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GUEST BLOG: DIY Framed Original Art by Bethany Joy

Updated: Aug 26, 2019


This blog post is sure to be extra fun because I get to tell you all about some amazing products from an amazing company, P. Graham Dunn! If you haven’t heard of them yet, be sure to check out their website (linked here) because they have some really unique customizable surfaces. In today’s post, I’m going to walk you through step by step how I customized their 10x7 inch and 7x7 inch craft frames and show you how easy it will be for you to do the same with your own artistic flair.




The craft frame surfaces that P. Graham Dunn offers are great because they come totally blank and ready to create on how ever you please. They’re wooden, which makes them super versatile as well. 

It took me a while to choose how I wanted to use these frames, but I finally decided it would be perfect to prepare and mount two of my paintings on paper in the frames. I really love how these pieces turned out (my Mom and Nana did too...these were gifts for them!). I also really love how easy it was to complete, so I thought it’d be fun to do a little DIY post for you! 

Here’s the step-by-step guide and details: 


Step 1: Paint entire frame one color.


You can choose any color for this step. For my 10x7 inch frame, I chose to mix up a shade of gray using acrylic paints. For the 7x7 inch frame, I chose to paint just the backing board white and leave the frame its natural wood color (as pictured, so you can actually skip step 2 and step 3 if you’re going for that look). 



Step 2: Paint entire frame white. 


Again, you could use any color for this step. I chose to use white particularly because I knew the painting I was planning to mount had a white border around it and would blend well into the frame backing. I did two coats of white acrylic paint for this step...all over the gray frame and the backing board as well. 


Step 3: Sand it to desired texture.


For this step, I took a small piece of sandpaper and lightly sanded the frame (not the backing board-I left the background completely white). I wanted to give my frame a slightly distressed look allowing the gray to show through the white paint by doing so. You can sand as much or as little as you’d like for this step; it’s really your preference. Be sure to sand around the edges of the frame as well.




Step 4: Choose the artwork to mount. 

You could actually do this step first, but I think it’s important to note that since you’ve likely been sanding, you’ll want to make sure you check your painting for dust at this point before you mount it to the frame. As far as choosing an original piece of artwork to frame? Well, I chose a painting on watercolor paper (140 lb paper). I loved this piece in particular for its edges. I prepped the watercolor paper ahead of time with hand-torn edges to give the piece an extra unique look against the white background of the frame. Make sure your art is sized correctly as well, my pieces (approximately 5x7 and 5x5 inches) had some room around the edges to show the white wood backing board of the frames.



Step 5: Apply Gel Medium to mount artwork:

For this step, I used the Artist Loft brand of gel medium. All you need to do for this step is to cover the back of your original artwork on paper with gel medium, and place it onto the backing board, being sure to smooth out any air bubbles. Gel medium is a versatile material that can be used for a variety of things but for this project, it works as a great adhesive. 



Step 6: Allow to dry, then seal:

I allowed these frames to dry for about 4 hours. Next, I chose to use a spray varnish for this very last step to protect the art, ensuring that the painting was properly sealed onto the frame. This varnish is acid free and provides a non-yellowing protective layer before hanging your artwork on display. 



These fabulous frames from P Graham Dunn were just what I needed to showcase these sweet mini original paper paintings. I love how I was able to really customize the frames and make them perfectly fitting for my artwork. I’m confident that you will absolutely love these frames from P Graham Dunn and enjoy trying out this easy project! In fact, P Graham Dunn has given us an amazing coupon code for 15% off their entire site...just type the code JOY at checkout, how exciting! 



Be sure to tag us both on social media and let us know if you try this project- we’d love to see your art and share!  #PGrahamDunn #bethanyjoyart 


Bethany Joy


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by P. Graham Dunn

P. Graham Dunn handcrafts inspirational home decor in the heart of Ohio's Amish Country.

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