Elevate a baby's art work with a fancy laser etched frame!
Our extended family does a handmade gift exchange. My son, the youngest member in the family, participated for the first time this year and was set to make a gift for one of his favourite aunts.
She mentioned that she'd like some artwork for her wall, so he tried his hand at painting.
To make it a truly special gift, we personalized the frame for the artwork with a special silhouette of the gift recipient.
Step 1: Getting Messy!
The first step was to create some beautiful paintings.
I taped pieces of white cardstock to my son's highchair with painter's tape. After my son was strapped in, I added globs of craft paint in opposite corners of the paper. He wasn't very enthusiastic about touching the paint so I gave him some paint brushes and wood blocks to use and he happily pushed the paint around the page.
The finished paintings were set aside to dry while the baby got a bath.
If you're replicating this project, don't forget to write the date and your child's name on the artwork!
Step 2: Preparing the Silhouette
We wanted to add a silhouette over my son's artwork, so I searched through the gift recipient's social media accounts to find just the right photo of her and my brother. They had a fantastic photo taken of them at Burning Man that I thought would be perfect for this project.
I cleaned up the image in Photoshop, removing the background and converting it to black and white. I also flipped the image horizontally to make the word LOVE that they were sitting on easier to read.
To prepare the silhouette for laser etching, I used CorelDRAW. I took a picture of my son's painting and adjusted the size of the silhouette until it fit nicely over the artwork.
Step 3: Lasers!
My partner found a great floating photo frame to use for this project.
We removed one of the panes of glass from the frame and covered it with green painter's tape.
We used the laser cutter at YuKonstruct, our local makerspace, to burn off the tape and etch the glass. Before etching, we flipped the image so the design would be on the inside of the glass.
While we could have just kept the glass etched for a frosted silhouette, the bright artwork was calling for a bit more contrast so we used black spray paint on the pane of glass before removing the painter's tape.
The frame was then assembled with the painting in it. We also included a photo of my son doing the painting on the back side of the frame.
The finished gift was a big hit!