I don't know if I would call myself an artist or not, but I know that I flourish most when I am allowing my creative juices to flow. In most creative areas I am seasonal. I get deeply into a medium for a year or so and then take a break for little while. This last year I have been unable to practice many of my favorite art forms due to injury. Thus this blog was born.
I found this black frame for the grand price of $3.50. Sorry I forgot to take the before picture of the front of the frame before I painted the first coat.
As you can see I painted the frame with a light grayish beige color. It took two coats to cover the black.
After each coat of paint I gently sand the frame smooth with a fine grade of sand paper. After the last "greige" coat I rubbed the edges and corners, pretty much the areas where the paint would wear over time, with a white wax candle.
Then I painted the frame a few coats of my very favorite shade of white, again sanding in between coats. After the final coat I gently sanded the edges and corners, the same places I had waxed. The wax stops the white paint from adhering to the brown paint. So it sands off much more easily. This is a gentle distressing technique, more a rubbed finish than extremely weathered. I love this effect. And I actually think that the bits of black peeking through under the greige give the frame more dimension.
Now for the coup de grace. Using my trusty HP color printer, I printed out one of the couple's engagement pictures. I tore the outside edges rather that using an exacto knife. Then I cut the square out of the middle. Using a rough grade of sandpaper I distress the edges.
Rather than purchasing decoupage medium (which I don't love), I mix up my own decoupage medium with 3 parts of Elmer's Glue to 1 part water. I find this both less expensive and easier to work with than the stuff you can buy at Michaels. I paint the back of the picture with the glue mixture and paste it onto the frame.
Finally, I paint the frame with a clear varathane, sand and repeat, many times. This protects the decoupage and leaves a smooth, satiny final coat.
So this has nothing to do with how I made the gift but didn't the wrapping turn out cool? I braided the pearl strands.
Overall it was a great gift. My friends loved it and since I had all of the paint on hand it only cost the price of the frame and some sponge brushes. And it gave me a creative release in a physically manageable dose. Yippee!