Altered Layered Frame

Altered Layered Frame

Posted by DecoArt on Apr 25th 2016

I am very pleased to be here as one of the newest members of the Mixed Media Design Team. It was about 15 months ago I became a member of the DecoArt Helping Artists program teaching workshops using the fabulous media range and now I am able to bring my ideas and learning out to a wider audience.

I love the whole vintage, distressed look and many of my projects are made in this style. Over the past few years I have been very lucky to take a number of classes with Andy Skinner and have definitely been inspired by his grungy, age worn techniques and projects. Taking something brand new and making it look old and worn excites me but I also love journaling and creating in a mixed media style. When using the media fluid acrylics and mediums I apply lots of layers to create depth and interest especially to backgrounds. Come with me as I show you the first of my projects as a new Mixed Media Design Team member.


Items Needed:


Step 1. Glue the three pieces of the frame together and paint it with gesso to seal the chipboard and preventing it from getting too wet with the additional layers of paint that are going to be added to it.

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Step. 2 With a piece of sponge blend some media acrylic paints over keeping them light in colour, I used Phthalo Blue, Translucent White and Titan Buff.

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Step 3. Create a watery wash of Titan Buff on your craft mat and the do a process I call "dip and dry" several times until you have a mottled creamy effect.

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Step 4.  Repeat the dip and dry process with a watery wash of Burnt Umber.

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Step 5.  Repeat the dip and dry process with a watery wash of Translucent White

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Step 6. Now you have created a translucent distress effect with the paints go over the surface with clear crackle glaze with an uneven coverage so you have some thick and some thinner areas of the medium.

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You will see the cracks appear as it dries but make sure you leave it to dry thoroughly.

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Step 7. Take Raw Umber Antiquing Cream and rub a little over the frame and wipe back straight away with a babywipe so that the cracks are enhanced but not the rest of the wood.

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You can see how distinct the cracks have become.

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Step 8. To create the last of the distressing, use a sanding block and sand areas around the edges and then blend in ground espresso or any brown distress ink. To get the really dark patches you need to sand back to the original chipboard and this then soaks up the ink making it look very dark. By doing this you can create a lot of dust you might need to consider wearing a mask, especially if you are asthmatic.

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Step 9. Take the back of the frame and four of the spare arched pieces.

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Step 10. Paint a layer of gesso over them and then adhere torn pieces of dictionary paper using matte medium and seal everything over the top, leave to dry.

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Step 11. With a paintbrush, water spritzer and a piece of kitchen roll blend a darker tone of the colours you used on the frame and dry. I used Prussian Blue.

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Step 12. Adhere small die-cuts and brayer white paint lightly over the whole background. Dry. Note I am doing the same with the four small side panels as I am to the frame background.

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Step 13. Stamp text with black archival ink. I used an old handwriting text stamp.

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Step 14. Bring the warmer shades of blue that are on the frame by mixing phthalo blue, titan buff, translucent white and burnt umber to give it a more vintage feel.

Step 15. Lightly brayer the colour all over.

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Step 16. Daub a little white paint on top edge of pieces and spritz with water allow it to run down the pieces and through the die-cuts and heat dry. Repeat this until you are happy with the outcome. Also mix a little Hansa Yellow Light to the blue you had mixed before and daub and spritz with some of that too.

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Step 17. Splatter some Titanium White and dry it. The do the same with some Burnt Umber. To get the Burnt Umber looking slightly faded once splattered leave for a few seconds so that it has started to dry then dab the excess of with dry kitchen roll.

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Step 18. Mix a vintage glaze using two drips of Burnt Umber, one drip of Quinacridone Gold and a smaller drip of Paynes Grey to about a teaspoonful of Ultra Matte Varnish and mix together. Paint it sparingly over the pieces to achieve a more vintage look.

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Step 19. Use a brown distress marker and draw and blend with your finger around the die-cuts to create some shadow effect.

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Step 20. Distress the edges of the smaller pieces with a distressing tool or sanding block and blend in brown ink. 

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Step 21. Adhere the frame onto it's background, sand the edges and blend in brown distress ink.

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Step 22.  Collect together ephemera and embellishments to add to the frames.

Some metal pieces.

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An original vintage Charlotte doll, a glass nob and a mini number plaquette.

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Two small vintage photos and square acrylic blocks.

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Step 23. Make the metal embellishments look old and rusty using a quick technique using the media fluid acrylic paints. a) - take a piece of dry kitchen roll and dab burnt sienna all over and heat dry it. Of course metal gets hot so we need to be very careful we do not burn ourselves. b) - for the next layer use Burnt Umber and dab it over randomly leaving some of the Burnt Sienna showing and dry. c) - repeat the random dabbing with Paynes Grey and heat dry. Following that use antiquing creams, lustres and archival ink to add more depth of colours and interest.

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Step 24. Add some iced espresso metallic lustre to the base of the knob and the vintage glaze from earlier to the mini plaquette and charlotte doll. Also add a small random amount of coffee archival ink to the plaquette.

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Step 25. Rub the coffee archival ink pad around the acrylic blocks to create a more vintage look.

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Step 26. Adhere the elements onto the frames using matte medium.

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Step 27. Glue mini hinges between the end pieces and onto the triptych frame to add the extra arches and make this a free standing arch layered frame.

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 Thank you for taking a look at my first project and thank you DecoArt for having me on the Mixed Media Design Team. I hope you have enjoyed my make and process steps and please let us know if you take any inspiration from this frame and try anything similar.