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Easy DIY Decoupage Picture Frame

These fabulous gelli plate prints make a great decoupage picture frame. Say goodbye to bland picture frames and hello to the enchanting world of decoupage! 

Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or a DIY novice, this step-by-step guide will show you how to use decoupage to breathe new life into your frames. Add a splash of color to your home décor with personalized, visually stunning picture frames that reflect your personal style.

For this decoupage project, I am working with papers I have gelli plate printed, in a variety of blurs and greens with different textures. Naturally, you can use any papers you like, for example collecting a range of papers from old magazines.

Gelli plate prints Decoupage Picture frame

Materials You’ll Need for your Decoupage Picture Frame:

  1. Picture Frame: Choose a wooden or plastic frame as your canvas.
  2. Decoupage Glue/Mod Podge: The adhesive that will seal and protect your design.
  3. Assorted Papers: Consider using decorative napkins, scrapbook paper, or printed designs.
  4. Paintbrush or Foam Brush: For applying the decoupage glue and smoothing out wrinkles.
  5. Scissors: To precisely cut your chosen decoupage materials.
  6. Acrylic Paint: To prep the frame’s surface for better adhesion.
  7. Sealant (Optional): Clear spray or brush-on sealant for added durability.
  8. Craft Mat or Plastic Sheet: To protect your workspace.

Decoupage Picture Frame Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare Your Frame

Start by disassembling the picture frame and lightly painting a coat of acrylic paint the color of your finished frame. This base layer prevents any of your wood frame from leaping out to the eye if any of your papers do not quite touch.

decoupage picture frame ideas

Step 2: Choose Your Decoupage Materials

Select your preferred decoupage materials—napkins, scrapbook paper, or printed designs. Cut them into desired shapes or sizes for your frame. I have cut strips of my printed papers in slightly different widths.

how to decoupage a picture frame

Step 3: Apply Decoupage Glue

Using a paintbrush, generously apply decoupage glue to the back of your chosen material. Carefully position it on the frame, smoothing out any wrinkles or air bubbles. I picked the straight edge along the inner edge of the frame and wrapped the decoupage paper around to the back of the frame.

how to decoupage picture frames

Step 4: Layer and Repeat

Continue adding layers of decoupage materials, slightly overlapping them for a seamless look. Experiment with different patterns and designs to create a visually appealing collage. At the corners of the decoupage frame, I folded the paper at a 45 degree angle and used this fold as a cutting guide.

decoupaged picture frames

Step 5: Seal the Design

Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, let the glue dry completely. For added durability, apply a coat of clear sealant or a thin layer of mod podge over the entire frame, ensuring you cover the inner and outer edges of the frame. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

decoupage picture frames

Step 6: Reassemble the Frame

Once the sealant is dry, reassemble the photo frame. Ensure everything is secure, I have strips of brown tape in the back for good measure and to tidy up the appearance. Step back and admire your beautiful decoupage picture frame!

how to decoupage a picture frame

Check out my YouTube video for this decoupage picture frame!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use any type of paper for decoupage? While thin, flexible papers like napkins and scrapbook paper work best, you can experiment with various paper types. Keep in mind that thicker papers may be harder to smooth out.

Can I decoupage over an already painted frame? Absolutely! Just make sure the existing paint is clean and dry before applying your decoupage materials.

How do I clean a decoupaged frame? Gently wipe the surface with a damp, soft cloth. Avoid soaking the frame, especially if you haven’t used a waterproof sealant.

Quotes to Print

Personally, I have made this frame with a wild swimming friend in mind. Using the gelli plate I printed various pale blue backgrounds, using spray water on the acrylic to add a watery feel to the print. Once fully dry I added a swimming quote.

“Feel your way through the water. Don’t fight it.” Mark Young

“If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water.  On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.” Bruce Lee

“The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.” Woodrow Wilson

“The water doesn’t know how old you are.” Dara Torres

“Swimming is simply moving meditation.” Cesar Nikko Caharian

If you are looking to make this as a gift for swimming friends here are a variety of swimming related quotes for you.

You’ve just unlocked the transformative power of decoupage! With a few simple materials and creative flair, you have given a new lease of life to an ordinary picture frame into a personalized work of art. Add a splash of color to your home, showcasing your individuality with this delightful and accessible DIY technique. Happy crafting!

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