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Picture this…A dear friend slowly unwraps a special gift from you. With the package open, the look on their face is all you need to “hear.”
What’s in the package? A beautiful, handmade picture frame decorated with IOD Mould castings – holding a precious moment captured on film.
We don’t have enough of this in our smart phone photography world these days!
So stop a moment and read over these instructions for creating your own special frame. We’re showing you one made with IOD Air Dry Clay and the (new) IOD Sunflower and Trimmings 3 Moulds. The second frame is made with Amazing Casting Resin and the (new) IOD Trimmings 3 Mould.
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We’ve heard that working with the Air-Dry Clay and with Resin is intimidating for some, but after you’ve watched this video tutorial – you’re going to be comfortable trying this on your own. (pssst: you can watch it a few times to make sure you’ve got the process down – no tricky parts here!)
After watching, you’ll probably think, “but how did they paint the frames and put all the finishing touches on them?” We’ve got you! Part 2 with all of our final steps is about ready to launch. By the time your project is good and dry – you’ll be ready to click through to Part 2.
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DIY YOUR OWN FRAMES TO GIFT – OR TO KEEP.
- Sunflower Mould by IOD
- Trimmings 3 Mould by IOD
- Air Dry Clay by IOD
- Amazing Casting Resin
- Any type of wall plaster
- TiteBond Glue
- Craft Sticks (for glue application)
- Wood Frame – 3” frame width
- Putty knife
- Small Beakers from Amazon
- Various cutting utensils (straight edge, snippers, scissors, long kitchen knife) 🤷♀️
- Heavyweight Sandpaper
MAKING FRAME #1 USING SUNFLOWER & TRIMMING 3 MOULDS WITH AIR DRY CLAY
Before we get started – remember that working with the clay is very different than working with the resin. The clay will dry more slowly and is easier to trim. Other than that – fabulous results with both by following the right steps.
We created castings from the Trimmings 3 mould, using one of the smaller mould designs. Next, we glued it down using TiteBond glue, placing it around the edge of the opening of the picture. A frame within a frame.
Then we mixed up some wall plaster, you can use any type from your local hardware store, and applied it to the rest of the frame front, starting at the edge of the Trimmings casting. The dried plaster has beautiful cracks and inconsistencies that will add to our finished “vintagey” look.
Pick up the video at minute 9:52 to watch the next steps – casting the giant sunflower. Start by brushing cornstarch into the mould – which helps the clay release more easily preserving all the gorgeous details.
I preselected where I wanted to place the sunflower casting and guessed that this large (it might be life size!) sunflower would need to almost spill off the frame. The new Moulds include quantities so you know ahead of time the amount of product you’ll need to use to fill it. Without a measuring scale, I relied on my tried and true eyeball method…but you can very easily measure and weigh the amount of clay you need.
Once I have my clay pulled off, and completely resealed the package with the remaining clay, I knead it a few times in my hands to soften it and get it to a more pliable consistency. (11:40)
When I feel it’s ready, I push the clay down into the mould and use the putty knife to spread it out into the crevices. The putty knife also lets you smooth and level the back of the castings, using the micro-rims around the moulds edge.
Remember, the casting will be larger than our space so I don’t worry about getting the clay over the entire mould.
Once I’m done, I turn it over and carefully roll back the edge of the silicone mould, using my finger tips to gently roll out the casting. (11:56) I place the casting down in the spot I pre-selected and, using a straight edge knife, trim the excess off from the outer corner of the frame itself.
Using a craft stick, I apply the TiteBond glue to the back of the casting and place it back down on the frame.(12:32) Setting aside this frame to dry and cure – I’m ready to help Wayne mix the Amazing Casting Resin for frame #2
MAKING FRAME #2 WITH IOD TRIMMINGS 3 MOULD AND AMAZING CASTING RESIN
The biggest tip for working with the resin is to try to time your cutting and trimming of the pieces while each casting is still pliable – right when it comes out of the mould. That’s why you make your castings only one or two at a time.
Resin is a heavy plastic and can be difficult to cut, so the sooner you can do this the better. If you watch the video, you’ll hear us talk about the different cutting tools and techniques we used. And – that some heavy sandpaper can help with final, detailed fittings.
But the task is made easier because the new Trimmings Mould comes with interlocking capability! Ready to get started?
Wayne starts by cutting and mitering the largest castings to go around the border of the frame. (Min 1:59) He’s using resin castings that Peggy completed early on to be ready for the filming.
The Amazing Resin comes with plastic containers but they lack a pouring spout. When pouring resin into moulds, it helps to have a spout to control the direction and flow of the resin. After breaking all of the containers that came with the resin, Peggy found small beakers on Amazon that came with a pouring spout and measuring lines on the side. (6:53)
Here’s where we want to tell you again – don’t be intimidated by mixing resin. It comes with two bottles – A and B (yep, that’s actually what they’re called) and are mixed in the exact same quantities – 50-50. Again, the new moulds tell you the amount of liquid to fill it and that helps you to stretch your resin supply by not over mixing a quantity.
Pour A & B into the beaker and mix with a craft stick very thoroughly. (8:18) Part A & B are two different colors, so you’ll know it’s mixed when there’s one color of resin in your beaker.
Next, pour the resin from the beaker into the mould by hovering and slowly filling from end to end. As you pour, keep moving, and make sure to get it in all the little crevices in the mould. As the resin begins to set up it will turn white. (9:37) Give it a few minutes to completely set up.
Pro Tip: clean the resin container right away by wiping it out completely with a paper towel. Otherwise you’ll have bits and pieces of resin left behind.
When the resin casting is solid white (13:18), pop out the casting. The resin comes out very easily and for the thicker casting, it needs to be cut and glued down fairly quickly. Mark your corners to be mitered (45 degree angled cut) and begin cutting.
You may need to use multiple cutting tools as you go forward. It all depends on the thickness and firmness of the casting. Slow and steady, Wayne miters all the corners and Peggy glues the finished pieces with the TiteBond Glue.
To fine tune the edges of the mitered pieces, use heavy sandpaper. The smaller the cut the more difficult it will be to be precise, and using sandpaper will make that easier.
Pro Tip: cut the resin castings using a piece of wood as your cutting surface by placing the edge of the casting off the edge of the wood.
You can layer the castings however you like, but you’ll see that we choose to use the smallest casting next to the largest one on the outer edge. Next, a medium width casting went on the inner edge of the frame.
You can also see an overview of how Wayne made the frames, using 3” pieces with mitered corners. He finished the frames by routering out the back to fit the picture into. (16:43) Once the picture is placed in the frame, add a piece of foam board to keep it in place.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Two Frames where we show you all the paint and finishes we added to make these two unique pieces. Are you ready to get your frames done up to this point? Please send us pictures of your finished frames!
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