distressed photo art - how to


One of the things I like best about decorating is, that even though there are "rules," you don't have to follow them (or maybe you do, but I don't...either way...whatever)...

Anyway, I love the way rough, worn, textured pieces look with elegant, shiny, pretty pieces - like Shabby Chic on steroids...here are some of my favorite examples...

As I mentioned yesterday, Kate's room is almost done...and Ultra Shabby Chic is kind of the look we're (OK, I'M) going for in there. Here's a fun little piece I finished yesterday...

Easy & cheap. Just the way I like 'em.

I started with:

*A bare wood frame from Hobby Lobby (mine was 12"x24" and cost $24.99, but it was 50% off) - no glass, no nothing...just the frame.
*Two 8x10 black&white photos of my darling girl
*DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in Snow (Titanium) White
*a sponge brush
*steel wool
*Sticky Tak
*Washi Tape

First I dry-brushed the frame with the paint & sponge brush. If you've never dry-brushed before, here are some tips that work for me...

*make sure you use just a little bit of paint

*after you get it on your sponge, dab in on paper or something similar (see my lid up there?), until almost all of the paint is gone - make sure that you dab the entire end of the sponge, so that paint ends up along the whole end...

*brush your item in long easy strokes and try continue to brush on until all of the paint is gone from the brush.

*repeat these steps until you get the look you want.

I used about a dime-sized amount of paint to do my entire frame.

Next, I took my photos and dry-brushed those, staying mainly on the outside inch or so of the paper.

To get the feathered look around the edges, simply dip your sponge in the paint, blot to remove the excess and pull your sponge down the edge from top to bottom (instead of along the edge). This will give you a small, faded-looking line around the photo. Cover the corner edges with a little triangle of paint (does that make sense?).

When that paint dries (usually in about a minute or so), take your steel wool and rub it along the photo - again paying closer attention to the outer edges so that you don't obsure your subject too much. Rub the wool up and down and back and forth (you can do it in circles and diagonally, too, if you like, I'm just not a huge fan of the look it produces). Some of the photo will be removed, leaving little copper-colored lines on your photo (There may a chemical reaction explanation for this, but I'm not sure what it is...).

You will be left with photos that look like they've been shuffled through, looked at, handled, shoved in drawers, and appreciated for years...

When you have your photos & your frame looking just the way you want them to, go hang your frame. I use Command products to hang most of my lighter-weight art...especially in the kids' room...we seem to change things up in there so often...

After your frame is hung, decide on the layout of your photos & hang them on the wall with Sticky Tak (again, our temporary-but-will-work-perfectly-for-as-long-as-we-need-it-to solution). 

Then, because I thought the photos needed just a little somethin' more, I decided to add a little washi tape to some of the edges (I used Tim Holtz' Tissue Tape).

I love the way this looks because the color of wall mimics a mat behind the photos...and the photos can be changed out or removed without any trouble (or mess) at all.

I love the way this looks...especially next to some of the other art we've added to her walls...(more on that later...).

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I'll be working on some more things around the house for the next few days...my little "weekend goals" sheet is all filled up...how about you? What's on your sheet?

Here's where I'm linking up! PLUS...


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