Today we are going to do a Fun and EASY arts and craft project. This was inspired by wanting to make a personal gift for a friend of ours. I thought that this might make a great post as well because maybe others might have an interest in making something similar for as a keepsake or as a gift. In the following tutorial, we are going to make a DIY painted wooden picture frame with sailboat design. It’s perfect for a little boy! ALL ABOARD !
Supplies for DIY painted wooden picture frame art project are below:
- Unpainted wooden craft frame
- Acrylic paint
- Posca Pens (Optional)
- Mod Podge
- Paper towel or napkin
Watch Our Video Tutorial for DIY Painted Wooden Frame
Tip for Wooden Frames
I just used one of the inexpensive wooden craft frames. It’s the size to fit a 4” by 6” picture in it. I believe that I bought this one from Walmart (I think). Similar ones are available also from Michaels, Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, etc. They can often be found for around $1. There are so many fun, easy, and decorative things that you can do with these type of frames. This is just one fun, creative idea.
Steps for Making the DIY Painted Wooden Frame Project
Prepping the Wooden Frame
For this project, I actually do not prep the wood. Since the frame that I am using is a clean and new craft wooden frame I feel it’s not necessary since it’s clean and has not been painted on before.
If you prefer you could always sand the frame, too, to make the surface as smooth as possible. It’s completely your choice.
If you are using an old wooden frame that has been painted before or has some dust, etc. You could clean the surface, sand it, and put a primer on the wood to create a good surface for the paint.
Creating the Design for the Wooden Frame
Before I start to paint I like to take a pencil and sketch out the design of what I am going to paint. For this project I have decided on a sailboat or nautical theme. I thought this theme is cute and could make a great gift for a little boy.
Sketching the Theme on the DIY Wooden Picture Frame
Before even attempting to paint, I like to sketch out the elements of the design that I am creating. This helps me to take time to achieve the look I want and when I then paint keeps my design on track. I try to use somewhat geometrical shapes because they are easy to create.
I carefully sketch out two sailboats – one in the upper left-hand corner and one in the lower right-hand corner. I then add a sun with some sun in the upper right-hand corner and I decided to add in a little whale design to change things up in the lower left-hand corner.
Around the perimeter of the frame, I add some “V’s” in groups of three to mimic some flocks of birds.
Also, I intentionally leave the bottom middle of the frame because I want to leave room to write the first name to customize the frame.
Also, note that I used a pencil and revised some of my sketches until I got the design how I wanted it. It’s all a work in process, right?
Paint the Background Color of the Frame
Now, this step is a bit more time-consuming. This isn’t that large of a frame, however, in order for the colors not to bleed I allow the different paint layers to dry. It’s the intermittent drying times that make the process a bit longer.
First, I paint the background color. For my project, I use acrylic paint. Any craft acrylic paint will do. I give the front of the frame a good coat and make sure to go avoid the areas where I have sketched out the design.
For the area where the name will go, I paint over that area because I will do the name with a Posca Marker. You can also use acrylic paint and a thin paintbrush as well but the Posca Markers are so precise and easy they are hard to pass up.
Also, when the front has dried I do the same to the side edges of the frame and the backside of the frame. I make sure that whatever side I have painted has dried completely before going on to the next step.
I follow this same procedure for a second coat of paint for all sides.
Paint the Sketched Details of the DIY Painted Wooden Frame
Once the base coats of paint are dry, I go back to the front of the frame to paint the elements that we sketched out of our design. I start with one color and use it for all of the areas of the designs that I want to use that color. Remember, it’s important to let the paint dry first before applying another color. Otherwise, the colors can mix and look muddy. This also saves time.
Once that color is dry, then I go in with the next color. I repeat this process until all of the designs are colored the way that I want them to be.
For example, when I colored in the sailboats. I used the yellow to color in the sails of both of the sailboats. Then I also used the yellow to paint in the sun. Once that was dry, then I used the red paint to do the next detail on all of the sailboats etc. Then this process is repeated until all of your designs are colored to your liking.
Outline Your Designs
If you want you can outline your designs to give them a clean look. For this part, I used my Posca Pens. Now if you haven’t tried Posca Pens you must. They are awesome. They are extremely versatile and give a precision that sometimes is hard to achieve with paint and a brush. I choose a light blue color to outline my elements.
You can also outline your elements using your acrylic paint and a very tiny brush. It’s a bit more difficult but it certainly can be done. Also, you can also choose to not outline your designs. It’s completely up to you.
Write Custom Name
If you wish, you can also add a name to the diy painted wooden frame design to customize it. It’s a way to make it more personal especially if you are giving as a gift.
Here I use my Posca Pen in the light blue color to write the name. You can also certainly do this again using acrylic paint and a detail brush.
Add in Highlights and Extra Colors
After I finish painting my wood frame, I go back and add a few highlights and details to make the design elements pop a little more.
Last Step – Mod Podge!
After all of the painting and detail work is all done, then I give my diy painted wooden frame two coats of Mod Podge. This seals in the paint and gives a glossy finish.
Let the front side dry thoroughly and also paint the back of the frame, too.
Voila now your craft or personalized gift is done. Put in the picture or image of your liking and your craft is done.
Also, we have lots of fun kids crafts available as well like our fun Easy and Fun Shrinky Dink Project with FREE Printable.
Tell us if you tried this craft. We’d love to hear from you!