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Making a painted fabric trim frame

Gather your leftover pieces of fabric trims and bric-a-brac. And don’t forget the ric-rac. Don’t have any? Check the bargin bins at your local fabric or craft store. Don’t buy anything too expensive. I bought this one pricey little piece of trim that had glass pearls sewn to it. Guess which was the only piece of trim that I couldn’t get to work properly? :)

1. I used heavy-weight pellon as the base for my frame, and a sheet of felt to add height to certain areas. Other than that, I just gathered up all the trims and ribbons I had sitting around, paying no attention to their color.

2. Cut out a frame with the appropriate sized opening. Using fabric glue, tack down all of your trims and ribbons. I placed small pieces of felt, sometimes multiple layers, under some areas to raise them.

3. Soak the entire piece with watered down matte acrylic medium. While the piece is still wet, paint with acrylic paints mixed with glazing medium, allowing the colors to run together.

4. Allow the piece to dry. Repaint areas that need a more opaque application. Cover the entire front with matte medium. Work it down into the cracks and crevices with a foam brush. Allow the piece to dry again. Adjust the color if needed. Dry brush the raised textures with gold paint to highlight them.

5. Print out the image that you wish to frame. Transfer it to T-shirt transfer paper. Instructions for this type of image transfer can be found in this tutorial.

6. Cut a piece of matte board as a backing for your frame. Glue the muslin with the transferred image behind the window of the frame and glue the backing on. Color the edges of the frame with a gold-leafing pen once the piece is dry.

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Copyright 2007 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.