How to Make Shabby Chic Altered Art Frames

Create cute altered art with inexpensive thrift store frames and Graphic 45 staples.

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How to Make Shabby Chic Altered Art Frames
14 Steps
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1
Gather your frames and remove the glass and backings. Clean them well and sand them lightly if you like.

Gather your frames and remove the glass and backings. Clean them well and sand them lightly if you like.

2
Coat the frames in a layer of white acrylic paint. It will likely wipe off of any raised areas (that's ok!) but be sure to get it into any crevices.

Coat the frames in a layer of white acrylic paint. It will likely wipe off of any raised areas (that's ok!) but be sure to get it into any crevices.

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3
If you'd like to add some variation, splosh a bit of turquoise paint on there too...

If you'd like to add some variation, splosh a bit of turquoise paint on there too...

4
... then, with a rag, soften the paint and wipe to give a distressed look.

... then, with a rag, soften the paint and wipe to give a distressed look.

5
Cut background paper to build your tiny collages on. Here I've used Graphic 45's "Travel Odyssey" and "Globetrotter" from their Come Away with Me collection.

Cut background paper to build your tiny collages on. Here I've used Graphic 45's "Travel Odyssey" and "Globetrotter" from their Come Away with Me collection.

6
Using Tintypes Collage Sheet  from alphastamps.com I cut out images that I feel will fit nicely within the frames.

Using Tintypes Collage Sheet from alphastamps.com I cut out images that I feel will fit nicely within the frames.

7
Start layering small cut elements from Graphic 45's 'Come Away with Me'. I've used pieces from the pages Look Out World,  Come Away With Me, and Vintage Voyage.

Start layering small cut elements from Graphic 45's 'Come Away with Me'. I've used pieces from the pages Look Out World, Come Away With Me, and Vintage Voyage.

8
I find it easiest to pre-cut a bundle of elements and then experiment with layering and layouts. Remember that a portion will be hidden by the frames edge. Above all, have fun playing!

I find it easiest to pre-cut a bundle of elements and then experiment with layering and layouts. Remember that a portion will be hidden by the frames edge. Above all, have fun playing!

9
You might want to consider adding hand drawn scribbles and accents.

You might want to consider adding hand drawn scribbles and accents.

10
Place your little works of art back into the frames. You can finish here or...

Place your little works of art back into the frames. You can finish here or...

11
... add a bit of lace trim, a shabby chic key and brad...

... add a bit of lace trim, a shabby chic key and brad...

12
... buttons, wire and ribbon...

... buttons, wire and ribbon...

13
... or leave them as is :)

... or leave them as is :)

14
That's it! Give as small tokens of affection, attach a pin on the back to wear as a brooch, or affix a magnet for holding important documents on your terribly fancy fridge :) Enjoy!

That's it! Give as small tokens of affection, attach a pin on the back to wear as a brooch, or affix a magnet for holding important documents on your terribly fancy fridge :) Enjoy!

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