Learning to make picture frames of your own design is a great way to customize the art you are displaying. If you already have a picture frame of the right size, you can customize it very easily. Building a new frame from scratch is simple enough to do, however; altering an old frame can be cost effective as you can usually find one to work with at a garage sale.
Making a New Frame
Making a frame can be done with ready made framing molding or you can start from the beginning and make your own molding as well. When making the frame, it’s important to remember to add extra size to enable you to put in a picture mounting. Picture mountings come in various colors which you can match to the picture to bring out one particular color. The inner section of this mounting is cut at a 45-degree angle with a craft knife and must be very carefully done if it is to look professional.
The molding section of the frame has corners which are cut at a 45-degree angle to meet together correctly to make picture frames. Use a miter box to create accurate corners. These corners are fastened with both glue and a panel pin.
Once you have your basic picture frame, you can start to have more design fun. Old fashioned picture frames with ornate scrolling were made in this way.
You can either use ready made plastic molds of various shapes and sizes or you can use some of the craft clay that is available in the craft shops. In the old days the craftsmen used papier-mâché to create their designs, but today we can use more modern methods with craft clay.
If you decide to use papier-mâché, you will need torn up bits of newspaper and a packet of wallpaper paste. Mix the wall paper paste into a slightly thicker than normal consistency and add the very tiny pieces of newspaper to make a big bowl of the Papier-mâché. The mixture must be of a thick consistency so that it will stand on its own once it’s molded into shape. Using small quantities at a time; design and mold the decorations into place around the picture frame. If you want a repetitive design you will have to make a master mold first.
Free mold your master mold away from the frame and allow it to dry. Sand the dry master mold to create a smooth surface area. Pour hot rubber over the mold and let it set. Once you release the hot rubber you will pack your papier-mâché into it and press it on to the edge of your frame. As the papier-mâché is still wet it will adhere to the frame. Allow to set for at least 15 minutes before removing the rubber mold.
Clay can be used in a similar fashion as the papier-mâché but instead of using your own mold you can use chocolate mold. When you use a chocolate mold you would require a release agent in the form of cooking spray or green dishwashing liquid. Either way you will have fun learning to make picture frames.