Gallery walls seem to be all the rage these days— a home decor trend I've eagerly adapted to my living room's TV wall. Recently I've been wanting to add smaller galleries to the walls in my home, but I was having trouble finding a variety of frames I like. Usually stores are packed full with picture frames in lots of styles, but as usual, I wanted to try to make my own! I used a wooden frame that I found at a craft store, and simply decorated the surface to give it a unique look.
This frame I made is fairly simple in appearance, but would certainly hold its own when used alongside other frames in a gallery wall. Understated with a little funk. My kind of picture frame! Check out how I made it below.
-picture frame (with a flat surface)
-plaster or 20-minute setting drywall compound* (stronger than standard compound)
-white paint + primer
-colored or metallic paint for accenting
-notched trowel (like this one)
*I had difficulties working fast enough to use Plaster of Paris for this project. I had 20-minute setting drywall compound on hand, so I used that with great success.
Step One: Mix your plaster or drywall compound in a bucket. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for how much water to use and how quickly to work. (Hint: work very quickly!)
Step Two: Quickly slop the compound onto the picture frame and spread it out. It should be about 1/8" thick. I spent too much time smoothing my plaster and it began to set up. I had a much easier time with the drywall compound.
Step Three: Use a notched trowel or any textured object to create a pattern in the plaster. I simply dragged the trowel across the plaster, stopping to wipe away the removed plaster from the trowel as I worked. If you mess up, just scrape off the compound and try again with a fresh batch.
Step Four: After the compound or plaster has set up completely, use sandpaper to smooth any of the rough spots. This will be a dusty process, so you might want to do this outside.
Step Five: Give the frame a few coats of white primer + paint.
Step Six: I decided to accent portions of the raised texture with gold leaf paint, focusing on the edges and corners. You can use any color combination, but I love the look of white with a bit of gold.
Such a simple project, and I love how it turned out! I will say, though, if you are a slow crafter (which I am), I would highly suggest using drywall compound instead of plaster. Make sure you don't get a compound which sets up faster than 20 minutes. I've found that the 20-minute setting Sheetrock brand holds up nicely and won't crack or crumble as badly as regular drywall compound.
This picture frame would make a great handmade gift or addition to a gallery wall in your home! –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella and Valentine of the Signature Collection and Pearl from the Fresh Collection.
Great idea, this would be great with several in a row.
That’s so nice to hear! I’m so glad you enjoyed the project! 🙂 -Mandi
That’s a great idea! I think it would work best for place settings or maybe party signage. Something that you don’t need to last for a long time. -Mandi
This is so cool! Nice result and I love the picture you chose 🙂
I made two of these this afternoon! Was a very fun project. I did the gold accents as well and they turned out fantastic! I love all the craft projects on this blog. I have taken so many ideas of yours and tweaked them slightly to make them my own… And I cannot thank you enough. I have both your books and love each of them and proudly chat up your blog whatever chance I get. I also have your first app. Soo fun 🙂
So attention every one of you on the A Beautiful Mess team! Thank you for all your hard work and determination to make this all it has become: an inspiration for people around the world to find creativity in their everyday lives. Much love to you all 🙂
I don’t know which I love more – the frame or the picture of Audrey Hepburn!
Audrey Hepburn is fantastic. And so is this picture frame. Looks easy to make! 🙂
Hope you have a beautiful day!
the bbb blogger
I am obsessing over the white and gold! Thanks for the inspo!
The Accidental Mama
Such a great idea! My friends and I just recently started a monthly Craft Club, and I think this would be a great project for one of them!
I love this!
Thought this was corrugated cardboard at first.
So, you could definitely just overlay a frame with corrugated cardboard, paint it, scuff up some spots with sandpaper, then paint them gold. Might be a little easier :).
Love it – what a fab idea! I was looking for a distressed look picture for my bedroom. So the frame is sorted. Thank you so much
I love this! Such a simple concept and it comes out so beautifully! And really does look vintage.
This is such a cool idea, would be great to make as a Christmas gift
This is such a cool idea! I am already planning out how to make this my own. 😉
Fashion latte with vanilla
loving this! it turned out really great!
a unique frame for even more pictures! Love it 😉