TUTORIAL: Autumn Photo Frame

First of all, apologies for the ridiculously late uploads. I’ve had a few bouts of illness, so I took a little break from crafting. Hopefully, I’ll be writing tutorials more frequently from now on!
I’ve experimented a lot with using nature as an inspiration for my designs, and they usually go down well. I’m planning on holding my first giveaway very soon and this cute photo frame will be the prize! For those of you who do not win, here is your opportunity to make your own. It’s fairly simple, so don’t be put off if you’re only a beginner! It also doesn’t take an incredible amount of time to put together.
You can use a photo frame of any dimensions.  Just choose a wooden one which has a decent amount of actual frame to work with and you’re good to go!
Enjoy :)

What you’ll need:

  • Polymer clay (dark brown, light brown, dark green, dark yellow, dar red, white)
  • Rolling tool
  • Liquid clay
  • A wooden photo frame of your choice
  • Cutting tool
  • Acrylic paint (dark brown)
  • Varnish (I use regular Fimo gloss)
  • Some real leaves in 2-4 different sizes
  • Paintbrush x2
  • An old cloth or some wet wipes
  • An oven
  • Pastels or eye shadow (light pink)
  • Needle tool


Step one: 
Okay, I haven’t got a photo for the first step, but it’s fairly simple. Just take your darker brown coloured clay, roll out one big sheet at approximately 1cm thick all over. Take the glass/plastic out of your frame so that you are only left with the wooden frame itself. Place the frame on top of the clay with the front facing down and cut around it. Use some liquid clay to help stick the clay down, and smooth down all of the edges. We are only covering the front.


Step two:
Begin by making your flowers. Don’t worry, they’re super easy! Just roll out lots of small white balls slightly larger than a pea. Cut a line through the centre horizontally, then vertically, so you’re left with a cross shape. This is important, though: only cut halfway through the ball! Now spread out all four quarters so that they’re still attached to each other, and press each one between your fingertips. This should leave you with a shape similar to the ones in the above photo. Make approximately 25 of them (depending on the size of your frame).


Step three:
Now for the leaves! I know I’ve used this technique in a few of my tutorials, but I’m going to repeat the process again just in case someone hasn’t seen it.
First of all, grab your balls of dark green, dark yellow and dark red clay. Roll each one into sheets of approximately 1cm. Press your real leaves onto the clay, making sure you place them with the underside of the leaf facing the clay so that as much detail as possible shows up. Use your rolling tool to press over the whole leaf with medium pressure all over. Now carefully peel off the leaf. It should have left indents showing the outline and little finer details of the leaf. Cut around the outline and smooth down the edges a little. Repeat this using all of your different leaves, so you have around 8 of each colour altogether.


Step four: 
For the branches, all I did was roll out lots of snake shapes using the light brown clay in various thickness (but not so thick that it covers the frame completely!), then press them into place onto the frame. Overlap some of them. Use your needle tool to draw a faint wood-type texture over all of the “branches”. Now use some liquid clay to stick them into place, along with the leaves and flowers, spacing them fairly evenly all over.


Step five: 
Cut up some yellow clay very fine, so that it resembles cookie crumbs. Pick some up with your needle tool and very carefully place some onto the centre of each flower. Put as much or as little as you like, just stop when you’re happy with them.


Step six: 
Very gently use your paintbrush to rub some pink pastel onto the outside of each petal, blending inwards. Bake in the oven until hard. This will depend on the thickness of your clay, but mine took approximately 60 minutes on gas mark 3 (170 Celsius)


Step seven: 
Once cooled, turn your frame over and very carefully use your cutting tool to tidy up the back. It’s supposed to look homemade, but trim off as much of the excess at the back as possible.


Step eight: 
Cover the front of your frame completely with dark brown acrylic paint. Try to get into every little nook. Then grab your old cloth and wipe everything over. You should be left with the paint in the little crevices, but the surface completely clean. This step just helps to bring out all of those little details.


Step eight:
Once the paint has dried completely, just cover everything with a layer of varnish and you’re finished!


Thanks for reading! 
Please check out the rest of my site for more fun craft tutorials, and follow me on Facebook to keep up-to-date with my newest creations. 
Have a lovely day :)

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