If you’ve been following my blog, you know how I made 60 of these painted frames with song lyrics for our wedding decorations/favors…
Well, a lot of wedding guests loved them and took one home, but we had a ton left at the end of the night, which we boxed back up and took home with us…
So we now have 30 of them hanging on our big white living room wall! Yay!! There are several duplicate lyrics, some of which I already changed out to engagement photos, but once we get our wedding photos I’ll switch out some more lyrics with photos (but just a few, because we love the look of the lyrics!):
So, hey, you want to know how to make these yourself? It’s a pretty simple project, but a bit time (and space) consuming… Well, that’s if you’re making 60 like I did… If you just make a few, it shouldn’t take long. (This project was totally inspired by Mark Montano‘s Big Ass Book of Home Decor and Mark’s love of spray paint!)
I made 2 different types of painted frames: textured frames that were just plain spray painted, and smooth(ish) frames that were painted with lace used as stencils.
Your first step is to take a trip to your local thrift store (or several of them) and find frames – whatever sizes you want (mine were 3×5, 4×6, and 5×7), either textured to do the simple version, or plain untextured frames to do the lace stenciling. (Of course, you can do the simple version with plain frames too, if you want to.)
For the textured frames, simply take out the glass/backing (be sure to keep track of which goes with which frames), lay the (clean) frame down on a protected surface (like newspaper) in a ventilated space (I did it all outside, but breeze/wind makes it tough – an open garage would be ideal – either way, wear a face mask when doing lots of spray painting!), and spray (as the spray paint can instructs).
I did them in batches of 6-10 at a time – sprayed 1 coat over them all, then went back with a 2nd coat over them all. Be sure to get the sides (unless the frame has an interesting edge and you choose not to paint over it). After letting dry for 5-10 minutes on the newspaper, I transferred them to an outdoor table to dry completely (or, until bringing them inside for the night).
For the lace stenciled frames, there are a couple extra steps. You’ll need: spray adhesive, spray paint, plenty of space to work, and lots of newspaper to cover your work surface, and a face mask for safety so you don’t breathe in all those glue and paint fumes.
And then the lace itself – find vintage doilies, curtains, and other home decor items from thrift stores, with interesting patterns. I’ll show you lots of examples of different kinds of lace used as stencils, in a minute…
- First, spray the lace with a thin coat of spray adhesive (with it sitting on newspaper).
- Stick the lace onto the frame, as you want it placed – be sure to stick it all down the best you can.
- Spray a good thick coat over the frame through the lace stencil. (At first, I was doing 2 coats, like with the plain painted frames, but sometimes the lace would become un-stuck after the first coat, so the second coat would make it blurry.)
- Let dry for a minute or so, then carefully lift off the lace (you don’t want the glue to stick it on there permanently!), and lay it flat somewhere to dry (you can use the same pieces again later).
- Let dry completely as the spray paint can instructs.
Here’s what my yard looked like during this project:
And some of the stenciled frames, drying:
I really like how the textured frames look too! We ended up taking home mostly stenciled frames, which I’m happy about, but I might thrift for some more frames like those crazy curvy designs below and make more of those:
Here are a couple of the textured frames we did take home – that green one is one of my absolute favorites!
Note – you can click on the pictures to go to the flickr pages and read what songs the lyrics came from, if you’re curious. A couple more simple textured frames:
And some close ups of the lace stenciling over a couple different kinds of frame surfaces (the one on the left is some kind of coated fabric surface, and shiny metal on the right):
And now to show you all different kinds of lace options…
These 3 (above and below) are stenciled with doilies – the above/left frame is the doily pictured in the above/left of the photo, and the other two are the same positions as well.
Below, these are stenciled with pieces of vintage lace curtains (I think, maybe tablecloths?) that covered the whole frames…
You can see how the lace on the left, with the fine mesh, made a more subtle, textured pattern when painted through (another example here, and one that didn’t turn out so well here), and the lace on the right, with the big holes, made the more graphic, bold design.
Another big lace curtain, cut into pieces for these…
…laid over partially for the purple one, and over the whole frames for the other 2 (green above and blue below).
And then, a messed up, weirdly shaped piece of lace, that I cut into different sized pieces, around the curved shape of the lace design…
You can see how the same lace can look different when used on a shiny painted surfaced frame (above, orange), or an unpainted wood frame (below).
And lastly, I got this big Noah’s Ark themed kid’s room decor lace thing, which I cut into all different kinds of pieces…
…since there was so much going on, I could get lots of different looks out of the same lace item. See those square parts, the top edging with the long curved rectangle shapes, and then all the curves and different hole designs in the pictures…
So, all the frames above and below here came from that same lace thing, cut and placed different ways (I obviously really like the squares).
Look at your local thrift store for lace in the home decor section, with tablecloths, with dishcloths, with curtains, on end cap sections… I find lace in weird places sometimes. If you try out this project, I’d love to see your frames!
Oh, and a side note, just a reminder that my October club ebook includes 7 of my favorites of these lyric artwork things for printing out.
If you want to make your own, it’s easy if you have a photo editing program that can do text (and some experience using it) – just download some fun fonts (some of my favorites for this project are Bleeding Cowboys, Angioma, 1942 Report, Benny Blanco, VNI-Thuphap, Schneller), type your favorite lyrics, with the text box set to justify, and mess with the text size, letter spacing, line spacing, etc until it looks good.
Because it somewhat relates… want to know about the music we played at our wedding? We spent tons of time putting together playlists – an hour of songs to play before, and about 3 and a half hours worth for after.
The ceremony was bookended by The Magnetic Fields – It’s Only Time for walking down the aisle, and The Book of Love walking back down after we were married.
I love the whole playlist, but I’ve put together kind of a best-of that’s 1 mix CD length:
- The Book Of Love / The Magnetic Fields
- We’ve Only Just Begun / Grant Lee Buffalo (covering The Carpenters)
- Ceremony / New Order
- The Best Is Yet To Come / Tony Bennett
- Hazy / Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons
- Lovin’ You Lots and Lots / The Norm Wooster Singers
- I’ll Be Your Mirror / The Velvet Underground & Nico
- Summers / Loney, Dear
- I Found My Way / Dusty Springfield
- Our Love Is Here To Stay / Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
- How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) / Marvin Gaye
- Top Of The World / The Carpenters
- Darlin’ Companion / Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
- The Greatest Sum / The Avett Brothers
- Grow Old With Me / John Lennon
- Fly Me To The Moon / Julie London
- Pop Goes My Heart / Pop
- I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) / The Proclaimers
- The Very Thought Of You / Elvis Costello
- On The Radio / Regina Spektor
- Take Me / Karen Dalton
- All I Want Is You / U2
- It’s Only Time / The Magnetic Fields
I had to put some boundaries on it in order to cut 4 1/2 hours down to 80 minutes – many of the songs played at the wedding were songs that Pete or I had put on mixes to each other when we were first dating, so since those already existed on mixes, I left them off of this mix (mostly). A lot of the songs have a specific memory for us, or some reason for being on this mix beyond the song itself. And then, I just tried to make it a good quality mix, lots of variety, ups and downs, etc. A glimpse into our wedding soundtrack.
And lastly, about wedding music, my brothers played a set for us! A medley of some favorite tv theme songs (including My So-Called Life and Pete & Pete) and a fantastic rendition of I’m Gonna Be (which is why that song made the cut onto the wedding mix)! It was so good!! Yay!