Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bits & Pieces Frame

Good morning everyone. . .it's Jeanne here and it's my turn to share some Valentine fun with you. One of my all-time favorite swaps I participated in was a "Bits & Pieces Collage Swap." Recently I was re-admiring the collage I received from my swap partner when I was rearranging the inspiration board in my studio. I love the idea of using up all the little scraps I save from other projects. I can't seem to throw anything away because I always think I'll be able to use the leftovers to make something else. This philosophy, which my husband refers to as more of a "pack-rat" syndrome, led me to create this Bits and Pieces Collage Frame project. So let's get started, shall we?
8"x10" Photo Mat Board with rectangular opening
8"x10" Sheet of black and cream decorative paper
8"x10" piece of cardboard
9"x11" Sheet of pink decorative paper
8"x10" Sheet of pink decorative paper
Small scraps of 6 coordinating pink papers.
Glue stick
Craft knife
Bone folder (optional)
Black chalk inkpad
1-1/2” square punch
Other various shaped punches such as circle, oval, heart, etc. (optional)
Double-sided foam tape
Crop-a-dile (optional)
Twill tape, seam binding or ribbon for hanger
Graphite pencil (optional)

*All or any of the following supplies of your choice:
Scraps of paper, rhinestones, buttons, braided trim, book text, sheet music, ledger paper, ribbon, Flowers, crepe paper, tulle, vintage images, tinsel trim, glitter, pearls and/or beads.

Place photo mat board on top of wrong side of an 8"x10" sheet of black & cream decorative paper and trace around inside edges.
Using craft knife, cut an “X” in the center of traced section, connecting opposite corners as shown in the photo below.

Apply glue to front side of mat board and reposition back onto decorative paper, matching it up with traced lines.

Rolling a brayer over the paper smooths out air bubbles and helps the glue adhere to the surface better.

Score along the inside edges of frame using a bone folder which helps create a crisp edge when folding paper.

Bend and crease flaps through mat board opening and fold towards the back.
Adhere to back of mat board using gluestick.

Trim excess paper using craft knife.

Turn mat board over to right side.

Using a black chalk inkpad, distress both inside and outside edges. Set aside.
Using a 1-1/2" square punch, cut out 6 squares from coordinating pink decorative papers.

Embellish each square using bits and pieces of various supplies.* Adhere one square to each of the 4 corners of mat board. Position remaining 2 squares midway between the top and bottom squares on left and right side of mat board frame. (Refer to sketch below for placement)
Here's how I embellished my squares:
Vintage wallpaper square, pink heart pin, polka dot circular flower embellishment outlined with graphite pencil, book text, and pink braided trim.
Pink & white glitter polka dot paper, filmy flower, paper flower, and daisy braided trim.

Pink scalloped paper circle with inked edges and white paper heart - both cut using Martha Stewart punches. Vintage pink wallpaper, tiny flower punched from rose scrapbook paper, typewritten "amour" on vintage book paper and outlined with graphite pencil.
Pink paisley paper, pink fabric circle, vintage book text with inked edges, pink crocheted flower, and tiny white pearl.

Two of my squares were punched from cabbage rose patterned paper and I chose to let the rose design be the decoration instead of embellishing them. This of course is entirely your choice – really anything goes with this type of project.

In the spaces between where you placed the embellished squares on the mat board frame, create and adhere some layered embellishments of your own design. Select shapes other than squares to add contrast. Here are some of mine:
Pink flocked paper circle, millinery flower, heart shaped button, tiny acrylic flower, and white pearl bead.

Cream crepe paper rosette edged with silver glass glitter, scalloped edged circle cut from vintage sheet music, circle punched from graph paper and edged with pink ink, polka-dot circular flower, rhinestone brad embellishment.

Scalloped edge oval pink toile paper edged with brown ink, scrap of graph paper trimmed with pinking shears and edged with brown ink, vintage buttons sewn on a scrap of pink velvet ribbon.
Gathered vintage crepe paper, colored with pink distress ink and edged with glass glitter. Pink tinsel trim tied around the center and embellished with vintage pink bead.

Gather a piece of tulle by sewing a few stitched in the center:
Adhere to top center of mat board. Top with a large flower and embellish with a favorite decorative button.
Layer oval shaped papers to the bottom center of mat board. Embellish with ribbon and a sweet vintage image. Add glitter for a finishing touch.

Punch holes at the top left and right corners using Crop-a-dile or awl. Thread ribbon through each hole from back of mat board to front and knot ends. Tie the other ends of the two ribbon pieces into a bow.

Here’s what the front of my frame looks like:

Now let's finish the back of the frame. . .
Glue a 9"x11" sheet of pink patterned paper to the center of an 8"x10" piece of cardboard.
Clip corners as shown in photo below:
Fold and glue flaps towards the back. Glue a matching 8"x10” sheet of pink patterned paper to the back of cardboard to cover these edges. At this point cardboard is covered entirely in this pink paper.
Apply double-sided foam tape to sides and bottom edges of paper covered cardboard and attach to the back of mat board. (Note: Do not apply foam tape along the top edge, as this is where you will insert photo into frame.)

Insert a favorite photo of your Valentine honey or a vintage image and your frame is complete!
The vintage image shown in my frame is from Sandra Evertson's book, "Memories of a Lifetime:Weddings."

I hope you enjoy making this fun project. Try making these using smaller mat boards and apply to the front of a note card or attach a cardboard easel to the back and create a table top frame. Or make some tiny Valentine cards using the embellishment ideas individually. Have fun with it and let your imagination run wild!

xoxo ~ Jeanne


Lori said...

Jeanne, that is SO pretty!!!

Laurajo said...

This is beautiful and there are so many uses for these embellishments! I am inspired! and to think I just recently threw away some crepe paper and fabric flowers...I won't be so quick to do that again!

debbie said...


LiLi M. said...

Thanks for this great tutorial!

Marianne@Songbirdisnesting said...

This looks wonderful, and like something even I could do. Thank you!

Kathleen said...

I love this project. Thank you for such detailed instructions, and great photos. I love your blog, and your ideas...Kathleen

www.angelinascards.com said...

WOW!! I AM GOING TO TRY THIS. It is so beautiful and the tutorial is great!! thanks!!!

Mia Sophia said...

What a great way to use up all those odds and ends that I keep collecting! That is really lovely!

Maija said...

Wonderful! And it can be a great way to jazz up an existing frame!

Cindy (JunqueArt) said...

Jeanne this is great!!! Love it!

JAO said...

What a beautiful project. The instructions are so nicely detailed. I can't wait to get started! Thank you so much.

the wild raspberry said...

this is a fabulous project and your instructions are very clear. i can't wait to try one!

Brandy said...

Love it! Thank you for sharing with us!


xashee's corner said...

Thank you so very much for sharing such a BEAUTIFUL project! i LOVE saving scraps from other projects and never really knew why!! hehe NOW i know! Thank you again!! Hope you have a GREAT day!

Ellen said...

Love this sweet hanging frame....so adorable!

Little Pink Studio said...

This is a great project Jeanne! I love it.
Thanks so much!
Cerri xo

Casii said...

Gorgeous collage! Each square is a petite work of art.

Debbie @ ribbonwoodcottage.blogspot.com said...

This is soooo beautiful and such a great idea. I have wanted to do a few romantic looking projects but couldn't find any I like that would actually look good at home and this is perfect. Thanks for all these wonderful ideas!

Dortesjs said...

ohhh had to go here to see your work method your frame is beautiful...and you did a stunning work and told the story so well..
Life in a flash

Jeanne said...

Ladies, Thank you so much for all your sweet comments!

KatCollects said...

This is so pretty. My Daughters room is hot pink, black, and white with a chandelier design. I am going to try to make one for her room. Thank you for the great tutorial, can't wait to go find all my supplies.

Chelsea Ling said...

WOW WOW!!! This came out amazingly well - it's just gorgeous, really.

Nancy Ward said...


Today (February 5), I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

Would you let me know if that's OK?


Nancy Ward