Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Framing with Burlap and Cardboard

On Valentine's Day I shared with you Oliver's first time using a paintbrush and the heart cut out painting that resulted.

Well, I loved that little painting so much (when I look at it, I see flowers blowing in the wind... what do you see?) that I had to frame it.  So I've done just that... but with a little twist.

It's matted with burlap and cardboard!  Both are things that I just found around the house.
Especially for a child's artwork, I love the fun and unexpected use of materials.
If you do too, here's the how to...

Materials & Tools:  large poster frame, newspaper (or any type of scrap paper), tape, marker, scissors, cardboard box (flattened), paint (white & grey), wide sponge brush, burlap, glue, cardboard from frame, child's artwork.

Template Time
Place and tape sheets of newspaper together using the frame as a guide for sizing.  Draw a frame shape (since I wanted a fun and childlike look, I just drew it freehand).

Cut out the template, then draw in the mitre lines in the corners...

...and cut those too.  Numbering each piece helps to remember where they go.

Cardboard Cutout
Lay the template out on the cardboard, trace with a marker, and cut out with a sharp pair of scissors.

I was lucky enough to have a little helper...

The Power of Paint
It's quite amazing how paint can transform things...even cardboard.  To achieve a weathered look, first apply a light and streaky coat of white paint.  Don't forget to put a little bit around the edges too.

Next, apply grey paint using a dry brush technique.  I do this by dipping the sponge brush in the paint and then paint a few strokes on newspaper or a paper towel before applying to the project.

Some Assembly Required
Okay, time to put everything together.
Glue or tape burlap to the backboard of the frame.
I taped Oliver's painting to a second paper heart that I'd painted turquoise (lately the accent colours around our house have been red, turquoise, and a little bit of navy).
I went a little overboard with the tape here, but Oliver thought it was hilarious and laughed every time that I ripped off a piece of tape.  So of course, I had to keep doing it!

Since I didn't like the look of just the burlap behind everything, I cut the cardboard that comes inside the frame to fit and taped everything together.

And there we have it...

I'm really happy with how it turned out and love the different textures.

The original plan was to have Oliver do a different themed painting for each holiday, but I'm really liking the heart, so we'll see.

Oliver was so excited to see his lovely "heartwork" framed and on display in our house, just like Mommy's!

I think he really enjoyed helping out too!

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Oh my goodness!!! I love it!!! and he's a cutie too!stopped in from At The Picket Fence.

  2. This is a neat idea, thanks for sharing! I found you on Delightfully Inspiring and I'm now following you. I would appreciate it if you could do the same.

  3. I am really loving that frame...and the artwork of course! Such a creative and fun idea.
    I just started a new link party just for rustic and shabby chic projects. I would love to have you share this - http://rustic-crafts.com/?p=5569

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