This gift wrap image transfer photo frame is SO easy to make. They give you that pretty vintage, distressed look that is perfect for framing photos.
When you see how easy these are to make, you’ll be on the lookout for gift wrap scraps that you can use to make your own. Tip: be sure to look for out-of-season or discontinued papers on clearance at your local card shop too!
Easy Gift Wrap Image Transfer Photo Frame
My daughter is getting married ONE MONTH FROM TODAY (!) so I’ve been working like mad on things that will work in relation to the upcoming bridal shower as well as the wedding. Since we have some lovely engagement photos around here in need of framing, I decided that a pretty heart shaped frame would make a lovely gift for them.
AND, it would be perfect for a tablescape at the shower. The bridal shower is going to be all vintage-y and pink and romantic so this works perfectly for that.
I started with one of these simple, inexpensive wooden frames from Michaels and some leftover wrapping paper for an easy gift wrap image transfer technique. You want the paper to be pretty bright because once we transfer it onto the frame, it will come out much duller and lighter.
The other supplies you’ll need are: Mod Podge, a foam brush (confession: I prefer to use my fingers!), scissors, scraps of newspaper or book pages, some paint (I’m using Deco Art Chalky Paint because I feel it has just the perfect finish for this vintage feel I’m going for) and a small scrap of sandpaper. A brayer or a rolling pin is great to have on hand too but if you don’t have one handy, you can just use the Mod Podge bottle.
The prep work for this project is minimal. Check your frame before you get started to see if there are any little rough edges that could use a bit of a sanding. Be sure to use a slightly damp cloth or a brush to whisk away any bits of sawdust that form.
Applying the Gift Wrap:
Spread some Mod Podge all over the front of the frame. Here’s a little hint: If you want to try to get more even coverage, spread a medium layer of Mod Podge on the frame ensuring that you get it all over, including right in the corners and all around the heart shaped opening.
I put mine on somewhat sporadically because I really wanted to get a “shabby chic kind of effect” with it. Even if you do get complete coverage, just remember that this is not a perfect transfer process and it will still come out looking somewhat distressed.
Lay your paper face down onto the Mod Podged frame. Here’s where your brayer or rolling pin can come in handy for getting good adhesion to the frame. Leave the paper on the frame for about a minute or so. You want to be able to remove the paper from the frame – you don’t want it permanently adhered! – but you also want some of the design to be left behind.
You can take a peek by carefully lifting up a corner of the paper. As you start to peel it away from the wood, there should be a bit of tension. You should see some of the paper’s design on the wood.
You’ll have some bits of the white backing of the paper left behind as well as the printed part that you want there. Dampen your fingers and rub gently to take away some of that backing. I left a bit behind, once again to add to that aged quality of the project.
To add to the interest of the design, I used some bits of newspaper in areas where the paper didn’t adhere. I followed the same Mod Podge procedure that I did with the wrapping paper.
Once I was finished with putting on any of the papers I wanted, I went on to the paint. Even if you were using the foam brush before, I strongly suggest using your fingers here. I found I had better control of the paint that way. It was much easier to apply it only where I wanted it.
I was strategic in applying small amounts of the paint very lightly to small sections of the frame. Then, I’d use my finger to spread and blend it out so it had a lovely transparent quality to it. This was also when I painted the edges of the frame.
Once the paint was dry, I used sandpaper then to go over the whole frame. My goal was roughing up and distressing the paint and paper to finish off the aged look of it.
Seal your project with a top coat of Mod Podge and let it dry. You could write a poem or message in the center of the frame. Or you can add a special photograph. You’ll be all set with a great gift or beautiful sign for a party table!