Aside from the products listed at the end of this tutorial you will also need:
- an old frame with at least an 8" x 10" opening
- an old book (possibly two depending on the size of your frame and book)
- a hot glue gun and glue sticks
- acrylic paint
- several scraps of coordinating ribbon
- a wide coordinating ribbon for the bow
- a 3" punch is optional but very helpful!
Here is what I started with:
Excuse the irony of my old book choice... it made me giggle!
First, you'll need to remove the glass and backing from the frame and use a screwdriver or similar utensil to bend back any metal tabs on the back of it. Paint your frame in a coordinating color with acrylic paint. I did several coats but you don't need to be too concerned about perfection here because nearly all of the surface will end up being covered in paper. The most important area to have covered is the outside edge.
Set the frame aside for now.
Book Print Papers
Next is the part that will take you a while... the book print circles. You may question why you wanted to do this project in the first place when you're doing this part but I promise it really isn't that bad! I cut my circles on one night in front of the tv and crumpled them the next night. It is boring and repetitive but very easy.
It would be nearly impossible for me to tell you how many circles to cut because of the size variation of frames. I can tell you that I used every page of my book. I like to do all the steps for about 3/4 of the book and then see if I need more.
First, rip out the pages of your book. I pulled sections out rather than one page at a time. Then cut your pages in half so you have a pile like this:
Here is when you would use your 3" punch to punch your circles if you have one. I am sure this step would be faster if you did it this way but I didn't want to shell out the money for a new punch so I did it the old fashioned way! My circle cutter, Cricut and Slice ALL shredded the edges of my book pages but if you can get any of those to work more power to you!
Cut yourself a 3" circle from any old piece of scrap paper.
Fold a few sheets of your book pages in quarters... I did about four sheets at a time. Then fold your circle template in quarters and lay it on top:
Cut the book pages using the template as a guide:
After unfolding them you should have a stack of circles. They do NOT have to be perfect! You will never see imperfections when they get crumpled and added to the frame.
To crumple the papers use the blunt end of any pen and push it into the center of each circle. Crush the paper around the pen:
You will be left with a giant pile of these:
Once your frame is dry and you have all your paper tufts you can plug in your glue gun and get rolling! I found it best to add a dot of glue to the tuft rather than putting the glue directly on the frame but it is up to you. There is no true perfect pattern for gluing and you may find that your arrangement is different from what I did based on the size of your frame. I pretty much had three rows of tufts across the width of my frame. I angled the innermost row towards the center of the frame, the middle row was facing upwards, and the outermost row was angled slightly to the outside.
The corners get a little tricky but once you get the hang of your gluing pattern it all goes very quickly. Remember, you can sort of fluff and squeeze the papers at the end to make everything look uniform.
The Inner Piece
- Cut the red dot paper to 9" x 7", ink the edges in brown ink (I used Ranger Distress Ink in Walnut Stain), and distress all edges.
- Cut the striped paper to 8 3/4" x 6 3/4", ink the edges and distress all edges.
- Cut the red paper to 8 3/4" x 3 1/2", ink the edges and distress all edges.
- Nest the striped paper inside the red dot paper.
- Adhere the red paper as shown:
- Find the green scalloped card in the card stack and cut off the full length of one scallop. Trim the top to 6". Border punch the right edge. Ink the edges. Adhere as shown:
- Cut a 2" x 2" square of the large green dot paper and cut it on the diagonal to make a triangle. Ink the edges.
- Cut the large print paper to 3 1/2" x 4 1/2". Ink the edges.
- Refer to the original photo to see how I placed the triangle under the top right corner of the print paper. I added this at a later point in my creative process so you won't see it for a couple of photos! Sorry about that!
- Adhere the mat as shown:
- Find these tags from the tag pack and ink the edges.
- Cut a 1" x 12" strip of the large green dot paper. Accordion fold approximately every 1/4". Adhere end to end to form a circle. Use a small scrap of paper with a strong, wet adhesive and push the accordion down so it forms a flat circle. You may have to hold it for a minute to ensure it holds. Find the "joy" tag and ink the edges. Adhere it to the center of the top of the accordion flower. Ink the edges of the flower.
- Cut a length of ribbon or lace and add two of the circle tags and the accordion flower as shown:
- Use a strong, wet adhesive to add the wood elements and last circle tag as shown:
- Use pop dots or foam tape to raise the tree tag on top of the bracket tag and adhere as shown.
- Ink the edges of the letters to spell "holidays" or whatever sentiment you want to add. Adhere them as shown. Add pearls along the edge of the cream mat, the sides of the bracket tag, and the centers of the wood accents. Use tiny alphas, stickers, stamps, or your own handwriting to spell out "happy".
- Now the crystals. I will admit that normally I just open the jump rings on these hanging crystals and hang them from those but these particular crystals had really tough rings to open. So I used embroidery thread instead.
- Find the bottom center of your paper and use a paper piercer to punch two small holes. Punch another set of holes slightly to the left and another slightly to the right.
- Thread a needle, come up from the back and add a crystal, then go back down... repeat for the remaining two crystals. Trim the thread and tape each end to the back.
From the front:
From the back:
- Punch holes in the top of the inner piece.
- Thread coordinating ribbon through the holes and tie a small bow at the end (you'll only have one "tail")
- Do the same on the other side.
- Trim the other ends of the ribbons so that they reach behind the back of the frame and find where to fasten them so that your inner part will hang centered.
- I used ordinary tape to fasten my ribbons to the frame back for two reasons. One, I was just plain lazy and didn't want to figure out something else. ;-) Two, because in theory you could change out the center portion for a different holiday!
- Finally, add a wide coordinating bow at the bottom center.
And you're done!
If you've purchased the products I used to make this project you might be interested in using a few of your scraps to whip up a few cards, especially if you plan on giving this as a gift.
- card from the card pack
- red paper = 5 1/4" x 3 1/4"
- dot paper = 5" x 3"
- red strip = 1 1/4" x 5"
- striped strip = 1" x 5"
- pop dot the "noel" and holly tags
- thread a ribbon through the pre-punched holes and add a small bow
- card from the card pack
- brown paper = 5 1/4" x 3 1/4"
- flower paper = 3" x 3"
- large dot paper = 3" x 2"
- tie a ribbon around the mat before adhering to the card
- adhere tags then sentiment
Reader Comments ...
Nana Lee, my opening was 10 3/4 by 13 3/4. :-)
This is beautiful! And simple!
Would you mind telling me the size of the frame you used?
I might have missed it somewhere. The opening looks like it must
be bigger than 8 x 10. Thanks for posting this tutorial!!