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Floating Frame Fall Art

Confession: I still had my Spring decorations up until about an hour ago. 😆 But now that summer is cooling and there’s pumpkin spice in the air, I decided it was time to move away from bright flowers and put up some seasonally appropriate décor. Our front door in particular has been naked and in need of some color, so I pulled together a few craft supplies and got to work.

BEFORE: Bare door in need of decorating.

Inspired by a frame idea I’d seen on Pinterest forever ago, I took a canvas I didn’t like much, some joint compound, acrylic paints, scrap wood, and less-than-pretty plastic flowers to create some unique fall décor. All of this was stuff I had lying around, so it cost me $0.

Supplies:

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  • framed canvas
  • joint compound
  • Floetrol and acrylic pouring paints
  • 1×4 wood pieces
  • wood putty and stain
  • fake flowers/greenery
  • Command Strips and duct tape

Step 1: Add texture with joint compound. I’d never tried this before for the base of a paint pour, so I’m glad it worked! I placed my canvas on a turntable and plopped on a large glob of the joint compound. Then I used my gloved hands to spread it all over the canvas. First I spread it just to cover, and then I went over it all to create the texture.

Spreading joint compound.

You could draw shapes with your fingers or swirls or whatever, but I patted all over to create little ripples. It ended up almost looking like an alligator skin pattern.

Patted-on texture.

I did not use quick-drying joint compound, so mine took about a day to dry.

Step 2: Paint! You could paint however you want with whatever colors you want. I wanted to play a bit and so did an acrylic paint pour with a mix of fall colors – dark green, light green, pastel green, bright orange, dark orange, and gold. I also squirted some silicone pouring oil over the colors to add a cool effect.

Colors I used.

First, I poured on a generous amount of Floetrol to help the paint move over my bumpy canvas. I spread that around with my glove, making sure to get the sides of the canvas too.

Next, I made a few trails and drip spots with my paint colors. This is also when I added a little of the oil in drops. These color trails I then surrounded with extra Floetrol.

Adding colors!

Quickly after that, I took my blow dryer with a diffuser and blew the extra Floetrol over the colors, kind of like burying the paint. Then I blew along my trails so that the color blew back over the surface of the canvas. I moved the blow drying in a few different directions to move the paint where I wanted.

Blowing the paint.

It’s important not to over-blow the paint, or it will mix too much and muddy the colors. If this does happen, don’t panic! You can add more Floetrol and paint over the ugly parts and do it over. I had 2 spots I didn’t like after the first pass, and my redo looked much better.

Fixing a spot.

Once I made myself stop, I saw how the texture was already adding a cool rippling effect to the painting.

Close up of drying paint!

It took about a day to dry. It was humid and HOT, so eventually I aimed a fan right at the painting, and that helped it to dry much better.

Step 3: Make the frame. While my paint was drying, I took some quick measurements. You could measure before you start, but the joint compound’s texture/lumps can add a little bit to the size, so I wanted it all painted before deciding how wide to make the frame. I needed my frame to be at least 16 and 1/2 inches wide, and I decided on 18 and 1/2 inches to replicate the “floating” look of my Pinterest inspiration frame. I also needed the frame to be at least 2 inches wide to fit around the canvas, and I decided on 3 and 1/2 inches to again get the detached/floating look I wanted.

So, I cut some 1x4s into the pieces I needed. I cut 2 at 17 inches long for the front and back. For the sides, I cut 2 little pieces at 3 and 1/2 inches long. Once my pieces were cut, I quickly sanded the edges.

Using Brad (my nail gun), I held an end in place against the sides and nailed it on, making sure the pieces were lined up square. I started at one end, then did the other. Pretty quick and easy. 👍

Nailing together the frame.

Step 4: Stain the wood. I used leftover stain from when I’d made my faux beams. After quickly filling my nail holes with a little wood putty, I took a rag and wiped stain all over the frame – sides, ends, edges, insides, and outsides.

I left this to dry in front of the fan beside my drying painting.

Stain drying.

Step 5: Prep plastic flowers. If you have nice flowers or greenery that doesn’t require beautification, all the better. But my particular flowers were not evenly colored and looked pretty cheap, so I decided to spray paint them a coppery/rose gold color. I wanted a little green at the bases, so I wrapped them in blue painters tape to cover the bottoms. Then I stuck the flowers in styrofoam so they stood up while I spray painted them all around from every angle. These dried in a few hours.

Step 6: Assemble! Once everything was finally dry, I flipped the canvas over and slipped on the frame so that the backside of the frame was also facing up. You can position the frame as far up or down as you want, but make sure it’s going to be level across the canvas. I measured 3 inches up from the bottom and held the canvas up against the frame tight, making sure it stayed at 3 inches. Again using my nail gun, I secured the back of the frame to the wooden backsides of the canvas.

Nailing frame to canvas.

With the frame now on, I played around with the position of the plastic flowers. Once I decided on placement, I took some duct tape and carefully taped the flower stems to the inside of the front frame piece. (I’m sure you could secure the flowers any number of ways, but the duct tape works just fine. 🤷‍♀️)

Painted plastic flowers ready.

Step 7: Hang. This part is a little abnormal compared to how you’d normally hang wall art, so it’s worth mentioning. To make the whole piece hang right, you hang it by the frame, not the canvas. The frame sticks out farther, so that’s where you need to secure it in order for the whole thing to be straight and not tilt against the wall (or in my case, door). It actually looks really cool sticking out from the wall, like a 3D effect – hence “floating.”

Frame attached to door.

I used Command Strips placed evenly across the door where I wanted the frame to hang. The whole thing is a bit heavy, but the strips held fine! So, if you don’t want to figure out hooks/nails/screws to hang this, Command Strips are a fine way to do it. Plus, obviously I didn’t want a hole in the door. lol

AFTER: New fall décor!

That’s it! I’m happy with how all these scraps worked to make new fall décor for my bare door. I can even change out the flowers or add more if the mood strikes. I’m really glad I was able to recreate something that inspired me and has been in the back of my mind for ages, and I’m already getting ideas for how to create different art in more floating frames. Christmas décor, perhaps?


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