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Upcycle a Plain Wood Frame Using IOD Molds and Air-Dry

Upcycle a Plain Wood Frame Using IOD Molds and Air-Dry main article image
Posted on March 28, 2023 by Jennifer Carroll
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Oh. My. Goodness. I absolutely love the entire line of Iron Orchid Designs. If you’re not familiar with these girls, you should check them out! I first saw a few of their products demonstrated by a favorite YouTuber a couple of years ago. I immediately wanted to purchase the whole line of everything. Spoiler alert – I didn’t.

If you follow me here you’ve probably heard me confess that I have a hard time staying in my lane. I want to do it all. I’m a working artist and I produce artwork to sell. That’s what works and I love what I do. To offer my customers more, I decided to incorporate handcrafted décor pieces into my inventory.

Just recently, I saw a YouTuber use IOD molds to enhance a prefab frame. That was it! I no longer had an excuse to not order them. I didn’t order all of them, just the ones I thought I would use. Although I love crafting, I do it for a living and I need to purchase things that will pay for themselves and help make my business profitable.

You’ll only need a few materials to complete this project and you may have a couple of them on hand already.

Supplies:

  • Silicone Mold
  • Airdry Clay
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Frame
  • Paint
  • Cornstarch

I used a frame from my stash that I had previously thrifted. Thrift stores are a great place to buy frames. I chose a wood frame with no raised elements. It is flat but it does have a tiny, engraved pattern. I’m okay with that because it will be a nice detail that will enhance the final look of my project. My frame opening is for a 4” x 6” picture.

IOD products are available to order from individual stockists, either online or at a brick-and-mortar store. I order mine from The Purple Painted Lady. She offers a point system that allows you to accrue points toward free products. She also offers a flat shipping rate. Last but not least – she is quick! Generally, my order is fulfilled and on its way to me the same day.

If you don’t want to use an IOD mold, there are several other places you can purchase them. Try the baking aisle at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, or Michael’s. Amazon also sells them.

You’ll also need a package of airdry clay. I use the DAS brand that I buy on Amazon.

There are several brands out there. This is the only one that I’ve tried so I can’t tell you which one is better than the other. These silicone molds can also be used with casting resin.

You will need glue to adhere your castings to the frame. I use wood glue, but you can use just about any glue that you have on hand.

The airdry clay dries a pleasant white color and some people prefer not to paint them at all. I use acrylic or chalk paint, according to the color I want and what I have in my workshop at the time.

Before you begin a project, think about the functionality and how you’ll lay out your elements. I knew that I wanted to have the option of bending the castings around the corners of the frame, but they couldn’t get in the way of the glass, picture, and the backing that would be inserted back into the frame.

I also thought about where I would concentrate the flowers and the pattern in which I would place them. Then I was ready to cast my molds.

Every time you use a silicone mold with airdry clay you need to prepare the mold shape you’re going to use by brushing it with cornstarch. This ensures that the clay will be easily removed from the mold.

To cast your mold, break off a piece of the airdry clay and press it into the mold. You can use your finger to remove the excess from the edges of the shape or you can use a brayer to flatten the back of the casting, which will push the clay to the edges.

I made all the castings that I thought I would use all in one sitting. I knew if I made more than I wanted to use on one project, I could always save them for the next one.

To apply the castings to my frame I brushed wood glue on the backs so that the glue was covering the whole surface. I pressed on the pieces carefully so that I wasn’t disturbing the patterns and details that the molds produced.

Before my castings were completely dry, I painted the entire piece. The creator I have watched for the last few weeks advises that the clay will have less shrinkage if the paint is applied while the castings are still wet. I used Waverly chalk paint in the color plaster as a base coat.

To paint my individual flowers and leaves I used a little white paint to lighten the shades of yellow and blue that I had on hand. I mixed in a little water to make it more like a wash then applied it to the pieces with a small artist’s brush. I then combined the yellow and blue paints to make green paint for the leaves.

When the paint was completely dry, I used a wax brush to apply clear wax. I wiped off the excess with a wet wipe and let that dry.

For the final step, I used a small stiff brush to add antiquing wax. This dark wax adds dimension and texture to the flowers and the waxes that I used also to seal the piece. Just like with the clear wax, I wipe the brown wax back and apply more a layer at a time until each flower has the desired look.

I absolutely love the way that these turned out. My husband has come home to a new frame or two every day this week. Hey – everything is coming up daisies!

Until next time – happy crafting!

Please follow me here and on my Facebook Page to see my latest creations.


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