Fabulous Fancy Frames! (That Don't Cost an Arm or a Leg!)

I love this fun and funky trend that's going on with frames right now! I've been planning on hanging a trio of my daughter's adorable newborn photos in her nursery for forever, but I didn't want to go with the same old frame styles. I wanted something pretty...something classy...but something different. Something whimsical and sweet. When I first saw these frames on Etsy, I knew they were perfect!

The prices, however, quickly made my heart sink. I found similar frame styles available through several different sellers, but the prices were about $40-$60 for an 8x10, and $70-$100 for an 11x14! Yeee-ouch!!! A trio of frames would eat my wallet alive! And that didn't include shipping! I sat on the fence for quite awhile, and I was *really* tempted to just take the plunge and buy them. 'Cause I loved 'em!

I'm sure glad I didn't drop that much cash! One night I was lucky enough to stumble across a blog post by The Crafting Chicks, a fabulous crafting blog that I had never read before, about Poppyseed Projects. I came to find out that among many other awesome products, Poppyseed Projects creates unfinished, ready-to-paint frames in the same styles I had been looking at, for a fraction of the cost! You can buy all their products online, but I lucked out because they just so happen to have one little shop right here in Utah, just a half hour away from me!

Poppyseed Projects specializes in carrying unfinished products and premade kits for so many adorable crafts! This means you have all the materials you need to make something, but you save a bundle! And, you get to customize it to fit your style!

I was a bit scared at the idea of painting my own frames at first, because I had absolutely zero experience with painting. Painting anything. But when I went into the shop the first time, the ladies there were beyond nice! I told them I was a 100% beginner at not only painting, but pretty much all things crafty, which I'm sure was obvious as I asked them question after question! They were so informative and I left the store knowing I could absolutely do it!

All ya gotta do: Spray paint the frames, then sand a bit around the edges for a distressed look. Bam! Cuteness!

I bought a bunch of different size frames, but all in this cute "bracket" style...my absolute favorite!

They were $16.50 for an 8x10 opening, $24.95 for an 11x14 opening. Sooooo much cheaper! If you order products online, the shipping costs depend on where you live and what sizes you order. But even with the shipping, these are far and away more thrifty than any of the other similar styles you could buy elsewhere!

They have several other really cute frame shapes as well, and a little birdie told me they have more frame shapes in the works. The Poppyseed Ladies also told me they are working on creating sets of frames in different sizes and/or shapes that they've combined into attractive configurations for photo walls. I would *love* to buy frames for a pre-arranged wall display without having to work it all out myself!

The colors I chose were the main colors in my daughter's room: pink and aqua blue. I absolutely love that color combination! I tested a couple of different shades of spray paint in two different brands and ended up choosing Krylon Gloss spray paint in "Blue Ocean Breeze" (purchased at Walmart) and Rustoleum spray paint in "Candy Pink" (purchased at Home Depot).

If you don't have broken-down cardboard boxes or anything else hanging around to paint on, you can find 9 ft x12 ft plastic drop cloths at Dollar Tree, or probably any dollar store!

The ladies at Poppyseed Projects told me they normally only use one coat of paint and no primer, but they advised me to do more than one coat of paint if I chose a lighter color. They said that lighter colors may not show up well on the edges, so to make sure to try and coat the edges of the frame. I definitely found this to be true! Since the frames are made of MDF/compressed wood, the paint kind of "soaks in" a little bit. My husband, the contractor, had suggested I try priming the frames before painting to make the color adhere more effectively, buuuuuut I was lazy and didn't. =) I think next time I will definitely prime to try and get the colors to "stick" better! I've heard from several reliable, experienced furniture/decor painters that Kilz Spray-on Primer is an awesome product, and it can be picked up at Walmart or any home improvement store.

(After one coat of paint. You can see the splotchy parts...definitely needs a second coat!)

After spray painting 2 good coats on the frames and completely drying them, I used a 100 grit sanding sponge (so much easier to handle than sandpaper!) on all the outer edges of the frame and the edges of the opening for the photo. I tried some higher grit sponges...150 grit and 220 grit...but they were so fine they just weren't getting the job done.

I was afraid I wouldn't be very good at artfully achieving the "distressed" look, but it was really pretty easy! I think I am even going to go and sand them a little bit more....I think I was scared to go overboard the first time I sanded them.

The Poppyseed ladies told me they use a palm sander/electric sander for distressing their frames...they just do a quick and easy once-over on all the edges. I came to find out that my contractor hubby already has an electric sander, and I'm thinking I need to get some practice with it, because I will definitely be buying more of these frames!

For my very-new-to-craftiness-self, I think the frames ended up looking great! Plus they were perfect to use for Kara's shabby-chic/vintage rose themed birthday party. I loved them so much I just had to display them on her dessert table!

I still need to hang the three I've got for Kara's wall. Hopefully I will get it done soon...I am the worst in the world at hanging pictures! Note that the Poppyseed frames don't come with hangers installed on the back...you need to purchase them separately. I also love them displayed on a cute easel!

And I gotta remind you....Poppyseed Projects offers sooooo many other awesome products! Along with  frames they have photo blocks, clocks, quote boards, vinyl art, antiqued subway art plaques, wood letters...so much crazy fun stuff you'll wish you could buy out the store! All their products are sold as unfinished kits, which include all the pre-made materials and detailed instructions. Everything is so wonderfully affordable! If you're located near their store they also offer craft nights and classes!

Some of my favorite Poppyseed items right now...

Their subway art plaques! Love this one for St. Patrick's Day...

And the plaques look SO cute layered with a frame...

Poppyseed Projects is definitely one of my most favorite crafty
discoveries ever! Head over to their online shop now, and don't
forget to like them on Facebook for product updates and fun news!

Happy crafting! ;)


Joni said...

Saw this shop on another blog...now I must go there in person. After I save up my pennies, I feel a shopping spree coming on!

Haley and Lance (but probably just Haley) said...

Those turned out way cute! I've heard that store is awesome - I'll have to check it out some time!

Holly Marie said...

Hey this is Holly over at Poppy Seed Projects. Will you email me at orders@poppyseedprojects.com. I would love to use some of your cute pictures that you took of our frames.

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