February 13, 2012

Creating a Layered Bracket Frame Tutorial

***This tutorial assumes that you already know some crafting basics, such as how to paint, antique, sand and apply vinyl.

YES soon we will have some great video tutorials on how to do these basics.

I made this frame as a display for the store. I LOVED how it turned out. It almost didn’t get to go to the store and stayed on top of my piano instead. Since than I have made several more with a variety of designs.

I am sure that there are several different ways to create this look, but this is the method I have had the most success with.

Two different colors of spray paint, stain, sand paper, wood glue,
PLUS 1 -Square 5x5 and 1- 8x8 Bracket Frame you can use any frame combination though).

and 1- Polka Dot 16" Sqaure, there are actually enough polka dots on the sheet to do around three large (8x8) frames. You could also use any of our other vinyl patterns. I’ve tried the stripes and the quatrefoil and thought they turned out darling.

1.) Paint your frames. The frame that has the pattern will be painted twice. The first coat of paint will be the color of the pattern. The top coat will be the color of the frame. Yes this is actually a white frame that I used for another project. For the frame pictured above I actually painted the frame khaki first. I also painted the smaller top frame khaki.

I typically use spray paint. Not necessarily because it dries faster or is easier, but because vinyl sticks to it better and I like the smooth finish.

2.) Trace the smaller frame. Once the paint has dried I took the smaller frame, positioned it were I wanted it on top of the bigger frame and using a pencil lightly traced the top frame.

I don’t think every pattern needs this, but since the polka dots were going to be placed randomly I wanted to be make sure they would look good once the smaller frame was in place.

3.) Place the polka dots. Cut the polka dots out and place them randomly on the frame.

4.) Crease and cut any vinyl that goes over the edge. Of course to get things to look right I wanted some of the polka dots to only be partially on the face of the frame. To accomplish this look I placed the polka dot in the appropriate place and than firmly creased it over the edge of the frame. This gives me a nice fold line. I than lift the polka dot off the frame and using the crease line as a guide cut off the excess vinyl with a pair of scissors.

Once the polka dot is cut down I place it back in the exact same spot so that the cut line matches up with the edge of the frame.

5. Check your work. Once you have all of the polka dots in place put the small frame on top of the large frame and make sure you like the position of the polka dots. The awsome thing about vinyl is that if you are unhappy with the position of any of the polka dots you can lift up and move them.

6. Paint the top coat and remove vinyl. I wish I had taken more pictures of these next steps, but they are luckily pretty straightforward. Leave the vinyl on and than paint the frame again. This time the color you want the frame (not the pattern) to be (in this case blue). Wait until the paint is dry (this is important, don’t rush things) slowly peel the vinyl off revealing the bottom layer of paint. If the paint leaked under the vinyl, or if some of the top layer lifts off with the vinyl, no worries, you are going to antique the frame any way!

6. Sand and Antique both big and small frames. – As was previously stated I am going to assume that these two steps are something that you already know how to do. I do plan on creating tutorials as soon as possible. They are also optional steps.

7. Glue the frames together. – Using wood glue ( I like liquid nails) glue the small frame on top of the big frame. Make sure that you use only a small amount of glue and that you don’t get to close to the edges. Wood glue is incredibly messy and almost impossible to clean up. Once you have your small frame in place don’t forget to double check it’s position. Once that glue dries, it’s not moven! Allow the frames to lay flat for several hours while they dry.

TA DA, the end result is a boutique looking frame that looks like you spent a fortune!


  1. This is a great craft project! Love the way it turned out and can't wait to try it myself

  2. Did you buy frames in that shape? And if so, where?