Friday, February 24, 2012

DIY Wood Plaque Frame

Remember the "almost finished" art wall in Baby Boo's room?

Here is a reminder:
I put in a lot of time and effort into gathering the perfect collection of photos and what-nots for the wall. Check out that whole post here if you want details.

There was 1 thing missing though, and that was a frame for the 8"x10" print on the very left of the middle row.

Since I was busy doing some furniture painting this past week, I figured that I might as well try to tackle a frame for the art wall while I was at it. 

My inspiration came from something I pinned a while back:

These gorgeous frames are very expensive, and generally only available to be purchased through professional photographers. This photo made the rounds on Pinterest with the caption "Mod Podge photos onto wooden plaques from Michaels". While the caption did no justice to the photo, it sounded like a decent idea. 

Online you can purchase a variety of beautiful wooden plaques that are more intricate. I simply went to Michaels and picked a simple one from their somewhat limited selection:
It looked a lot like the photo above, and was in the $11 range ( $5.50 with 50% off coupon). 

I started by sanding it down with some 220 grit sandpaper since the edges were a little rough. I happened to be painting furniture at the time so I had some Behr paint + primer, satin finish in bright white lying around. One could also use some wood sealer and acrylic paint to do the same job. I painted the plaque white with 3 thin layers of the Behr paint. I sanded a little before the last coat of paint to make sure it looked nice and smooth. 

Once the white was dry I departed from the Organic Bloom look and decided to paint some detail onto the "frame". I looked through my stash of paint and found a bright happy pink paint sample:
I painted the beveled edges of the frame, and then grabbed out a stencil to add some additional detail.
Martha Stewart laser-cut stencil in Tapestry

I blotted on 3 thin coats of the pink using a cheap foam brush:
There was a lot of bleeding of the paint. Some spray adhesive might have prevented this, but the store was sold out. Instead I just took a fine brush and corrected the bleeds with some white paint.

Once the paint was dry it was time to mount the photograph. I grabbed my print and brushed a thin layer of matte Mod Podge onto the back of it. Then, I carefully centered the print onto the painted plaque. To keep the corners from curling up, I weighted the edges down with books. I let the whole thing stand for half a day to give it plenty of drying time. Once that was done, I used a cheap foam brush to paint a layer of the Mod Podge onto the whole plaque - photo and all. I let it dry for 30 minutes and brushed a 2nd layer on. Mod Podge does show a little texture when dry, so I made sure that my brush stroked were even and in a single direction. 

After another 30 minutes of dry time left me with this:

Pretty huh!?!

Hanging the plaque: I brushed a layer of Mod Podge along the back side of the plaque. I like to hang pretty much everything I can using 3M Command strips. They work great and don't leave any holes in my walls; what's not to love! The back of the plaque was porous wood though, which made it a bad  surface for the strips to stick to. A layer of the Mod Podge remedied that.

Once dry, I stuck 2 Command strips on the back of the plaque and placed it on the wall:
BTW - The picture is centered properly, the angle of the photo makes it look a little wonky though.

  Here is the wall finally complete:
All in all, it was a simple project that worked out really nicely. It may not rival an original Organic Bloom frame. Considering I was able to use almost all materials that I had laying around, my only out-of-pocket costs for this project were the plaque ($5.50) and the print ($2). I can definitely smile about that!

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