafting but also when taking the pictures. So, after I took the mirror out, the frame looks like this.

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step 1:

The first thing I do is make sure that the frame is clean (no dust or stickers), then I applied two layers of white gesso (the material this frame was made of absorbed lots of paint and I also wanted to cover the green color completely).

When dry, I applied white crackle texture paste in some area’s, and the sides of the frame, using a palette knife and let it dry overnight (this way I achieve the best crackles).

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step 2:

Time to build the composition: start with puzzle pieces in two different sizes and then layer metal embellishments, fabric flowers and chipboard on top, adhering everything with gel medium using a brush (just remember to wash your brush afterward).

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step 3:

Paint all the elements using white gesso, I needed two layers, maybe three on the puzzle pieces, this also acted as the primer for the colors to adhere to.

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step 4:

Now the fun part starts, adding color to the project! I designed this decorated mirror frame for the downstairs bathroom of our house. I have some heavenly smelling purple lavender soap and nice walnut brown towels so I choose purple and brown for today’s project.

I choose Lindy’s Sprays in French Lilac Violet and Cattail Copper Brown combined with Magicals in Witch’s Potion Purple and Lindy’s Magical Shaker in Bratwurst Brown.

I started with French Lilac Violet, applying the color with a brush, spraying with water when I wanted to make the color run, drying with my heat tool when I was happy with the result. This way I added color to the flowers and branches and some parts of the frame.

For a little bit more depth I added Witch’s Potion Purple Magical, applying the powder with a fan brush and spraying with water, drying with my heat tool. This color has an awesome blue shimmer.

Then I started to add brown, using the Bratwurst Brown color to the puzzle pieces, also in between the purple elements and around the frame, but making sure that I left some area’s white for contrast, this will give your project a more balanced feel!

This brown color creates a nice base but I wanted a bit more shimmer, so I decided on adding Cattail Copper Brown with a brush. I totally love the copper shimmer in this color, it looks awesome on the puzzle pieces.

Most of the mentioned colors are added in more than one layer to create the effect that I was looking for. Just work on your project until you’re happy! And also don’t forget the sides of the frame!

Because of all the water, my purple colors had faded a little so now I’m working backward, adding some “Bratwurst Brown“, to deepen some of the brown area’s and adding back in both of the purple colors to darken the flowers and the branches.

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step 5:

You might have noticed that the flowers don’t have any centers yet! For this, I used some Pretty Pink Posh Clear Droplets in two sizes. I painted them with white gesso, sprayed with some of the  Cattail Copper Brown color and then let them dry.

When dry, I temporarily stuck them on some double-sided tape, added some VersaMarker on them (this pen contains clear sticky ink) and then I added Lindy’s Stamp Gang Embossing Powder in three colors: Cleopatra’s Copper, Desert Moon Turquoise and Polka Purple.

I started with two layers of the Cleopatra’s Copper color (when you work fast you don’t have to reapply VersaMarker in between layers, the second layer will adhere to the still hot first layer), then added a little of the Desert Moon Turquoise to tone the copper colour down and then I added a tiny little Polka Purple for added interest. When I felt the purple was too heavy (you can’t always control how much of the embossing powder is added) I finished with a layer of copper. Then I let the centers cool down.

Next, I wanted to add more accents to the rest of my project using the same embossing powders, so:

  • on the purple flowers I added first the purple and then the turquoise embossing powder, making the area’s sticky first with a Clear Emboss It Dabber (it’s sticky ink in a dabber applicator);
  • I also added first the purple color and then to the top half of the chipboard text the turquoise embossing powder;
  • on the purple branches and the copper pen shape elements, I added the copper embossing powder, the results look different because the base color underneath is different on both area’s
  • and finally, on the Roman numbers, I added only the purple embossing powder.

Then I peeled off the flower centers from the double sided tape and adhered them to my project, you can use Glossy Accents or gel medium for this.

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step 6:

And then for my finishing touches, I choose to add some splatters with watered down white gesso, then I added some small copper colored pearls and matching purple sequins and adhered them with Glossy Accents to my project.

When everything was dry I spray varnished my project (using acrylic spray varnish in satin), let it dry and then placed back the mirror piece!

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Some detail pictures:

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

And some final pictures where the mirror is hanging on the wall (these last pictures don’t really do the project justice (lacking natural light in the toilet room), but then again you have an impression of what the hanging project looks like):

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

Step by step tutorail on how to alter a boring frame into a work of art

That’s it for today’s fun home decor project! I wish you a creative day!

Lindy’s Products

Other products: (mirror) frame, The Crafter’s Workshop White Gesso, crackle texture paste, The Crafter’s Workshop Matte Gel Medium, puzzle pieces, metal and other embellishments, brush, palette knife, PPP Clear Droplets, VersaMarker, Clear Emboss It Dabber


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