Nov 28, 2011

Using A Store Bought Picture Frame To Create And Frame Art

Did you know you can paint an oil painting on paper?  All you have to do is gesso the surface and go to town.  Framing art is very expensive so I have found that if you want to create a small painting, using a store bought frame is the way to go.  My Mom (who is super crafty and handy herself) taught me how to do this when I had to frame paintings for an art show but didn't want to fork out tons of dough. 

First, find a frame that you like.  You will want to find a frame that has a particle board or wooden insert - not just cardboard or paper.  I had this gold frame that I thought looked highend and suitable for a still life.  I cut a piece of watercolor paper to fit the size of the fram and then used gesso on the surface.  Then I painted these apples.

To frame it, you can glue your painting to the back of the frame insert or you can just stick it in the frame like a picture.  I glued the paper onto the insert so it was sturdy and more like a canvas.  From there, you will glue the insert into the frame using a caulking method. 

Don't use a ton because the glue can seep down into the crack and be visible in the front.  I used tacky glue because it is thick.  Elmer's has worked in the past but it runs and I had to go back and remove it from the front.  It turned out fine but I didn't want to risk damaging my painting.

Once you glue the insert in, you can back it with brown paper like the professionals do.  See that black stuff on the frame?  That was the old velvet backing the frame that I removed. They sell plain brown paper in the gift wrap section at Michael's Craft Store.  Cut the paper to the size of the frame (or slightly smaller as it will stretch) and then wet it - but don't fold or crinkle it.  Then use glue to attach it to the back of the frame.  Then you will take your hands or a credit card to smooth the paper out from the center.  You will probably need to trim the paper again on the edges because it stretches slightly as you smooth it. 

When it dries it will be smooth and taut.  Some times you will need to add more glue on the edges to ensure that the brown paper doesn't flap up.

  For this painting I used a small easel but you can easily use hanging wire and attach picture screws to the side to hang it on the wall.

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