As part of our homemade decor series, discover our guide to making a twig frame. In this article we provide all the steps to complete your creation!
Make a Rustic Twig Frame
Printable Version: Do-It-Yourself Decor Ideas
|Step 1: Gather Your Supplies|
|What You'll Need:
— Unfinished frames from a craft store ($1 for 4-by-6-inch frame)
— Hot glue gun and additional glue sticks ($2 for gun and $2 for 30-pack of sticks)
— Craft glue ($1 for 4-oz. bottle)
— Acorns, small pinecones, etc., (free)
— Foam paint brushes (40 cents each)
— By-pass pruner to cut the twigs ($6 on sale)
— Brown craft paint ($1 for 2-oz. bottle) OR Decorative paper for decoupage (I used a 12-by-12-inch piece of scrapbooking paper with a barnwood design, 50 cents a page)
— Assorted twigs: Pick ones with visual interest for the decoupage frame or the straightest ones you can find for the all-over twig design. (free)
|Step 2: Prep the Frame
|There are basically two options: You can paint the frame, or decoupage it.
Painting the frame is less time-consuming, but since it’s not as pretty as the decoupage outcome, you’ll spend more time covering it with twigs. Decoupaging is a bit fussier, but it’s a good solution if you have decorative paper on-hand you want to use up or if you have some attractive twigs and other natural elements to display.
Apply the paint using a foam brush. When painting the frame, you can add a little bit of water to the paint to create a softer look. That way, the grain of the wood will still show through and it looks more natural. Keep in mind, though, that only small patches of the painted surface will show through the twig design, so it doesn’t need to be a first-rate paint job.
|Be sure to cover the edges with paint. Wipe off any excess with a paper towel and allow the paint to dry.|
|If you choose to decoupage, mix about one part craft glue to one part water. The result should be milky: a thin consistency yet still opaque. Next, tear or cut strips of the decorative paper. These strips will cover the surface and sides of the frame. Cover a portion of the frame with the glue and water mixture using a foam brush. Place a strip over the glue, then cover the paper strip with another layer of the glue mix.|
|Continue this process until the frame is completely covered in the paper strips. It’s fine to overlap these strips. In fact, it adds texture and visual interest when it’s done this way. Make sure that you’ve covered the interior and exterior edges of the frame, too, since these will show through. Allow to dry thoroughly.|
|Step 3: Determine Your Design
|Depending on how you’ve prepped your frame, you can now choose a way to twig-ify it. If you’ve got a collection of straight twigs (willow works great), a basic mitre design works wonderfully.
Start on the longest side of the frame, working inward. This way, you’ll make sure that you have twigs that are long enough. You can always trim twigs down to fit the smaller lengths, but you can’t un-cut!
Using the by-pass pruners, trim the twigs to fit the frame. Cut them at a slant so the twigs can meet at the corner. You’re basically creating an invisible line from the interior corners of the frame to the exterior corners of the frame. Before you glue anything, place your chosen twigs on your frame to make sure you have enough.
|Now you can start gluing. Start on the outside of the frame and work your way in, doing opposite sides first and then finishing with the top and the bottom. Dab a small amount of the hot glue on each end of the twig and then place on the frame.|
|Because twigs have natural kinks in them, you’ll sometimes need to force them to lie flat against the frame. The hot glue should hold them, but you’ll need to press the twigs firmly against the frame until the glue dries somewhat. 30 seconds or so should be enough.|
|To cover any corner quirks where the twigs don’t exactly meet or there’s visible glue dried on the surface of the frame, pick a couple of small, thin twigs to glue over the twig ends. These will run diagonally from the interior corners of the frame to the exterior corners of the frame.|
|Getting back to the decoupage frame (which is stunning even on its own). Select a few pretty twigs, nuts, pinecones, etc., to decorate the frame. Be creative. Play around with the design until you find one that strikes your fancy. Once you’ve hit on your design, use the hot glue gun to adhere your twigs and other elements to the frame.|
|Keep your design balanced. Here, we used mini pinecones at one side and an acorn at the other.|
|Step 4: Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor
|Not bad for a craft-phobic, eh? Finish your rustic frames off with pictures of your loved ones, favorite vacation snapshots or your dream log home. For a grand total of $14.30, how can you go wrong?|