Introduction: Paint Sample Up-cycling: Creative Frames

This DIY was inspired by my current obsession with frames. I've been buying many frames at thrift stores but that means and rarely have the right size and wanted to explore ways of making a frame that's too big work for whatever I wanted to frame. In this instructable, you'll make a colorful frame for any picture!

Things you’ll need:

  • Old paint samples
  • Access to a computer
  • Access to a laser cutter (or a X-acto knife / scissors)
  • A piece of paper for the backingGlue
  • Optional: a frame

I had a bunch of Purple/Violet/Pinkish tones because we just painted some wild colors in the house but you can mix and match with what you have. If you don't have access to a laser cutter, you can cut out the letters with an X-acto knife or with scissors and still get a pretty good result.

Step 1: Select Your Pattern and Create the .dxf File

Select a pattern. Try looking for something that doesn't have too many tiny shapes, rather, some long windy shapes such as the example given. Smaller shapes can work too but it'll be more work to assemble. I looked up 'free adult coloring pages' and found this pattern at this webaddress:

Then convert the file into a .dxf file (I used an online free service). I have attached the .dxf file I made for my example pattern.

Step 2: Laser Cutter (or Alternatives)

To set up the laser cutter, I first did a few cutting tests with some spare samples. I cut a small rectangle to make sure the cut settings were right. I ended up choosing a speed of 80mm/s and a power of 30% (picture 1).

Then I imported my .dxf file. And that was it (picture 2)!

*Alternative: if you don't have access to a laser cutter or just prefer to do it by hand, you can print the pattern and use it as a guide to cut the samples with scissors and/or an X-acto knife. This can take very long if you are doing it super precisely and if your pattern is complex but you can definitely get away with it! I would recommend choosing more geometric shapes if you are going to use this method.

Step 3: Cutting the Samples

Arrange the samples to cover the area that the laser will cut, and press cut!

The pictures shows how the layout of the samples before the cut and after.

Step 4: Glue the Clippings

Grab your backing paper and glue. I had an extra sheet of card-stock laying around, but you can use plain paper as your background.

Organize the clippings the way you want them and glue them down. Let your creativity flow as you arrange the colors! If your glue is water based, it might warp your paper so using a heavier paper like card-stock might be advisable.

Step 5: Hang Your Diy Up-cycled Frame

Option: you can frame your piece to give it extra jazz.

Hang it up and enjoy!

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest