This cardboard frame was given an embossed look by building up a design with craft glue. I did this one free-hand, but you could draw out the design that you want directly on the frame, then trace over it in some kind of white glue. I used tacky glue here because I wanted the lines to be think and I did not want the glue to spread out before it dried. After the glue had dried on the first application, I went over the design again until I had built it up to a pleasing depth probably three times in all. Then I painted the whole frame with gold acrylic paint and let that dry. I had seen a gel stain applied to something like this and I liked the look, but I did not have any of that on hand. Instead, I made a mixture of brown acrylic paint with some dark scratch cover added in. Working very quickly, I painted this over the gold and then wiped over the surface to remove some of the paint. This exposed the gold on the embossed design and allowed for the fake “stain” to remain in the un-raised areas. The “stain” mixture wanted to set up very quickly, so I did have to move fast, but found I still liked the look of it after I had finished it.  I painted the easel it would sit on gold. The pictures I take of the finished frame and easel always seem to come out darker than they look to my eyes. There is a very distinct gold tone visible in the frame which unites it to the easel. Though probably not ritzy enough to go just anywhere, it’s not too bad for cardboard, glue and paint!

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  1. Beautiful! I did something like this, but I used some puffy paint to make the design. When it was dry, I glued foil over that, pressing it down to show the design. Then I painted it, let it dry and gently buffed away some of the paint with a bit of steel wool to expose the silver. My frame was small, so I attached a magnet to the back to hold it on the refrigerator.

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