Once you have gathered up your letters, you will cut a piece of chipboard based on the size of your picture.
You can also use two pieces of cardstock - it should be firm. For a 6" x 4" landscaped picture I cut a piece 9" x 7" which will give me a 1 1/2" border around my picture. You will have to decide whether your picture will be landscaped or vertical.
Next trace out the picture size in the centre of your chipboard. This will act as a guide for your letter placement. Without gluing, starting at the upper left corner begin laying down your letters to completely cover the area around the picture. You will notice below how I tucked different sized letters beside each other making sure that I did not go into the centre section. Once you are happy with your placement begin adhering the letters down using a tacky glue. I did add some tiny dots here and there before the gesso.
Make sure that the letters are secure and using white gesso paint all the letters getting into the spaces around the letters. I used gesso as I find it adheres better to any letters that are shiny. It also accepts sprays and inks better than a kraft paint. Depending on the colours of your letters you may need two good coats. Let this dry completely. To speed up the drying time you can use a heat gun or a hair dryer.
Now this is where the fun begins. The colours you choose will be based on the picture and the look you want to achieve. I began by spraying the letters with a blue spray, let this dry, then I came back with a taupe spray and let this dry. I wanted the blue to show more than the brown so I went back and re-sprayed the blue. Next I took a blue ink pad and dabbed it onto the letters. And came back with a brown ink pad and brushed this around the outside edges of the frame and letters as well as here and there onto the letter surface. This is what mine looked like when done.
Here is a layout that I did using this frame.
I have done several others. Below is another one I did for my grandaughter's first day of school picture. This one I did use some kraft paint to accent the letters, however, since I know from experience that kraft paint can chip off easily, I applied a thin coat of decopauge to seal the surface of the letters. In the picture you will notice a bit of a shine on the letters at the top of the frame which is the decopauge.
Experiment using different mediums. If you don't like the colours you chose you can simply paint over the dry surface using gesso and start again.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have fun!!!!
Until next time