DIY Project: Children’s Artwork Frames–A Failed Project

Failed Frames 01bI debated hiding this project and not telling anyone about how badly I messed up, but then I figured–where’s the fun in that? Why do I only want to document my successes? What about my failures? So to that end, I’m sharing this project with you–and pointing out where I went wrong.

Now, I can’t take credit for this idea. I saw it on one of those HGTV between the show blips for projects you could do at home. I happened to be out looking for materials for another project I’ll blog about shortly and Failed Frames 03bremembered the blip while I was at Goodwill. I figured, why not give it a go? It would be cool to bring Lego Man, my boyfriend’s son, into the house in a way that celebrates what he does and makes a place for him.

The project idea is to create a frame to display a child’s artwork. So those coloring book pages and freehand drawings don’t just have to go on the fridge–they have a place of honor in the house.

I selected two sturdy, wooden frames that would hold up to a little abuse, picked up a roll of cork from my local craft store, got my boyfriend to grab some red spray paint on his way home and remembered to get some glue as an after-thought on my way home. Now, the glue is where I went wrong.Failed Frames 02b

See that pink circle above? You might not be able to read it, but it says white. Silly me didn’t read the box when I got the glue. I’ve used Gorilla Glue products in the past to great success–but I probably also read the boxes better. This was not only a white glue, it was an expanding glue product. See what I did wrong? Do you know where this is going? *sigh* That’s what they make sand paper for, I guess.

Well, at the time I didn’t know it, so I went on Failed Frames 04bmy merry way, taking the glass and prints out of the frames until all I had was a wooden rectangle. I was really excited about this project, so I stayed up super late cleaning these and even doing a coat of spray paint on one of the frames before deciding that was probably better left until the morning.

I think if I do this again, I’ll look for the wooden frames again. The paint went on really well–no sanding required. There were actually a number of them at Goodwill. And–I like the way they look with the chair railing in my kitchen. It’s the details that matter, right?

Failed Frames 05bI did a couple coats of paint on these. You have to be careful with spray paint that you don’t stick to your tarp, plastic bags or other covering. I had to re-do a few areas. I’m sure you could also do a brush on paint, but I liked this red and I’ve used the line to redo other household items. It’s more or less a go-with-what-you-know situation.

To get the cork board to the right shape, I used the prints I’d removed from the frames to trim the roll of cork to the right size. A warning, this stuff is messy and when you cut it, you’re going to get a bunch of little cork flakes and debris. You might want to do this outside, or where you can do some easy clean-up.

Failed Frames 06bHere’s where you can learn from my mistakes. Don’t use the expanding, white glue!

I’d recommend hot glue or some other super glue type product. Just not the expanding white stuff!!

To glue the cork onto the frame, I set up at my kitchen table with a trash bag under it to catch any drips. I used the existing staples to hold the cork in place as I applied the glue and put the cork in place. It worked out pretty well in the beginning at least. It was later when everything went wrong! I also glued the previous backing onto the frame and cork to reinforce the cork and keep it smooth. The plan was to glue a clip onto them the next day, but, well, mistakes happen.

Failed Frames 07b

Failed Frames 08b

Looks okay, doesn’t it?? Well, here’s how they looked the next morning.

Failed Frames 09b

I’m determined to try these again and actually succeed!!!!

Sidney Sig

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