Monday, August 3, 2009

Upcycle a frame with PAPER!

Hello my lovely crafters and craft enthusiasts!

Today, I thought I'd share my very first tutorial with you. I recently made another upcycled frame, and thought I'd share how I did it. It's SUPER EASY, and proabably doesn't even need a tutorial, but for those of you who are lacking a little crafty inspriation lately, here's to you. ^_^

Alright, first we need to gather our materials.

  • an old frame (It works best with frames that are flat, ie. no ridges or anything in the frame design.)
  • a thicker scrapbook paper (I used SEI paper, as it's thick and durable, but you can use any thicker patterned paper you wish. Washi origami paper aslo works very well for this.)
  • Aleene's Tacky glue
  • exacto knife or other craft knife
  • cutting surface (I almost forgot this and was about to carve up the table until the boyfriend stopped me, lol.)
  • bone folder (not necessary really, but GREATLY helpful!)
  • Krylon Triple Thick Clear Sealant or other paper-safe sealer (This will help give more durability to your project and add a glossy finish. ^_^)
Alright, now that we have all our materials, you will want to lay down your cutting surface (I used a cutting board) and place your patterned paper pattern side down (ie. the side you want to be on your frame when you're done.)

Cut the paper larger than your frame, as it you were wrapping a present, making sure the paper will wrap around the frame's sides.

Take your frame and disassemble it, taking off the backing and glass, so that you are left with just the framing. Add Tacky Glue to the front, making sure to cover the entire area, especially the edges and corners. Lie the frame glue side down onto your patterned paper. TRY TO GET IT CENTERED!Let this set a minute or so.

Now, take your exacto knife and cut a small rectangle out of the center of the patterned paper, showing through the frame. Make sure you don't cut to close to the frame's inner edge. You want to be able to cover the frame's inner edge when you wrap the paper around. Once that is done, cut from the corner of the rectangle you just made to the corner of the frame's inner edge. Again, make sure not to cut to close into the corner. Repeat this for all four corners.

Now you should have 4 little 'flaps' inside your frame. Taking the Tacky glue, spread glue one one flap, making sure to get the glue in the crease between the paper and the frame. Fold the flap up to cover the frame and glue firmly. Using a bone folder to help makes this much easier and ensures a tighter fit later.

Once all 4 flaps are glued and have been given a couple minutes to dry, you can begin wrapping the edges of your frame. Start with 2 parrallel sides, as shown. (I started with the two longest sides.) This will help you fold the corners in later. Apply Tacky Glue to one flap, and fold it up to cover the frame, making sure you have pulled the paper snugly against the frame. The tighter you pull the paper to the frame, the better it will look when completed!Once those edges have had a chance to sit and dry fairly well, as you don't want them moving around when you fold the other sides, start folding in the other sides. It can be a little tricky, but don't worry. ^_^

I fold the top 'flap' haning over from the other side's flap down and press it against the uncovered frame side, using a bone folder to make sure it is snug. It sounds a bit confusing maybe, but look at the photos to give you an idea of what I did.

when both corners have been tucked in, fold the flap up to cover the frame edge. Make you the fold is tight and snug! Repeat for the last edge and allow to sit and dry for a few minutes.

Well, we're almost done! Turn your frame over and examine for any uncovered areas. It's alright if you have a few the first time. It can take a little practice to know just how to wrap the frame so that nothing shows. It took me a couple tries, too! ^_^

Now that your frame is wrapped, it's ready to be embellished! You can also choose to leave your frame plain wrapped, it's up to you!

I chose to embellish my frame with die cut chicks from my Cricut, adding to it's retro feel. Just use Tacky glue to add whatever you want to the frame and make it yours. ^_^ When you have finished embellishing your frame, add a clear sealant for extra protection. Follow the instructions on the product, and if aerosol, only use in a properly ventilated area or outside! Krylon is really strong and I would only use it outdoors and with a mask on.


  1. Omg! So cute! I need to do this.... I still have a piece of that paper left I think..

  2. It really turned out so adorable, and I LOVE that paper. ^_^