Pretty as the Picture

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Article courtesy Scrapjazz; by Trish Dykes

1_140I believe that our gift to create is exactly that, a gift. What seems to come relatively easy for most of us is beyond comprehension to those people who don't seem to have their own creative thought processes. Whether it be a scrapbook page, a card or knit scarf, I think there is a unique fondness and appreciation for things that are ‘handmade.' The appeal of these items have crossed over all gender and generational gaps as well. (That is probably why antique quilts and stitched samplers are amongst the items most bid on at auctions.)

One way that you can add your own unique, creative signature to your decor is by altering a wood frame. It could be a frame used to display a photo of a favorite vacation, or a frame surrounding your Grandmother's best cookie recipe. Do you know someone who is expecting a baby? How about creating a frame that will house the baby's first footprint? The possibilities are endless, so get your creative juices flowing and lets get started.



  1. Remove the backing and glass from the frame and set aside. Select the scrapbook paper(s) that you will be using for the frame and decide on placement.

  2. Lay the frame face down on the back of the scrapbook paper and trace the center of the frame opening. Allow for enough paper to cover the front and sides of the frame. Move the frame from the paper and use the ruler to draw a pencil line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Repeat from the top right corner to the bottom left corner to form an X in the center of the opening.


  3. Use scissors to cut along the X lines from corner to corner. You will trim them again later.

  4. With the small paintbrush, spread a thin layer of Mod Podge adhesive to the front of the wood frame. Then place the frame face down on the traced line of the center opening on the scrapbook paper. When you have it lined up, pick up both the frame and the paper and place them right side up on your tabletop.


  5. Using a brayer, a bone folder or just your hand, apply gentle and even pressure onto the paper and work out any air bubbles that may have formed. As long as the Mod Podge is still wet the paper will be workable. Once you are satisfied with its placement, allow the paper to dry to the front of the frame.

  6. Next, dry fold the cut center flaps around the inside of the frame. Use your fingers to work the paper into the corners for a smooth crease. Trim any excess paper that folds beyond the back of the frame. You want it to reach the back for adhering, but not fold over onto the front side.


  7. Dry fold the outside edges of the frame. Take extra care in folding around the corners, so you don't tear the paper. You can fold in the sides first and then the top and bottom edges or do the top and bottom edges first, then continuing with the sides. The orientation of how you want the final frame to sit would be the determining factor.

  8. Again using the paintbrush and Mod Podge, brush a thin coat of adhesive along the inner edge (or thickness) of the frame. Use your fingers to work the paper back into position, following the dry fold lines that you did in step 6. If your frame has a glass front, check to make sure that it still fits into the opening. It may be a snug fit. (If it doesn't fit, try trimming some of the paper in the corners until it does.)

  9. Coat the outer edge of the frame with adhesive and fold over the paper, again following the dry fold lines. Once you are pleased with the placement of the paper and any air bubbles are smoothed out, continue by adhering the paper to the back of the frame, trimming the excess as needed.

  10. Glue any embellishments that you would like to the front to complete the look of your frame. Reassemble the frame with the glass, photo and backing. You can use a piece of cardstock, felt or coordinating patterned paper cut 1/8" smaller than the size of the frame for the backing. This finishes off the back by ‘hiding' all of the folded-over paper. I used a small stapler to tack it onto the back.

Shop all embellishments at


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