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Nut Frame

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television

Introduction

Whole pecans, still in their woodlike shell, can be used to decorate an elegant mirror frame. Martha Stewart Living style editor Stephen Earle brings out the natural luster of the shells by rubbing them with tung oil. He covers the inner and outer edges of the frame with a dark brown grosgrain ribbon and attaches a wider length of ribbon to the frame for hanging.

 

materials

  • 2 dozen to 3 dozen whole pecans, still in shells

  • Surgical gloves

  • Rag

  • Tung oil

  • Oval mirror, cut and drilled to fit frame

  • 11-by-14-inch oval unstained picture frame

  • Dremel drill

  • Wood stain

  • 1- to 2-inch paint brush

  • 1/2-inch-wide grosgrain ribbon, about 2 yards

  • Craft glue

  • 2-inch-wide satin ribbon, about 2 yards

  • Wood glue

  • 2 rubber washers

  • 2 screws

  • Screwdriver

  • Picture hook

steps

  1. The day before you plan to assemble the mirror, choose nuts with consistent shapes and shells free of nicks and cracks. The number of nuts you will need depends on their size and that of the frame. Then, while wearing surgical gloves, saturate a rag with tung oil, and rub the oil into the nut shells; set aside, and allow to dry completely, at least six to eight hours.

  2. Match the drilled mirror to the back of the frame, and mark the holes; then make corresponding holes in the frame with a hand drill. Paint the picture frame with wood stain; allow to dry before proceeding.

  3. Affix a length of the narrower ribbon to the inner perimeter of the stained frame with craft glue; repeat gluing process around the frame's outer perimeter. (Start at the bottom of the frame so the seams are less noticeable). Attach the satin ribbon to the frame with a single knot, and then tie the two ends in a bow. (Once attached, the mirror will keep the ribbon in place.)

  4. Examine the shape of a pecan; you will want the rounder end facing the inner perimeter of the frame, the sharper tip pointing outward. Apply a small amount of wood glue to each nut, and place carefully on the frame. Repeat the process until the frame is covered. Allow to dry completely, at least two hours.

  5. Turn the frame facedown, and set the mirror into place, matching its drilled holes to those on the frame. Set a rubber washer into place over each hole, and carefully attach mirror to frame with a screw. (The rubber washers assure a secure hold without cracking the mirror.) Hang mirror from a picture hook.

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