copyright Sarah Fishburn

Part One:  If You Have a Large Wood Frame

1) Prepare your frame with a light sanding if necessary. Many new
frames won’t even need this at all.

2) You have choices for applying your ink stain.  Here are two I use.

a) Simply rub the ink pad across the frame.  When using this
application, be sure you follow the grain of the wood.

Apply several coats if you wish a darker background color.  This is
particularly important because you will be doing some additional sanding later.  (You may leave the frame edges plain or stain them as well.)

b) Lightly dampen a paintbrush in a small container of water and run the brush over your ink pad.  Paint this stain onto your frame.  This technique works particularly well if you want some of the natural wood color to remain.

If you would like to use your stickers as stencils & want natural wood as the color for your lettering, you need to switch steps 2 & 3.)

3) Arrange all ephemera you wish to use, but don’t attach just yet. 
This is your design step & you will need to figure out
what you want as far as letters or words and the space you will have to apply them.  You may want to use a single word,
or a name or a quote, or even letters or numbers placed randomly among your ephemera.

4) Once that space and your words are determined, you will need your
stickers or stencils.  If using stencils, apply with sharpie (any color) or your darker ink pad.  Allow to dry for a few minutes.  If you prefer a grungier or shabby chic look,lightly sand over your words, making sure to follow the grain,  You can also sand the rest of the stained frame a little at this point.  You don’t *have* to sand at all!  If using stickers, either apply & leave them  OR  use them as a sort of reverse stencil as described in Step 2 OR position where desired on your stained frame and apply your darker ink around them & perhaps on some additional areas of the frame.

5) Next, adhere any paper ephemera you wish. I use Diamond Glaze for
adhering.  For a fun touch, add a little color to black & white images - whether photos, notes or other material - before adhering.  You can use pens, pencils, chalks or ink, it’s all good.  Once securely in place, let dry for a few minutes. You can use a heat gun to speed the process.
Spray with a quick coat of Carolyn’s or other sealer.

6) Yay!  You are almost finished!  Simply add your 3-d items with
Diamond Glaze, Metal Glue or other strong adhesive,
place your art inside & Voila!

It's a lovely Almost Instant Redecorating Accessory.  Or perhaps a fabulous gift for a fabulous friend!

Part Two: If You Have a Small Wood or Matboard Frame

1) Pick a paper which will complement your art (or photo).

Cut a piece just slightly larger than the frame. Apply your adhesive
of choice all around the front of the frame.  Take particular care that it is well adhered along the outside edges.  Trim any excess remaining along those edges.

2) Turn the little frame over. Relatively carefully, mark the center. Making a small hole, use it to cut diagonals to the corners of the frame openings.  You will make four short cuts. Take the triangular paper sections you have formed and fold them over. (Use your fingers to press smooth the corners.) Adhere these triangular sections down
to the backside of the frame.  With a sharpie or paint such as Dr.
Martin’s or Lumiere, go around all edges of the frame.
You can leave it natural if you prefer, but I think it looks nicer and more finished when colored.

3) Decide how you will hang the frame.  (You may prefer not to hang it at all, but set it on an easel.)  If you do wish to hang it, and need holes for hanging it from ribbon, now is the time to make them, either with a drill, awl or my trusty hammer and nail method.  You may also want one or more along the bottom edge, if you want to hang charms,beads, crystals, etc.  (You may not want to do this if you are going to display on an easel.)  Once all holes are made,leave them for the time being.

4) Adhere any additional paper elements at this point.  Now is the time to add any pigment or other coloring as well. Allow sufficient dry time and spray with a sealer.

5) With a strong adhesive, attach all 3-d elements & allow a few
minutes to dry.   You may need to clamp some of them.
When everything is secure, thread your ribbons, thread or wire through the holes you made for hanging.  Tie beads or charms on if you wish.  Attach any additional charms or elements meant to hang from the bottom.

6)  Attach your art or photo to the back of your new frame.  For a final finishing touch, cut one more piece of paper to attach to the back and give extra support to your art.  Adhere securely, sign and hang on a (decorative?) hook.
What a fast and easy way to jazz up your already ever so cool art!


1) an art piece you want to frame - yes, it COULD be a family photo,
but me? I think it should be YOUR ART. . .

2) wooden frame with wide flat border

3) raised surface permanent dye ink pad (any color you love)

4) raised surface permanent dye ink pad in a color darker than the one

5) alphabet stickers or alphabet stencils

6) copies of family photos, collage sheet images or wallpaper samples
with images which will be easy to cut out!

7) diamond glaze or metal glue

8) Carolyn’s or other spray finish or sealer

9) bits & pieces - small 3-d collage items which fit the theme - for
example,these could include, but are not limited to: buttons, salvage jewelry, sea glass,coins, playing cards, ribbon, rick-rack, milliner’s ephemera, game pieces, but don't go too CRAZY, your art is the FOCAL PIECE, you are just decorating the frame to show it off!