Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Wallpaper Picture Frames....Framing Good Fun!

At last....here is my mini tutorial on creating your own gallery walls. Happy New Year to you...whatever resolutions you have set yourself, have fun doing them. A frame above the door has since become a blackboard by the way....you'll see it below

by Moira Neal 2012
I have had so much fun doing this and so many people have asked me to share how I did it. Please credit me with this work if you intend to share any of my pictures or 'how to's'.  Thank you so much

The starting point...walls stripped and ready to be papered and painted....

This is a tester of the lime green we chose....it really does not look so good here but when the sun shines it zings!

There are some wonderful printed wallpapers available with cute little picture frames on them. One of them is called 'Taylor and Wood Frames'  by Graham and Brown for £16.00 a roll.  Check it out here. I wanted to make my little back hallway a picture gallery but there are eight doors in it so I reckoned that most of the frames would be cut in half if I bought commercial paper so here is my answer.

Tony painted the walls with this terrific lime green paint...it looks awesome when the sun shines in the back door....a wonderful biting green reminiscent of the 1970's...oh those were the days.... The wall facing the kitchen was painted a pale shade of white. I decided I did not want to paint frames on that wall. You can have too much of a good thing!

This frame measure 34" x 36"

I painted frames on three of the walls and decided to add one huge frame on the wall by the back door which I can add 6"x 4" photos to. The other frames are for more special pictures which will be added over time. Hah! What is that I ask?

I LOVE blackboards and thought it would be fun to have one to use for special occasions like birthdays and special greetings. I use it for the menu if my grand daughters are coming for supper too and for the occasional interesting sayings. The most recent one...'some days you are the dog......some days you are the tree' had eight year old Grace stumped!
I bought a pack of 5 Sharpie pens and that was my first mistake. They simply did not work at all and I began to think I was making a big mistake in thinking I could write on my emulsioned walls at all. A few weeks later I found the perfect pens and nearly the whole hallway was done with just one.
I spent a lot of time planning the designs and drew pages and pages of ideas. Next I made some cardboard templates to draw the frames around. I bought a pack of Blu-Tac too and planned to place lots of cardboard templates in position over the wall. BIG mistake!!! The Blu-Tac pulled the paper off so it was back to the drawing board!
Having made plenty of mistakes on the way I can now share with you what works. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself. Don't expect to complete the wall in one go....allow it to grow and evolve and to talk to you. Add another frame or two while dinner is cooking.....enjoy the process. You'll miss it when it is over.....I'm now looking around my home for more walls to attack. I have nearly a whole pens' worth to go....LOL!

You will need:

Emulsion paint and some leftovers!
Very juicy black pen....mine was an acrylic water based marker with a fine tip by Montana and it cost £4.50
card for templates
Long ruler
Spirit level if you can't trust your eye

Start by painting the wall before you begin. This is most essential. The reason is simple....you can paint over any frames you hate and start again.  I was delighted to find that the emulsion covered over the black pen with just two coats. See the picture below. This allows you to be free and DARING!

 Paint a big piece of wallpaper with the emulsion paint too and use this as your practise piece so you get the feel of the pen before starting on the 'real thing'!

big mistake......naff little frame by the light switch! Also I HATED the two frames on the right

Tip: If there is a light switch on the wall, make it the focus of your first frame. I realised this would have  been a good idea AFTER I started my wall and had to work around it. Apparently you can also buy a picture frame switch which would be even better.

Here you can see what happened. This is after one coat of paint was applied. One more coat and it had gone thank goodness!!!!! I got rid of the frames to the right as well


Here is the wall as it is now. I have not finished adding pictures but that will happen eventually. I love the fact that you can keep changing the frames. At last I am happy with this wall


Get the pen working by repeatedly pressing the nib to get the ink flowing. Make sure you keep the lid on when not in use as it will dry out quickly

 Hold a card template on the wall, levelling it using your eye or a spirit level.  If you prefer, make them all deliberately higgeldy-piggeldy as I did around the top of the walls.

Do not use a ruler or try to make your lines perfectly straight ....allow yourself to draw lines freehand with a slight wonkiness.....this will make your frames look quirky, individual and creative. It is a good idea though to use a long ruler as a guide when drawing a really big frame.
Keep it simple......start with a simple frame shape and then add to it. You can add a second line around it leaving a gap of about an inch (2.5cm) Next, simply draw circles/lines/shapes, inside the frame, all the way around.
You can see from this picture that my starting point for the frames was eye level...then I worked above and below making it up as I went along!

Here, I drew two lines to make the frame and then drew two more lines inside it and added details


I decided this one was to be another little blackboard....and I added a couple of hearts to the top of it as it seemed to need it and the frame on the left had some of the little bubbles filled in too!!

Group similar designs to give a cohesive look....saves you having to think of so many different ones!!

Remember to make frames big enough to take special picture


I hope this has been enough to get you started. Have fun creating your own wonderful gallery to fill with photos, memories or your children's artwork. Whatever you do, enjoy doing it! I'd love to see what you create.


In the meantime, I'm going to think about doing something similar in my front hallway and when I do I'll make a little video of the process...until then.....



believe in miracles...(I do now I have cracked Windows 8) and have FUN in 2013!


Gina said...

What a fun idea! happy New Year Moira.

Sue said...

Just fantabulousssss! The best idea I have ever seen in blogland...
Happy NY. I will come and see you!!!
much love
Sue xxx

vintagerockchick said...

Brilliant! Well done, they look great even before you put pictures in the frames. Love the lime green too x

Sandra Rowney said...

Great idea Moira...I am so tempted by this! Love the lime green. I wonder if it would work in the bathroom with layers of scrumble glaze to protect the pictures from the steam....ooooh!
Sandra xx

Jenny Unsworth said...

I just love, love, love the frames. Congrats on Windows 8 too. Happy 2013.
Jenny x

Michelle Webb said...

This is truly amazing! I love what you have done here, and it makes the room so much more interesting. Wowzers!!!! I'm your newest follower too, can't wait to see what you come up with next. Michelle x