How To Create a Shabby Chic Picture Frame Collage

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and timeshel, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #timeshelprints

My husband and I recently decided to renew our vows on the beautiful beaches of Turks & Caicos in the Caribbean, but what was so significant about this whole thing was the fact that he proposed to me AFTER we were already married. It was a fairytale indeed, and a promise he kept before our wedding day that one day he will propose to me and we will have the wedding of our dreams. Five years later, he proposed to me on the beautiful sand of Santa Monica Beach at sunset and then two years later, we renewed our vows.

You can read all about our proposal here: The Promise. Our Engagment Story

You can read all about our renewal of vows here: The Promise. Our Destination Wedding Renewal of Vows

Capturing both of those moments were something I had hoped we could do, and I cannot tell you how ecstatic I was to be able to capture both of those memories. You see, I had big plans for those photos! My plan was to create a beautiful picture frame collage with memories of our proposal and renewal of vows and to also incorporate pieces of our whole family of six!

When I discovered timeshel, I learned that they make printing photos a narrative, story-centric experience. And I can appreciate their experiences starting at just $5.95 per month – they are flexible with two tiers of service to meet everyone’s printing needs. You can get 10 prints a month received in a nifty envelope for $5.95/month or 30 prints a month received in the shel for $14.95/month. It was crazy easy to use, order, and it arrived in a timely manner. And I cannot believe how high of a quality the prints came out! *timeshel is only available for iOs in the Apple Store.

Timeshel Package

For those of you following along my journey of going from a 1,200 square foot home into now a 3,400 square foot executive home – you understand my burdens of furnishing and decorating almost three times the size of additional space. And sometimes when you want something done so personalized and customized, you have to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself!

That was the situation with my beautiful new office. I wanted a shabby chic theme complete with a chandelier and shag rug, but I was given a budget by my oh-so-frugal husband that made redecorating challenging. I’ve worked within my means and it’s starting to come together beautifully. I’ve got everything I want in there, except for one final piece…my picture frame collage!!! I wanted it to look DIY but classy, chic, and also match the theme of my office (bright white, vintage, french provincial, and shabby chic).

timeshel Shabby Chic 5

Today we’re going to show you how to create a shabby chic picture frame collage that no one else will have! The best part is that it is so inexpensive and easy to do!

timeshel Shabby Chic 1

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Art Frame or Photo Frame (it can be any material and I’ll explain why later)
  • Zinsser Primer (the one I chose is good for adhesion to pretty much any material)
  • Behr Flat Paint (I bought the $3 sample size that’s located by the register at Home Depot)
  • Minwax Polycrylic Paint Sealer in Clear Satin finish
  • Small Angled Paint Brush (depending on the size of your frame)
  • Small Foam Paint Roller (depending on the size of your frame)
  • Fine Grit Sand Paper
  • White Paper
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • timeshel prints

How To Paint a DIY Shabby Chic Picture Frame in 4 Easy Steps:
Step 1:
I purchased this super cute and ornately decorated large art frame at Goodwill for $13 and it’s made of a metal and laminate finish. The very first step you’ll want to do is clean the surface of the frame to make sure it’s free from dust particles and then prime it using a primer and paint brush. Rather than sanding metal and laminate, all you have to do is prime the frame with the proper primer that will get the paint to adhere properly. If you don’t prime your frame’s surface, your paint will not adhere well and will start bubbling as soon as you apply it. The primer I recommend (Zinnser) adheres to metal, wood, laminate, and more. Primer is very important in this process!

timeshel Shabby Chic 2

Step 2:
You’ll want to let the primer dry for at least an hour or more. Then apply your Behr Flat Paint color of choice. I used my small angled paintbrush to get into all the crevices and corners, and then I smoothed everything over with my small foam roller to be sure I was getting rid of any brush marks – I wanted a flawless and smooth finish. Allow the paint to dry before applying a 2nd coat (I waited about an hour). I chose white because I wanted it to match my office (everything is bright white except for the Tiffany Blue mirror that adds a pop of color to the office).

I painted outside on the concrete, but if you must paint indoors, be sure it’s in a well ventilated room and that you’re using tarp or plastic on the floor to prevent getting paint all over the place.

Step 3:
Once your paint has dried it’s time to distress your paint strategically using your fine grit sand paper. I focused on each of the four corners and in the middle of each side of the frame. I also distressed the ornate beaded design to make it look more shabby chic. Once you’re done distressing, be sure to clear off the frame from any dust.

timeshel Shabby Chic 3

Step 4:
The last step is to seal this bad boy to make sure you lock in the paint and distress. I like to use polycrylic sealer because it has a low odor, is durable and doesn’t yellow over time. To apply your polycrylic sealer, just brush it on with your paint brush. You can do 1-2 coats (but just like the paint, allow the sealer to dry for several hours in-between coats).

timeshel Shabby Chic 4

Allow the frame to fully cure for about 24 hours and once it’s ready, it’s time to create your photo collage! I covered  and glued the canvas area with white paper and cut to fit (with the exception of the center – I wanted to keep the cut-out design in the center to place an 8.5 x 11 photo collage that fit perfectly). I made mine overlap each other and placed timeshel photos methodically around the center of the “canvas”. Once I figured out how I wanted it to look, I took a photo of it on my iPhone to reference once I started hot gluing the timeshel photos. Then I took my hot glue gun and glued all the photos to make my beautiful collage. Once it was done, I didn’t even hang it! I let it stand angled on top of my cube shelve organizers and it was PERFECT! My home office is finally done!!!

timeshel Shabby Chic 5

timeshel helped make my picture frame collage dream come true! You can find timeshel on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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  • Reply
    angie in my 30s
    March 12, 2015 at 12:25 PM

    that turns out so beautifully! i have a bunch of old frames, i think you’ve inspired me to give something similar a try! 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela McKinney
    May 2, 2015 at 2:06 PM

    Love it! Its so nice and looks easy to do. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

  • Reply
    May 15, 2015 at 6:04 AM

    Painting and customizing a picture frame is the way to go. You just create such a sweet memory to enjoy

  • Reply
    Stephanie Volkert
    May 16, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    It’s beautiful, and a great story to go with it. (Hubby never proposed to me, and frankly, I’m still bitter over it. Good thing I love him!)
    Visiting from Foodie Friends Friday.

  • Reply
    Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai
    May 17, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    Love this shabby chic frame! Thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty – we’re looking forward to what you have to share next week. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  • Reply
    May 19, 2015 at 5:09 AM

    I love how the frame turned out! It looks great! I love displaying pictures in new and fun ways, this is great. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Idea Box.

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