I wanted to create a multi-photo frame that was unique and fit my own style. I went with an almost Halloween theme (my house is Halloween friendly all year round) but this can be customized to fit what YOU love. Let’s begin!
Cast of Characters
- Trash bag or craft mat to cover your work surface.
- Matboard, trimmed to your desired size.
- Clothespins (as many as you like)
- DecoArt Black Gesso
- DecoArt Media Andy Skinner stencil in “Day of the Dead”
- Decou-Page Paper in “Victorian Romance” and “Vintage Silhouette”
- DecoArt Media Mister – “Primary Cyan”
- DecoArt Media Antiquing Cream – Patina Green
- DecoArt Media Liquid Glass
- DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze
- DecoArt Fluid Acrylics in “Carbon Black” and “Payne’s Gray”
- Americana Gel Stains in “Maple” and “Walnut”
- E6000 Glue
So first up, you’ll want to prep your surface. This gets messy. I just put a trash bag on top of my dining room table and I was ready to go… otherwise use a craft mat, a piece of plastic, etc.
I tried this technique using both matboard and cardboard. I recommend going with matboard only, it held up a lot better. So you will need to cut it to the size you want, and then place your clothespins around it in the fashion that you like, to determine how many you will need.
For this example, I used a 9 inch circle piece of matboard, and around 18 clothespins.
1.) Gesso your matboard. (I used black gesso)
While the gesso is drying, set it aside and start working on staining your clothespins.
I used a combination of maple and walnut gel stains. I didn’t bother with staining the entire clothespin – I wanted mine to look shabby. If that’s not the look you are going for, stain the entire thing. To use the stain, I just grabbed an old washcloth, dipped in stain and then wiped each clothespin down.
Just keep repeating that step until you have each clothespin stained.
By the time you are finished with the clothespins, the gesso should be dry!
Select the Decou-Page paper that suits your interests and trace around the back so that you know what size to cut, then cut it to size.
Once the Decou-Page paper is cut to size, use Matte Medium to adhere it to the matboard. I coated both sides just for good measure.
Once the matte medium is completely dry, you can start stamping your image. For this, use a stamp pad directly on the stencil to produce a clear image.
(I used Andy Skinner’s “Day of the Dead” stencil)
Next up, I went in with some Payne’s Grey and Carbon black fluid acrylic, and added a wash around the edge.
Let it drip, be messy!
Once you are certain that the stamped stencil image is dry, outline it with some liquid glass. The liquid glass comes with a fine tip, so you can use the bottle as a pencil and apply it directly – no additional tools needed.
The liquid glass will dry completely clear – like glass, and add interest and texture to the piece. (Plus, I think it really makes that stencil image POP!)
Then I added a few spritz’s of “Primary Cyan” mister, and let it drip.
Once everything is completely dry (might let it sit overnight) you can start gluing down your clothespins. I used E6000 glue, because I like how tough it is.
Finally, add the back piece so that you can hang it up on your wall!
(I used E6000 for that, too)
You’re finished and ready to hang!
I ended up doing two more pieces, I didn’t take step by step photos, as I created them almost exactly the same way — with the exception of adding crackle glaze and antiquing cream.
I LOVED that effect.
To achieve the crackle effect, just brush on a thick layer of the crackle glaze. (It dries clear). The thicker of layer that you use, the more dramatic the cracking process will be. Once the crackle glaze has dried completely, take a piece of cloth and wipe down the surface with the antiquing cream (I used “Patina Green”)
It’s a very easy technique, but really rewarding.
Now… here’s what it looks like with some photos, hanging up on the wall…
I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial!
As always, if you have any comments, questions or you would like to share your creation, leave a comment below!