For those who love to craft but feel bad about buying hundreds of scrapbook papers, ribbons, and stickers, there is a way to be creative and avoid frivolous overuse of paper materials. If you use images and designs from old magazines for decoupage, your crafts don’t have to be dull or cause harm to the environment.
You will need:
- 1 bottle of Mod Podge, matte
- an unfinished wooden picture frame (any size)
- foam paint brush
- pair of scissors
- cup of water
- hot glue gun and refills
- 1 foam stamp of your choice
- 1 small bottle of an acrylic paint of your choice
- 3 wooden twigs
- 5 inches of ribbon (any color)
Prep (30-90 minutes)
Brainstorm on a color scheme you’re aiming for. To go with a “green” theme, I like to do natural, warm colors that you’d find in nature. Flip through your magazines and find bold images of grass, solid shades of sky blue, and shadows of brown trees with their falling leaves. A couple of organically written and meaningful words are also good to add to your decoupage for depth. To make your eco-friendly picture frame have a bit of glam, cut out images of graphic glitter or chandeliers.
Once you’ve gone through and found images you like, tear the whole page out. There’s no need to cut anything out nicely because the next step is to cut them all in relatively equal strips. Depending on the size of your frame, cut the section of the images you want to be a part of the composition into strips approximately 2 inches tall and 5-6 inches long.
The last step of prepping is to paint the sides and back of the frame with whatever color goes along with your color scheme. If I’m doing a rich, warm palette, a deep purple is always nice. You could also completely bypass this step and leave the wood in its organic, raw state. Also, pick out the kind of foam stamp you’ll want on your frame. An ivy leaf, swirl or damask design looks best. You’ll also need to pick out the color you’ll want the stamp to be in. The stamp looks better the more it blends in with the color palette. You don’t want it to be an obvious stamp but more of an added depth within the same shades. For the example (pictured below), I picked up the shimmer in my frame with a silver stamp.
How To (60-120 minutes):
Before you begin putting the strips of magazines on the picture frame, lay out the strips as you will want them on the frame so that when you’re ready to start, you have a plan to keep a cohesive and dynamic composition as a whole.
Next, put a layer of Mod Podge on one area or side of the frame and then start placing the strips on the Mod Podge. You can overlap the strips to make them fit squarely on the frame.
Quickly put another layer of the Mod Podge over the magazine strips. Then, while the surface is still wet, dip your hands in the cup of water and spread over the surface of the frame with your fingers to avoid excess bubbling. There will be some bubbling, but just try to smooth out the big ones. A little bubble just adds character, don’t let it add stress.
Once you’ve completed the base layer of Mod Podge, placed the magazine strips, and then decoupaged again over the top of the placed magazine strips, let dry for about 30 minutes.
After it's dry, dip your foam stamp into the acrylic paint you’ve picked out and lightly press on the top left hand corner of the frame. < You don’t want definite lines from the stamp, simply a loose suggestion of a print.
Finally, hot glue the wooden twigs on the left margin and be sure to overlap a bit with the stamp. You can put the twigs in any linear design you choose and put the ribbon, tied in a bow, on the very top left hand of the frame above the twigs and slightly on top of the stamp. Let dry, and you have a cheap and eco-friendly picture frame.