Today I am showing you how to make a big impact in a space with a simple project you can finish in an afternoon. I created this gorgeous copper-leafed frame and huge photo print of my kids for less than $20!
As you can see, the frame was pretty scratched up in some spots. I’ve been dying to bring some of my current color crush –COPPER– into my decor, so I decided to cover up the imperfections with some copper gilding. (Also known as copper leaf.)
I used the Martha Stewart gilding adhesive and brush set, and ArtMinds copper leaf (pack of 25 sheets.) It didn’t even take the entire pack to complete this huge frame, so it goes a long way!
Before applying the copper leaf, make sure the surface of the frame is clean and dry. Start by applying the adhesive in a thin coat. Make sure it covers the entire surface where you want the gilding to adhere. Let it dry (about 5 minutes). It will be clear and tacky when it’s ready!
Then apply your copper leaf sheets, section by section, brushing the surface as you go. The leafing is pretty forgiving, I made lots of sloppy mistakes but the brush smooths everything out! If you have a few cracks or holes, just take a small piece of the leafing and rub it in the crack gently. I left a few imperfections so the frame would look more used. Here is the final result:
This is the color version of my kids’ picture, and this is what it looked like after I applied the “Old Photo” Effect in Photoshop Elements. You can find tons of free black and white Photoshop actions for free if you do a search online. This one happened to come with my version of Photoshop Elements 9.
I’ve talked quite a bit about the Engineering Prints available at Staples, (and most copy & print centers), but I had never tried printing a photo before. Usually I use them for chalkboard prints. One of the reasons I chose this Old Photo effect, is because it adds lines and texture to different areas in the photo and I knew that the engineering prints are not always consistent in the color throughout (depending how much black ink they use.) You might want to experiment with a few different black and white edits on a smaller scale, but I just went for it! I ordered the largest size of engineering print available at Staples.com, which is a 36×48″ print. I always order my prints online, and then pick them up same day in the store.
If you have questions about the online ordering process, how to upload your files, fit to the correct print size, etc. please let me know. I may do another tutorial on that process if you guys need one (let me know!)
It’s hard to tell from my final photos because there is a glare, but the texture and quality of the photo are great! This adds such a light, happy feeling to our family room/study area. We spend most of our time here when the kids are home during the day, and I love being able to look up at these cute faces when I’m at my desk.