Flea Market Frame Into Christmas Art

A couple of weeks ago, I found this mirror at a flea market for 4.00, so it came home with me.  It was a little outta shape, but I saw big potential.  The mirror was just held on to the back with putty, so I cut it out with a razor, and cleaned the already chipping putty off the best I could.  The mirror was in really good shape, so I cleaned it up, and will re-frame it for the guest room, probably later this week.  The part of this frame that I really loved was that there was a thin fabric lining on the inner rim of the frame, and all the details/carvings on the main part of the frame.  Note: sorry about the pictures, they were taken at different times of the day, and some of them at night, so the lighting isn't the greatest in a few.
My before mirror:

I painted the whole frame (fabric strip and all) with a mix of two different acrylic reds, one coat.  Please do not judge my messy craft table, it just got a make-over yesterday.  The lack of organization was driving me batty!

The colors were Folk Art Lipstick Red and Apple Barrel Tuscan Red.  I just mixed them until I had the deep red I was looking for.  Lipstick Red was too orange-y, and the Tuscan Red had a bit too much brown.  So we mix!

Once the red was dry, I covered the frame (minus the fabric strip) with my favorite vintage white acrylic paint.  It took two coats.  I used Apple Barrel's Antique Parchment.  Then, I sanded!  I love the way the red comes through on the little details.  I sanded a little harder in some spots because I wanted some of the wood to show through too.
Then it was time for the art!  My frame holds a 12x16 picture.  So, I cut out a rectangle piece of burlap a bit bigger than that.  Then I searched and searched the internet for a reindeer silhouette.  I originally planned on it being of just the head, but then I found one to fit vertically of a whole reindeer body, and it was SO cute!  I just googled images and went through until I found one I liked.  I went back to find the source of mine, and it was actually a rubber stamp!  You can find it here.  I wasn't crazy about the antlers, though.  Not Christmas-y enough.  So, I printed it out, drew them the way I wanted them (I also made the nose and neck a little larger), and scanned them back into the computer.  Then I blew it up, and printed it out in 11x17 format using Microsoft Word.  Here's what I came up with for the antlers.  Feel free to use this if you want to do this project!
Once I had it printed (I used scrapbook paper so it would make a sturdier stencil), I cut the black part of it out, leaving the stencil.  Cutting those antlers out was NO FUN.  It was hard and slow because I was making teeny tiny snips with the scissors so I wouldn't cut too far and mess up the stencil.  Guess I should've thought about that when I decided I wanted pretty Christmas-swirl antlers.

After the stencil is positioned on your burlap, color it in with a black sharpie!  This was the easy part.  You could paint it too, but I like that I have more control with the sharpie, and it gives it the screen printed look.

For the backing, I cut out a 12x16 rectangle of cardboard (the brown of the cardboard is the perfect backing for the thin burlap, not allowing any show-through), making sure it would fit into the back of the frame.  And then, I wrapped my burlap around it, hot gluing it in place on the back.  Then I glued another same-size piece of cardboard to the back, hiding the burlap wrapping (it wasn't very pretty, but it had staying power).

Like this:


And, then, I wedged it in the frame (it was snug!), and used little finishing nails to nail sideways through the cardboard and into the frame to keep it in place.  The back is not so pretty with the old dried putty and cardboard, but nobody will see that part:)  The front is what matters...

And the front is beautiful, if I do say so myself!  I canNOT wait for Christmas to use this in my decorating.  I'm thinking it will have a perfect spot on the matel (matle?...I never know the right way to spell this).  I know it's a little early for Christmas crafts, but once this idea formed, I couldn't wait to see it come together!  Now I have to find the patience not to stick in with all my fall decor!

It has just the right amount of rustic, with a little whimsy.  I absolutely adore it!  If you decide to make one, I would love to see pictures!


Karen said...

That is just so cute! I love your crafty side that's finally being shown!!!
The frame is what I look for in thrift shops, too. There's so much you can do with them. And I'm also liking the burlap you're integrating into your decor.
Oh, and I googled mantel. Either way is acceptable. ;o)

Ash said...

OMG. I love this. How do you come up with such good ideas? And you drew those antlers?! Wow. I am going to need one of these too. Are you writing down my orders? I think you need to.