Saturday, June 30, 2012

Crafty Tutorial: Button Art and Mod Podge Frame

I don't do a lot of tutorials. Mostly, it's because a lot of what I attempt gets flattened by the crafty fail whale, but it also happens that when things DO go right, I'm too distracted to stop and take pictures.

And what good is a tutorial with no photos?

No good, I tell you, no good at all.

Our house is very, very slowly adding life. We have a table. Chairs. Couch. Loveseat. Coffee table. Bed in our room (poor Boo still has an air mattress, but we're working on that!)

But the walls are bare. Part of me can't bring myself to riddle them with finishing nails to hang stuff like I seem to do in all of our rentals. (I'll be trying out those non-damaging wall-hanger-upper things in this place). And the other part of me, well, that's the girl that got rid of most of her stuff in Alaska, so there isn't much art for the kids' rooms. At all.

This is the part of the story that I found inspiration. It started with my girl, Vanessa, at Tried & True. I've raved about her before (not everyone gets to say they went to high school with a craft superstar!). I'll do it again. She has the best. tutorials.ever. She reviewed a new book in this post: "Mod Podge Rocks!"

Of couse I read it and was intrigued by the author, Amy Anderson, who runs a blog called...wait for it...Mod Podge Rocks!

My bottles of Mod Podge happened to make the trek down from Alaska and I was thrilled at the Serendipty of it all. Or maybe just the good luck. Whatever floats your boat, y'know?

Anyway, digging through Amy's site, I found a post called "Button Art on the Cheap" and really liked it. Reeeeeally liked it and thought I could spruce up a frame with some scrapbook paper and make something special for the girls' room.

Turns out, I could!

I hit the local Hobby Lobby (I have lived 8 long years without outdoor swimming pools or Hobby Lobbies...I'm not entirely sure how) and grabbed a frame and a couple sheets of pretty paper. I had the rest in my craft boxes. (Unpacked, still. Texas is too hot to bother with unpacking when you don't have shelves or bookcases to put anything on.)

Ready for the tutorial? Sweet!

Button Art and Mod Podge Frame


Plain wooden frame (can be repurposed, but mine wasn't, so boo on me)

Pretty scrapbook paper, cut in all sorts of sizes

Craft paint in coordinating color

Mod Podge (I used the gloss formula)


Hot glue gun

Any extras for your finished frame (I had a fabric butterfly from a flower arrangement that a good friend gave to me when we arrived in Texas. Isnt' she so sweet?)


Assemble your materials. I pulled my frame apart and readied a paint brush and craft paint.

Paint the outside and inside edges of your frame. If you are deft of hand and don't mind making slivers of paper and mod podge to cover these parts of the raw frame, be my guest! But I'm lazy and didn't want to really bother with that part. So I painted them...messily, too. That's the great part about the next step...

Apply thick layers of Mod Podge and assemble your paper scraps all around the frame. Be neat. Be messy. Doesn't all works out nicely in the end!

I cut one of my papers to fit the frame backing and adhered it (yes, more Mod Podge!) to said backing to make the next step easier.


So while the frame was drying in all its decoupage and paper scrap glory, I got to glueing buttons on my paper and backing (it's so much easier to have the paper stuck to the frame back for stability).  I kept my buttons in pretty neat little rows, but you should experiment. Also, I thought one plain button was sort of boring, so Boo and I got to finding little, bitty "partner" buttons to glue on top of our bigger buttons for a little height and visual interest. 

Speaking of visual interest, that's the fabric butterfly that was stuck to a dowel and inserted into a beautiful flower arrangement.

You can see the final product in the next photo...

A close up. I love the stacked buttons. Heck, I love the whole darn thing and now Boo is asking for a boy version (with dinosaurs and race cars, no less) for his room. We'll see what we can come up with...

Happy crafting!

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