DIY: Ornate Gold Frame

 I'm exhibiting some works in an art show at college soon, and I was thinking about how I was going to frame them. For a while I'd been really craving a gold frame - you know, one of those beautifully ornate Renaissance style gold frames. I figured if I could find and buy a couple of those, that would be awesome.

^Inspiration! (Picture taken at the Queensland Art Gallery)

Then I realised that I'm not incredibly wealthy. I also realised that I had some spare frames, a can of gold spray paint and a glue gun. And so, the idea to try to make my own delicate gold frame was born. If you'd like to make one, read on - this project could not be easier (though it takes a bit of patience)!

Side note: The best part about this project, for me, was the fact that I paid nothing for the frames I used. I often scout out garage sales / the side of streets for old junk I can make new - and these frames all came from the side of the road (one of them was actually a cupboard door, but no one need know that if it ends up looking great)!

- A frame / frames to paint (remove the glass/backings/pictures first)
- A hot glue gun and an ample amount of hot melt glue sticks - I think I used 50 glue sticks for 4 frames.
- Gold spray paint (or any other colour for that matter)!
- Other random things you think you might like to stick on your frame (go nuts)

Step one - grab your glue gun, plug it in and turn it on. You'll need to wait a few minutes for the glue to be sufficiently hot in order to use it smoothly.
When it's ready, gently squeeze the trigger of the gun to push the glue out. Make some swirl patterns around the frame like in the pictures above and below (the glue comes out very hot and it will dry almost instantaneously so make sure you are careful)!

If you're nervous about doing this with no plan, draw some patterns on your frame in pencil or ink first so that you know where to put your glue. 
Also, don't worry if it's not perfect... it will still look good when it's done :)

Continue your pattern all over your frame - this looks ridiculously time consuming but I managed to do two frames in only 70 minutes.
At this point, your frames will probably look pretty ugly! But it will all come together, don't worry.

Next, start sticking other things on if you'd like. I used some little gem stones I bought at Spotlight for about $5 a jar. 
Remember that whatever you stick on to your frame before you spray paint it will also be gold at the end. I knew this, so I didn't worry about colour coordinating the gems or making any fancy patterns with them.
You can also see in the picture to the right that some of my glue got burnt. Again, it will be painted later so it doesn't really matter what it looks like now!

Make sure your glue patterns extend over the side edges of your frame. 
This will make the final product look 'finished' and realistic.

I did a few frames since I've got a few artworks to display.
Here's what a couple of them looked like right before painting!

Next step - spray paint time!
Make sure you wear gloves and prepare an open area where you won't be inhaling the fumes too much. You may also choose to wear protective eyewear or clothes, and protect the area around you with newspaper or a plastic sheet.

Lay your frame down and get spraying! 
Hold your spray can at least an arm's length away from your frame while you spray in order to get an even coverage. You'll also need to make sure that all the intricate parts of your glue pattern are evenly painted.

When you've sprayed your frame, leave it to dry somewhere for 20-30 minutes before painting a second coat. After the second coat is dry, you may like to spray the frame with a sealer / finisher.

And that's that!
You can see how the glue and little details on the frame have really made it into something special :)

You could use these frames for mirrors, blackboards, artworks, photos, whiteboards, cork boards, etc.
Next time I do this, I might use a different colour of paint and try sticking on larger objects like teddies or figurines, or maybe some buttons! There really are endless possibilities.

I hope you enjoyed this DIY project, and as always please let me know if you give it a try!
Until next time,