Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fast cheap and easy framed art from the dollar store.

Today was my 9th wedding anniversary and to celebrate we went out to eat at our favorite Chinese place. There just happens to be a Dollar Tree next door to said place where we walked around to build up an appetite. ;) I am working on two long winded crochet afghan projects right now but I was getting bored with crochet. Because of that I wanted a project that would be fast and not take too much time away from those things but would give me something else to do creatively. I looked and looked and couldn't really find anything that would be fast until I came across these unfinished document frames and some acrylic paints. I picked them up thinking I could do something with them but not sure what that something was. Then I found this really great gift bag with a painting of a bunch of folks dancing and having a good time outside of the Apollo. It was vibrant and graphic and I knew that I had to have it. Then the idea hit me, I could frame that art and hang it on my wall to enjoy whenever I wanted. I found a lot of bags with very interesting and pretty artwork on them. There were three or four of them with several little girls in Edwardian style clothing. They were doing various little girl things like having tea parties or playing dress up. They would be very cute in a little girls bedroom. I did two pictures that were both in a sort of music theme. The jazzy one at the Apollo and the one of a dancer.

First off, sorry for the quality of the pictures. I used my cell phone camera because the batteries in the regular camera were dead. OK you will need a frame, paints, a gift bag of course, a pen or pencil, some scissors, paint brushes and paper towels. The process was really easy. First you unwrap everything and take the frame apart. You also need to prep the bag by cutting out the string that is used as a handle (if it is made with one.) Next you need to lay the glass onto the bag and figure out where you are going to cut it. Using my paint brush program I drew a line around the glass in this pic so you can see it better here. The thing you want to do is get the most interesting parts of the picture into the frame. I think the people in this one are far more interesting than the car so I positioned the glass to show them. Next you want to trace around the glass and then cut the picture out. Cut on the inside of the lines so that you don't end up with a piece of paper that is too big for the frame. It may be easier to cut out on the sides of the bag leaving a big margin and then trim it out. I framed the picture before painting the frame so that I could make sure my paint matched the picture but you can paint it separately. To frame the picture you need to put the glass back into the frame and then put the backer onto it. Make sure that the hanger is facing up and that you get all of the tabs pushed down. (see pic 1)

Ok now for the painting. I used acrylic paint for this but I watered it down to make a stain. I mixed red with pink to get a rosier color that matches the neon sign in the picture. I used an upside down sour cream container lid as my palette. (see pic 2) To use it as a stain you need to work in small patches and go quickly. First you brush the paint on then you wipe it back off. This will make the color a little lighter so keep that in mind when you are selecting or mixing your paint. The benefit to staining is that once you wipe the paint it is pretty much dry. Once you have finished staining make sure the glass is clean (if you framed the picture first.) Then hang it and enjoy.
Pic 1:
Pic 2


  1. Looking for great art on gift bags is a fabulous idea!! They always have a lot of good gift bags at the dollar tree! :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Your welcome thanks for checking it out.