Project

Graduated-Layer Frame

Painted a cheery hue, this frame is perfect for accentuating the sunny side of your son's scary monster. The elaborate three-dimensional design is a playful way to showcase basic art skills or cherished family photographs. Hang one, or a group, to instantly liven up any room.

Graduated-Layer Frame

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

As with toy-airplane kits, the wood for this frame is pliable and soft and cuts with a craft knife.

materials

  • Metal ruler

  • Wooden frame, 12 1/2 by 16 1/2 inches or larger

  • Balsa wood, various sizes

  • 12-by-12-inch cutting mat

  • Craft knife

  • Sandpaper, fine grit

  • Tacky glue

  • Flat-bristle brushes

  • Primer and paint

  • Cutting Mat, 12 inches square

steps

  1. Measure the interior length and width of your frame, and add 8 inches to those dimensions. On the mat, cut 2 pieces each with those dimensions from 4-inch balsa wood.

  2. Following the mat's guideline, draw a line at a 45-degree angle from each end. Cut along line with craft knife.

  3. Sand ends of wood and glue to the frame.

  4. Cut the following pieces of balsa wood on a cutting mat:

    4 pieces 3 inches wide

    3 1/2 inches long 4 pieces 2 inches wide 

    2 1/2 inches long 4 pieces 1 inch wide

    2 1/2 inches long 4 pieces 1/2 inch wide

    1 inch long

  5. Glue 3-by-3 1/2-inch balsa wood pieces to 4 corners, 3/8 inch from edges.

  6. Continue to center and glue corner rectangle pieces in descending size order.

  7. For the width of the frame, measure a 3-inch-wide piece 3/4 inch shorter than the length between the 2 corner pieces. Center between corner pieces, and glue.

  8. Follow the same pattern used to build corner layers, reducing the size of each additional piece.

  9. For length of frame, measure a 3-inch-wide piece 1/2 inch shorter than the length between the 2 corner pieces. Center between corner pieces, and glue.

  10. Repeat step 8.

  11. After glue dries, apply 1 coat of primer, let dry, and then apply 2 coats of paint.

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