H is for Holidays: Simple Patriotic Decor Project
My mom and I have had an annual tradition of exploring a large local flea market together every year on Memorial Day. It’s hot, dusty, crowded and always proves to be an adventure filled with a few great bargains and treasures. We haven’t been able to go in the last few years as I have been busy having babies, but this year we decided to re-establish the tradition. The weather was gorgeous and it was crazy busy, but we came out with a few good finds. The last things I purchased was this small dark blue frame. I found it buried in a dusty old box and for some reason I was really drawn to it. It just seemed to be calling out to be the foundation of a patriotic decor project. I paid the man a dollar and carried off my treasure. The glass was in great condition and the frame felt sturdy. The dark blue finish was scratched in a few places but nothing too major. I couldn’t wait to get to work on this simple patriotic decor project. Here is what I came up with:
Dark blue wooden frame with mat and glass
Patriotic clip art image printed out on plain white printer paper
Double sided tape
Sanding block – I used medium grit sandpaper
- Prepare your frame. The first thing I did was to carefully take my frame apart to clean it. I washed the glass with soap and water and wiped down the frame with a damp cloth. It came with a simple white mat that was actually in really good shape after a gentle dusting. The backing of the frame looks like a heavy grass cloth or burlap and was also in really good shape. I wish I had taken a before picture but I was so eager to get started that I completely forgot. Here is a picture of all my flea market treasures – You can see the frame in the back.To recreate this frame, you could use any simple wooden frame and paint it a deep navy blue. Use a scrap of burlap fabric as the backing to achieve this same look.
- Cut out the clip art. I opened a Publisher document and did a quick search for patriotic images. Try searching under “stars”, “stars and stripes”, “flags”, “patriotic” or “4th of July” – there were many images to choose from. I first tried a decorative red star, but really liked the antique look of this red, white and blue ribbon image. I adjusted it until it looked about the right size for my frame and printed it out. I laid the mat over the image to ensure that it would fit properly and then carefully cut out the design leaving no background.
- Distress the frame. My bargain frame had a few scratches and dings in the finish. I could have lived with them, but upon further inspection, I decided the frame would look great with some distressing. I used a medium grit sanding block and sanded the frame in small sections, wiping the dust off every so often, until I had the distressed look I was wanting. I am so pleased with how it turned out.
- Assemble. I used double stick tape to attach my patriotic image directly to the burlap backing before carefully placing the mat over it to make sure it was centered correctly. I them reassembled the frame using the glass to press the image flat down to the backing. Voila! A simple and fun project.
- Display. I haven’t fully decided where to place this little gem in my house yet. It would be cute hanging by itself or as part of a patriotic display. I will most likely use my frame on my mantel with some other red, white and blue goodies. I know I will use it for years to come!
I hope this fun little project has inspired you to add your own patriotic touches to your home this summer. As soon as I found this little frame, it just cried out with possibilities. Don’t you love it when you find things like that? Wishing you wonderful red, white and blue holidays this summer.
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