October 14, 2012

Upcycled Frame

Friends of mine recently moved to a new home, and I wanted to give them a house warming gift to celebrate the new location. As usual, I wanted to try and make them a homemade gift using things I already had in my stash; and since my friends appreciate "green" efforts, I thought they'd like this Upcycled Frame.

1. I started with an old picture frame a co-worker of mine was throwing away- nothing was wrong with the frame, but it was taking up too much space on her desk.
2. My friends like bright colors, so I new I wanted to make a drastic change to the previously black frame. But before I could re-paint it, I had to rough up the frame with a sanding block so the paint would adhere.
3. Then I painted several thin coats of white paint onto the frame. I let each coat dry completely before the moving onto the next, and it ended up talking 4 coats of paint to completely cover the black frame.

4. I couldn't just give my friends a plain, white frame, so I sketched a simple design I wanted to paint onto a piece of paper using a permanent marker. 
5. The next step was to get my design transferred onto the frame. But since I purged my graphite paper in my recent move, I had to make due. So I turned the paper over and scribbled over the back of the design with a pencil.
6. I took my design, and right side up (so the pencil scribble was facing the frame), I used a mechanical pencil with no pencil lead to burnish the design onto the frame.
7. Once I had gone over the entire design, I removed my initial sketch and used a pencil to add the details that didn't transfer from the burnishing.

And then it was time to paint my design! Knowing how my friends feel about color, I used some bright hues that I know they'd love.

And before I knew it, the frame was finished.

I added the little dots of paint using the end of a paintbrush, since I felt my initial design was a bit too plain.

And because the picture frame was surprisingly thick (almost 2 inches), I thought it would be a fun accent to add some paint to the edges. So I free-hand painted some scallops all around the edge of the frame using pink paint, and I accented the scallops with more dots of a contrasting paint.

And that's all it took to make a "new" picture frame for my friends' new place! Here's a before and after to show what a difference a little paint can make! Have you made an "upcycled" project before? What kinds of housewarming gifts do you give your friends?

Upcycled Frame SUPPLY LIST
Old picture frame
Sanding block or sand paper
Foam paint brush
Paint brush
Acrylic paint (I used Americana)
Scrap paper

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