Art Appreciation

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In a throwaway comment, Lance Spuntik asked joemichaels70 to make him some 1:18 scale picture frames. drbindy told him to pick up some dollhouse ones from Hobby Lobby. I suggested using popsicle sticks. They didn't seem convinced, not even after seeing my highly detailed instructional diagram.

What? It makes perfect sense to me.

Then drbindy dropped the gauntlet, "It would be quicker to just buy them."

"Ah nah he didn't!" - Me

"Challenge Accepted!" - jm70, about something completely different.

So, I'm sitting there in the kitchen a few hours later with the devices charging, twittling my thumbs. "What to do, what to do? Stupid bindy. I'll show him!" To the Batcave!


Contents

Things you will need

  • Scissors (several pairs even)
  • A picture you want framed
  • Popsicle sticks or stir sticks
  • Wood glue
  • Gold or silver paints, or wood stain
  • Paint brush
  • Something for a fancy edge
Orange handled paper scissors, black handled rubber stamp scissors, and pink and orange edge maker scissors

Frame job

No popsicle sticks in my inventory. Tongue depressors? Too big. Starbucks wooden stir sticks that I had pre-cut for an Ewok/Indiana Jones bridge? That will work nicely. The one down side was that I needed to use an image that would fit the dimensions of the pre-cut sticks instead of doing it the right way and cutting them to fit the size of the picture.

Picture time

Because of the self-imposed time limit, I didn't want to fiddle with downloading and resizing an image on the computer. Not when I have a long box of free art to work with. That's right, all those Free Comic day books and advertising post cards come in handy for 1:18 scale art. You can also use magazines or catalogs too. For this particular project I found a preview image in Scooby-Doo Team-Up that included Superman.

Time to get snippy

After you've measured out the dimensions of the picture and eyeballed the fit, you can get to cutting. I used a pair of scrapbooking rubber stamp scissors, but the sticks were so thin that the regular scissors we keep in the kitchen worked just as well. I then cut the ends of each stick with a 45 degree angle so it would square off at the corners. Lastly, another test fit to finalize placement before gluing.

Artsy fartsy 2.jpg

Sticky stick stuck

I used a paint brush for the wood glue so I could do a light coat that would dry fast to the wood and paper without any seepage. This particular version of Elmer's wood glue is sandable and stainable. While neither were necessary for this project, I like having options.

Artsy fartsy 3.jpg

I glued the frame directly onto the comicbook page.

Artsy fartsy 4.jpg

Edges

For this next part, I used a pair of scrapbooking scissors, but only because I couldn't find the wavey kids scissors. I also used paper, but braided string, a stir straw cut lengthwise, or just about anything with a cool repetitive shape will also work. The regular paper gave the wood an acceptable relief, but I would probably at least go with cardstock when I do this again.

Artsy fartsy 5.jpg

I glued the paper strips onto the frame again with the brush so it would dry quickly.

Artsy fartsy 6.jpg
Artsy fartsy 7.jpg

Ooh Shiney!

After it dried, I slapped some Citadel Shining Gold on it. Silver, a high gloss color, or even a wood stain would have popped just as well. You could use a brush on sealer at this point, but I skipped it since I liked the way it looked without it.

Artsy fartsy 8.jpg

Fun Watching Paint Dry

At this point I was just watching the clock, wondering if drbindy was right. If I would have gotten in my car I could have been at the hobby store by now. I would be narrowing down my options trying to choose the right one. Maybe I would have been smart enough to bring a figure along to compare them with. Hey look, the paint and glue are dry!

Cut. It. Out.

Using the scissors I cut the frame out of the comic following as close to the wood frame as I could get. I knew the idea would work, but up until this point I wasn't sure it would actually look like a portrait. Once it was free it was obvious it needed some more gold paint where the paper left a white outline along the edges. This also helped blend the edges of the wood and the hidden margins of the paper.

Artsy fartsy 9.jpg

Final Analysis

For a quick project using on-hand supplies I think I succeeded. Twenty-five minutes start to finish and that included me stopping to take pics along the way. I think there are things you can use to dress it up better than I did. A dremel with a mini router attachment for a beveled edge would be awesome. Still, it saved a trip to the hobby store and I got to use artwork of my choosing to pull it off. Now I have something that will dress up any blank wall in a diorama.

"A little to left...a little more...back to the right...too far...now back just a smidge to the left
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