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Monday, April 14, 2008

have you checked your calender lately?

because mother's day is fast approaching! may 11 is just around the corner. & while i'm sure you all have been dropping hints to your hubby's about ordering something from my shop (wink, wink! nudge, nudge!) what do you have planned from your own mothers, mil, etc. etc.? although i'm sure they too would appreciate a nice piece of jewelry, i think it's fun to give something your kiddos can help create. last week a couple of girls & i got together with our littles to create mother's day frames, perfect for framing a sweet picture of the kids. the frames turned out great, & my mom (who received hers as a birthday present) loved it (so she says). anyway, i thought i'd share the idea with all of you. (& to be honest, they'd really be great for any recipient, or holiday... father's day, birthday's, christmas, you get the idea.) what do i love about this idea? it's totally personal, your kids can help, it' super cheap, & really easy.... anyone can do it.

supplies needed:
an unfinished frame (we used the dollar specials we picked up at michael's, but i'm sure any craft stores has the exact, if not similar frame), wood stain, a piece of plain colored card stock paper (larger than your frame), water colors/ crayons/ colored pencils... or what ever "medium" your little one prefers, a jar of mod podge, a sponge brush aplicator, a tiny bit of sand paper & a razor blade or exacto knife.

1. assemble all of your supplies & set up your "work space". mod podge, water colors, wood stain... this could definitely get messy.
2. stain your frame. you don't have to stain the entire frame, just the areas that will be visible after you mod podge the paper to the front... that means you will be staining the back of the frame, the outer sides of the frame as well as the inner sides (near where the picture will go) & don't forget to stain the dowel that you will be using as the stand.
3. while the stain is drying, get out the cardstock & let your little one go to town on it. encourage them to have fun & be colorful. our kiddos are just wee little ones, so we tried to push the finger painting. if you have older children, just make sure they realize that some of the paper is going to be cut away... you don't want to cut away vital parts of their picture!
4. once the kids are finished with their masterpieces, if necessary, let it dry.
5. when the frame & artworks are dry, it's time to get your mod podge on! (if your artwork has warped at all, as ours did, i'd suggest ironing it between layers of a dishtowel...)
6. the first step to the art of mod podging is to apply a light layer over the entire surface to be mod podged (the front of the frame) & let it dry for about 30 seconds or so. the timing isn't setting in stone, you just want it to set-up a touch.
7. next, you apply another layer of mod podge & then position your child's artwork on top of the frame (pay careful attention to any particular areas that you don't want to cut away & steer those parts away from the center or edges of your frame).
8. press the paper firmly to the frame, smoothing away any air bubbles that may form. (it's kinda like wall papering... i found it helpful to use an old credit card to help smooth the paper out.)
9. once the paper is set in place, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then recheck your frame to see if any more bubbles have appeared. if there are, press the bubble down again. if it still doesn't stick, take a straight pin to release the air under the paper & press it smooth.
10. once your frame is dry, put it right-side down on a cutting surface & using your razor blade or exacto knife, trim off the extra paper from around the edges & from the center opening of the frame.
11. using your sand paper, sand all of the paper edges (that you just trimmed) to ensure that they are smooth.
12. once your paper trimming & sanding is all done, apply at least 2 more layers of mod podge on top of the artwork.
13. when everything is good & dry, at this point you are pretty much done & your frame is ready for a cute picture of your little one(s). however, if you so choose, using a paper towel or cloth & just a touch of stain, you can "vintage-ize" your frame by rubbing just a bit of stain on the exposed edges of your paper. but, like i said, this step is totally up to you & not at all necessary to create your incredibly personalized frame, that i'm sure it's recipient will love & be thrilled to receive.

click on the pictures for a step-by-step pictorial, & if you have any questions, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email!

have fun!


love.boxes said...

What a fun project! :)

Shannon said...

Great idea, as always, Kelly!

mama jo said...

i do love it...and it's darling, but best of all it's artwork from gavin...homemade gifts are the best ever..

Laurie said...

Great tutorial and fun gift idea!