Shabby Leaf Frame

Shabby Leaf Frame

Posted by DecoArt on Sep 26th 2018

As it’s near the end of September, autumn is beginning to show so I thought I would use a wooden frame to create something to fit the season. My initial thoughts were to make it using all the golden and grungy shades of autumn but as I played with my practice pieces I chose to go shabby instead. Then as the processes progressed and the project began to reveal itself to me the changes made it look more like a winter theme! But that’s what can happen as I work. Things never finish in the way I think they might – I just follow my muse!

Items Needed:


Step 1: Take the frame and give one side a coat of these Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Raw Sienna. Mix the colours on the substrate as you are painting. Blend the colours with each other as you go along to create a tonal blended look.

At the same time paint the back of the panel piece on just one side and blend the paints in the same way. (This will become the back of your finished frame).

Instruction Image #1

Step 2: Stamp some falling leaf shapes using clear embossing ink on the frame piece and heat with clear embossing powder. 

Instruction Image #2

Step 3: When it's cooled off, paint over the frame with Titan Buff and Titanium White blending them together as you go. When the paint is nearly dry rub it away from the embossed leaves letting the autumnal brown shapes show through.

Instruction Image #3

Step 4: (Not completed) I was going to do steps 4 and 5 at this point but decided to leave them till later and when later came I decided not to do them at all!!! I think I prefer the more neutral colours and the simpler effects of the frame.

Dip the paints in watery Burnt Umber and where the leaves are wet add some Raw Umber with a paint brush.

Step 5: (Not completed) When it's dry repeat step three using just a small amount of Pyrrole Red mixed with Raw Umber.

Step 6: Take the back panel and on the raw side (which becomes the inside when the top frame is layered on) draw a pencil line inside the frame to show the size of the panel that will be exposed.

Instruction Image #4

Step 7: Over a slightly larger area paint on a layer of White Gesso and whilst it is still wet randomly paint and blend in some White Crackle Paste. Leave it to dry naturally. (I hadn't tried mixing these two before so had no idea what would happen). What we got is some random crackle over the board which looks pretty cool blended into the Gesso. I must make a mental note though to not overwork it as that has prevented some of the crackle from working.

Instruction Image #5

Step 8: Whilst the background is drying die-cut three leaves and stamp them using a slightly watered down mix of Titanium White and Titan Buff using a largish leaf stamp. (See materials list)

Instruction Image #6

Step 9: Soak the leaves with water and scrunch them up and leave them to dry or heat dry them. Blend ground espresso distress ink round the edges.

Instruction Image #7

Step 10: Back to the background - Paint Raw Umber Antiquing Cream over the crackle areas, leave for a few minutes to dry and wipe away with a wet babywipe.

Instruction Image #8

Step 11: Take a tree mask and paint one side with Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna.....

Instruction Image #9

Step 12: ..... Then flip it over onto the background, cover with a dry piece of kitchen roll (paper towel) and press it onto the background. You will need to do this several times to get an impression. After the last stamp of the stencil spritz it with water so that you get some distressed areas.

Instruction Image #10

Step 13: Dry the tree shape, draw around the tree stencil with a permanent brown pen and shade in some of the branches, finish with a small brush and paint in some Raw Umber.

Instruction Image #11

Step 14: If you place the frame over you will see how much you need to colour in.

Instruction Image #12

Step 15: Now I decided to fill the centre background with some of the faux encaustic layers I love - see my media board where it all started back in May HERE. I began with some asemic writing using a black sharpie pen, added some colour with chalk pastels going over the tree with white pastel to tone it down a bit and then sealed it with Matte Medium.

Instruction Image #13

Step 16: Once dry I dipped it into some watery Titanium White fluid acrylic and dried it repeating a couple of times until I was happy with the effects. Then repeated with Titan Buff. Seal with Matte Medium.

Instruction Image #14

Step 17: Now to add some texture with Modeling Paste mixed with White Gesso. When dry dribble some Raw Umber paint over the three areas, dry and add some more white chalk.

Instruction Image #15

Step 18: Now adhere the frame and background together using Decou-Page and leave it under something heavy for a while for the glue to bond. When adhered, fill the centre with clear Modeling Paste and leave overnight to dry.

Instruction Image #16

These are the two practice pieces I spoke about at the beginning of the post. I think the brighter piece would work just as well especially if you are someone who loves autumnal colours. (Refer to Steps 4 and 5)

Instruction Image #17

Thanks for stopping by.

Instruction Image #18

Hugs Brenda xxx