Tag Archives: paint

The Initial Frame

 My sister has reprimanded me, she says that I have to do my postings more tutorial like.  Well I promise when I get to a new project that I will photograph it step by step.  But right now im still playing catch up with about 9 years worth of fabulous projects that Ive done!  I have always photographed the final results but never the process, this one is easy enough that I can recreate the process in a tutorial way without the step by step pictures. S0 Jes, this ones for YOU!

Macy and Hudson's Initial Frames

Initial frames! This is a very old project of mine, but it still proudly hangs in my childrens’ room and in the rooms of the loved ones Ive created one for.   It is a very simple and inexpensive project, I once made about 10 at one time as Christmas gifts for all the children in our family and in Macy’s playgroup.

Initial Frames for Macy's Playgroup

Supplies for this project:

  • a wooden 8×10 frame – cheap,  from anywhere like a craft store or ikea
  • acrylic paints – super cheap again, a $1 bottle is enough
  • a wooden letter – there’s a trend here… cheap from a craft store
  • fabric scrap at least 10×12 – free! if you are a crafter that has it lying around
  • a 1/2 yard of ribbon or twine – again you know you have some somewhere
  • a slightly smaller than 8×10 cut of mat board – in the framers aisle at craft store
  • hot glue gun – the classic
  • staple gun – you can do it without this, but if you dont want the letter to fall off and hit the baby in the head then  barrow one.

First step is to remove the glass from the frame but save the backboard as you still want that so that it looks nice and finished when its done.

Next paint the letter and wooden frame.  Just like any project with wood you might decide that it needs a little sanding prep before the paint.  Use your discretion.  Acrylic paint dries in a matte or chalky finish.  If you dont like that you can use a spray gloss sealant to give it a sheen.  But be cautious:  some of the glosses will turn the paint a yellowish color.  I had a pink letter turn an unusable color.  So I play it safe and just leave it like it is.  Or you can buy higher quality paint that has a gloss finish already.

Hudson's Initial Frame

While your paint is drying you can begin the fabric covered mat board.  Make sure the board is slightly less that 8×10 because the fabric will need space to live tucked in the frame too.  Wrap the fabric onto the mat board and hot glue the long and short sides.  Leave the corners for last and either fold down one side then the other or make a pinched triangle like miter cut and glue down with lots of hot glue.  The fabric covered board should fit snuggly into the frame the same way the glass did before you removed it.

Cowboy Initial Frame

Next position the letter in the center of the board with hot glue.  ***And here’s where Im making the safety disclosure** Hot glue is temperamental.  Its not really a glue right, its plastic and when its cold it lets go of what it should be holding onto.  In my practice with these initial frames I found a super easy way to make sure the letter doesnt pop off no matter what type of fabric you have tried to adhere it to.  After you have the letter glued into place, turn the board over and fire a few staple gun staples through the back of the mat board, into the back of the wooden letter!  Yes, its that easy.  Now the letter isnt going anywhere.  Put the board back in the frame, put the backboard of the frame back on and fasten it closed.

Macy's Initial Frame

You may have a frame that came with an easel back or no easel and a saw tooth hanger.  You can still hang this initial frame on the wall regardless of its backboard type.  Staple your ribbon or twine to the back to use as a hanger.  If you borrowed a staple gun, you might realize by now that its a really good tool to have and they are not expensive so grab one on your next trip to Lowe’s. Just remember to keep in out of reach and locked away from little hands, I even keep ours unloaded.

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Gallery Walls

Doing gallery walls are like working a puzzle to me.  It’s very satisfying when the pieces fit together just right, with a balance of scale and an aesthetic relationship. I have a huge assortment of tear sheets and photographs of gallery walls.  Retail stores and hotels are great resources to find them.  I often look to them for ideas but mine never end up exactly like what I’ve seen.  Thats what makes them an inspiration, they just get my creative juices going!  With several moves in the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to do several gallery walls.  Sometimes when I do one, it begins as a starting point that I know I will be adding to or swapping out pieces later.  Other times I put it together with no intentions to make any changes.   

Macy's Manhattan bedroom gallery wall

 
 

NC children's bedroom gallery wall

 
Nikki Berry Nikkiikkin

Bklyn childrens room grouping

 
My first wall was Macy’s bedroom in Manhattan. We had 13 foot ceiling, so I had a huge space to work with.  Luckily I had enough floor space too because I laid all the frames out on the floor and moved them around until it was right before I attempted to put any on the wall.  This was the same technique I used for Macy and Hudson’s combined wall in NC and Brooklyn.  Our Brooklyn apartment also has 13 foot ceilings and the children’s room has two full walls of windows, so it was hard to find a good space for a gallery wall.  I ended up disbursing most of what we previously used to other areas and putting a small grouping over the closet doors.
 
Nikki Berry Nikkiikkin

Bklyn living room grouping

  In our Brooklyn living room I was unsure of what art or pictures I wanted to use on a huge 12 foot wide x 12 foot tall wall.  This ended up with me procrastinating for a few months until I broke down, photographed all the pieces and the wall, put them in Photoshop and worked and edited the space just as I would have (and have done) for an interior design client.  This was just the way to do it and it made complete sense to me. But it had my husband and friends rolling with laughter that I would go to this length and put so much effort into it.   My effort will pay off again because on this wall I already have two large portraits to add,  so it will be tweaked in few months and I plan on doing it using Photoshop again!  It is my intentions that this wall will always be changing and growing as we wish to start collecting local art.

Bklyn bedroom grouping

For the next gallery wall in our Brooklyn bedroom, I told my husband that I didn’t want anything to do with it, that he should take a stab at it  as punishment for laughing at me!  And he did, but the way a man would.  He just started nailing and hanging it all up without a plan.  Of course he showed me up because it worked perfectly and it looks just a good as mine with a lot less fretting.   
 
 

 

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The Initial Canvas

Madeline & Whitney

I’ve been experimenting with canvases for about a year, for this project I did a complete decopauge with scrapbook paper and acrylic paint.   These canvases were birthday gifts for the daughters of friends.  I used their existing bedroom bedding, pictured to the right, as my inspiration for style and color.  The initial is hand drawn and painted, but I enlarged and traced embroidery patterns to make the letters look more unique.. 

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