Straw Marquetry Picture Frame
This is a suggestion for one pattern, but it's easy to experiment with different patterns you create yourself. Straw is relatively inexpensive and easy to cut; if you make a mistake, simply remove that piece and just redo the area.
Resources: Frames are available from Pearl Fine Art Supplies. Straw from France's BDF-Douineau. In the United States, straw is available from the Straw Shop (email firstname.lastname@example.org) or A Touch of Kansas (email email@example.com).
- Craft knife
- Wood frame
- 220-grit sandpaper
- White glue
- Small paintbrushes
- Cutting mat
- Bone folder
- Clean rags
Slit stalks of straw down the middle using a craft knife or your finger. Flatten the straw strips with a bone folder. Iron each strip of straw on the lowest temperature that allows steam.
Lightly sand the surface of the picture frame.
Using a ruler as a guide, draw a line diagonally across the corner of the frame, with one point of the line at the corner of the frame's opening, creating a triangle whose two sides are equal. Repeat for all corners.
Glue lengths of prepared straw strips onto the face of the frame. Brush glue onto frame first, then lay down straw strips one by one, working from the center outward. Trim strips along the corner lines with a craft knife. As you work, press out air bubbles with a bone folder and wipe off the excess glue with a damp rag.
Repeat technique for the corners, working from the inside outward. Trim straw along edges.
Cover sides of frame with strips of straw as you did for the front.