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"Life is Good" Photo Transfer Nautical Frame

Americana Decor® Chalky Finish™

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"Life is Good" Photo Transfer Nautical Frame

designed by Micaela Spiggle

Capture a memory by the sea in this unique frame that will keep on giving.

See more projects using this product.
Learn more about Americana Decor® Chalky Finish™.


Americana Decor® Chalky Finish™ Paint

  • Everlasting (ADC01)
  • Heirloom (ADC24)
  • Relic (ADC28)
  • Vintage (ADC17)

Americana Decor® Stencils

  • Nautical Knot (12" x 12") (ADS24)

Americana Decor® Varnishes

  • Ultra-Matte Varnish (ADM04)

Americana® Decou-Page™

  • Photo Transfer Medium (DS112)

Americana® Stencils

  • Motivation (6" x 8") (ASMM41)

Other supplies

  • water container
  • palette or plastic plate
  • paper towels
  • sandpaper (fine-grit)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • 3/4" flat brush
  • photo of your choice (laser jet image)
  • sponge (smooth)
  • brayer (or old credit card)
  • cosmetic sponges (2)
  • wooden frame (laser-cut; of choice)
  • 12" x 12" basswood canvas (Walnut Hollow)
  • E6000 Glue


NOTE: Let dry completely between painting steps.

  1. Use a 3/4" flat brush and Vintage to paint the entire wooden canvas. Rinse brush. let dry completely.
    Step 0 Example
  2. Hold the frame over the part of the canvas where you will later attach it. Use a pencil to trace the opening in the frame.
  3. Use the 3/4" flat brush and Everlasting to paint where the photo will be. Use the same brush and color to dry-brush over the Vintage. Rinse brush. Let dry completely.
    Step 2 Example
  4. Print off the laser jet image and cut out with scissors. (See helpful hint below.)
    Step 3 Example
  5. Use a 3/4" flat brush to apply Americana Decou-Page Photo Transfer Medium to the face of the photo and the Everlasting-painted rectangle. Rinse brush. Let dry completely.
  6. Repeat the application to the face of the photo and canvas surface, immediately pressing the photo face-down on the canvas. Use a brayer or old credit card to smooth out any wrinkles or air bubbles. If any excess Decou-Page comes out of the sides, wipe immediately off with a paper towel. Do not let any dry on the back of the photo.
    Step 5 Example
  7. Use sandpaper to distress more so that both Vintage and Everlasting are showing. (It is personal preference on the final look.) Wipe all dust off with a paper towel.
    Step 6 Example
  8. Place the Americana Decor Nautical Knot Stencil on the canvas so the rope is on the edge of the canvas corner. Load a cosmetic sponge with Heirloom to pounce over the rope's two sides. Flip the stencil over so it gets the other two sides. (I only added the rope on the bottom of the canvas away from the photo so the frame could fit later.) Remove and wash the stencil. Let dry completely.
    Step 7 Example
  9. Place the Americana Motivation Stencil centered under the photo, giving a few inches for the frame to be added later. Load a new cosmetic sponge with Relic to pounce on the words "Life is good". (Or your choice of phrase.) Remove and wash the stencil.
    Step 8 Example
  10. Use a 3/4" flat brush and Relic to basecoat the frame completely. Rinse brush. Let the frame dry completely. Use a fine-grit sandpaper to lightly distress the frame, using only one direction. Wipe off sanding dust with a damp paper towel.
    Step 9 Example
  11. Follow the directions on the Americana Decou-Page Photo Transfer Medium package on wait time before continuing with the next step.
    Step 10 Example
  12. Use a brush or sponge to dampen to the photo and let it sit two minutes.
    Step 11 Example
  13. Use a finger or smooth sponge to rub the photo backing off in a circular motion. (Keep the photo damp and wipe off the little pieces as often as possible so you don't tear the photo) Let dry to see if any paper comes back up. If it does, repeat the wetting the photo and rubbing softly.
    Step 12 Example
  14. When you think you have all the backing off, re-wet the photo and use the 3/4" flat brush to apply more Decou-Page Photo Transfer Medium on top of the photo to seal and protect it. Rinse brush.
    Step 13 Example
  15. Flip the frame over to the back and make random dots of E6000 Glue over the solid areas. Let sit two to three minutes.
    Step 14 Example
  16. Adhere the Relic-distressed frame on top of the photo with the window lined up evenly. Let that set up. Use the 3/4" flat brush to apply Ultra-Matte Varnish all over the entire project to seal. Rinse brush.
    Step 15 Example


If you do not have a laser jet printer, you can go to an office supply store and print it there, or use an ink jet and lightly spray it with a few coats of Americana Matte Spray (letting dry in between coats). Follow the instructions above for applying it to a surface.