Senior Portrait Photo Display

My daughter is a Junior in high school this year, but my best friend’s daughter is a Senior. I wanted to create a gift for her that would be special and beautiful and be cherished forever. Senior pictures have changed so much over the years. They are truly beautiful portraits that need to be displayed in a unique way.

Last week I teamed up with Artistic Letters to give away a full set of 250+ ArtisticLetter images. I’m announcing the winner today, but also wanted to show you what I made with mine.

Also, now that the giveaway has ended, Jodi has been very generous and is offering Crafts by Amanda readers an extension on the exclusive discount pricing and freebie damask set! This deal was offered during the giveaway and expired last night.

Jodi has extended the expiration to Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 10:00 PM EST! 

So if you were waiting to see if you won to take advantage of the special pricing, you still can! You won’t be able to access the discount directly from Jodi’s site, you must follow this link to take advantage of the extended discount.

Now let me tell you about the project that I did. I can’t wait to make more, I have so many ideas swirling through my head! When my daughter saw the finished project, she swooned over it and asked if I would make one for her Senior pictures next year. :)

I’m afraid I didn’t take any step by step photos this time, but I can tell you what I did.

1) This was an old, slightly warped piece of wood. Very rustic looking, weathered, the color of old barn wood. Tamme (Dakota’s mom) and I went over different ways to treat the wood. I could paint and distress it, make it shabby chic, or even give it a high gloss sleek finish. We decided that because of the woodsy setting in the actual photograph, a more natural look to the wood was appropriate. Therefore, the only thing I did was give the wood a couple coats of light stain and wiped the excess off.

2) I showed Tamme the colors of card stock that I had on hand and she chose a brown and a green. I think they compliment the photo beautifully! First I painted an even layer of decoupage medium (I used DecoArt’s new Decoupage) onto the back of the green card stock and attached it to the brown, making sure it was straight and there were no air bubbles.

3) Then I did the same thing with the photo, again making sure there were no bubbles after pressing it onto the green card stock. I allowed those to dry for a good half an hour before moving on.

4) I printed my alphabet letters onto regular printer paper, reducing the size to 30%. After printing, I gave both sides of the paper a good coating of acrylic sealer spray (I used Americana) and allowed that to dry. This seals the paper and won’t let any of your ink bleed when you add the decoupage medium. I used a ruler to figure out where to place the letter, then painted an even layer on the back of each letter and gently but firmly rubbed them and pressed them in to place. I let that dry for half an hour.

5) Meanwhile, I used my Silhouette to create a stencil for the “2011”. I used stencil paint since it’s much thicker than regular acrylic paint and much less likely to seep under your stencil. I used Decoart’s black Stencil Paint and a stiff paintbrush to apply the numbers. When stenciling,you load your brush then blot on a paper towel to remove as much excess paint as you can. You almost want it to be dry, but have enough paint to actually apply to your surface.

6) Next I applied the photo that I attached to the matte earlier onto the actual board using the same method. Apply an even coat of decoupage medium to the back of brown paper and press firmly to apply it to the board. I let that dry for half an hour.

7) Next I used a large soft paintbrush to apply a generous (but not dripping) coat of decoupage over the entire surface, including the sides. That I allowed to dry overnight, but truly it only needs a few hours.

8) Lastly I hammered a sawtooth hanger to the back of the board and used Gorilla super glue to attach the acorn to the board above the stenciled numbers. I embellished the acorn with a piece of ribbon.

Be sure to take advantage of Jodi’s generosity by following the link above for your discount!

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Megan of Megan’s Cookin’ is our randomly drawn winner! Congratulations Megan, I’ll contact you privately. :)


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  1. […] For the High School Graduate: I love the simplicity and timelessness of this piece from Amanda over at Crafts by Amanda. Using an old chunk of wood, card stock, and the all important senior photo, Amanda made her daughter’s friend a gift she will always cherish.  It’s beautiful – and I was even thinking it would be cute to add a clock element (i’ve done this before, it’s about $5.00 at a craft store and so easy to do) to it for even more “timelessness”. Read all about it here. […]

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