Tutorial :: Altered Picture Frame :: Little Black Dress Kit Club

Hi everyone! Today I'm bringing you a cute little project that I made mostly from scraps - you know those are my favorite kinds of projects!! The other things that I love about this project are the stripes, polka dots and pattern!! 
I have had 3 of these $1 bin picture frames on my desk for some time now just waiting for the perfect project to arrive for them. When I was working on my kit for the Little Black Dress Kit Club projects for this month, Sweet Elegance, my daughter just went ga-ga for all the Prima flowers and beautiful pink papers. So I knew right away, that I would make her a picture frame. I thought I would document the process so you could see exactly how to make the same or similar thing with your September kit!
What you will need:
- scrap strips of paper
- wood picture frame
- gel medium such as Mod Podge
- paper towels (for clean up/ applying your gel)
- wax paper (to keep gel from sticking)
- paint/foam brush
- sand paper and/or finishing file
- exacto knife
- straight edge
- sponge applicator
- variety of distress inks, including at least one solvent ink such as Stayz On
GLUING
1) Set out your paper strips next to your frame in the order that you would like them glued down. This makes it easier when you are ready to lay everything on your frame once glue has been applied.
2) With your frame top of your paper towel, apply a coat of gel medium on the surface of your frame, including the outside edges.
3) Start applying your strips to the frame, making sure to apply a coat of gel medium to each strip as you lie it down - this will adhere them together where they over lap. 
4) Once everything is laid out as you'd like, apply another coat of gel medium to the entire surface. 
5) This is where you might want to put down your wax paper - I did mine a little late in the process. Turn your frame over, and apply more gel medium to the edges of the frame and also along the back of the frame in order to give your strips something to adhere to on the back. Initially I didn't want my strips to go all the way around the back, but as you are gluing, I found that the strips adhered better to the outside edges if I wrapped them all the way around. The top and bottom edges are just slightly over hung from the edges so I plan to just sand them off, since no one really sees those and it will be inked over anyway.
6) Continue to apply gel medium as you wrap the strips around the edge of the frame, until the strips have flattened out. I found also (in the picture above), that if I held the frame down against my surface, this helped to keep the strips from coming away from the edge while I was trying to wrap the strips.
7) Apply a last coat of gel medium over the edges and the strips on the back of your frame to secure.
 Let the frame dry overnight. 
CUTTING
8) Now we are going to use our exacto knife to cut out the center of our frame. Try to stay as close to the inside edge as possible. If you notice, my frame has rounded corners in the window. . . . I just made my edges straight and left those tiny bits in the corners because I didn't want to risk tearing the front of my frame. And I knew that I could easily sand them off later.
I just made my edges straight and left those tiny bits in the corners because I didn't want to risk tearing the front of my frame. And I knew that I could easily sand them off later. This is what it should look like now.
SANDING
9) Using a piece of sand paper, sand the perimeter of your frame. 
10) Then using the sand paper and finishing files sand the inside window. The finishing files really help you get into those corners nicely. I don't have a photo of that, but I did use my files to really finish the inside of the frame window.
11) Lastly I tackled the top and bottom edges, remember they had loose paper from the hang-over pieces? Well I just sanded and sanded, the paper fell off and the frame became smooth on the ends. Clean off any sanding residue from your frame with a dry paper towel.
INKING
12) I chose to use 3 shades of brown for my distressing. A very light tan all the way up to a very dark brown. This way I can create shading, but also control the amount of distressing I put on my frame.
INKING
13) First start out using your sponge with the lightest color. Ink the perimeters, inside of the window frame, and don't forget to liberally ink the top and bottom edges.
14) Continue this process with the next darker ink . . .
15) Then, lastly seal the deal with the solvent ink so that there isn't any smearing, smudging or bleeding when handled, especially if you used water based dye ink like I did in the previous steps. Now you are ready to embellish your frame! 
And here is what I ended up with! Simply using a little hot glue, adhere your embellishments and ribbon. Then your new customized picture frame is complete! For more information on the Little Black Dress Kit Club, or to purchase the September Kit, or even better, purchase a subscription, check it out here.
Thanks so much for stopping by today!! I hope you have a fabulous Thursday!