I Love to Create: Terrarium Picture Frames

You’ve seen terrariums in jars, bowls, domes and more – but have you seen one in a picture frame? Today on I Love to Create I am going to show you how to create your own extra kitschy terrarium style shadow box picture frame, no water or dirt necessary.

Terrarium week continues with a craft project! Grab your gnomes, glitter and favorite photograph and follow along.

Tulip Fashion Glitter (silver)
Krylon Silver Foil Metal Spray Paint
Aleene’s Tacky Glue
Shadow Box
Aleene’s Crystal Clear Tacky Spray
Red Polka Dot Paper
Paint Brush
Collage Pauge
Sponge Brush
Liquid Fusion Glue
Favorite Photograph
Naughty Secretary Club Terrarium Kit (gnome, deer, tree & mushroom)

Shadow boxes are available in all shapes and sizes at your craft store. Take yours apart and take just the frame outside. Lay the frame on newspaper and spay several coats of shiny silver spray paint allowing to dry completely between coats.

Once your shadow box has dried completely take inside for further adornment. Using a paint brush apply a thin coat of Aleene’s Tacky Glue on the front side of the frame. Sprinkle silver Tulip Fashion Glitter into wet glue.

To give my photograph a fun backdrop I decided to decoupage my picture to a vintage postcard of the Ozark Highway using a sponge brush and Collage Pauge. I cut out my family from the picture removing the orginal background.

As if the postcard was not enough, I decided to use some red and white polka dotted scrap booking paper in the background as well. I trimmed the paper to the size of the frame, coated the back of my postcard with Aleene’s Crystal Clear Tacky Spray and adhered the postcard to the paper. Once this dried completely I applied another coat of Aleene’s Tacky Spray to the back of the polka dotted paper to attach it to the back wall of my shadow box.

Once your glitter had dried it is time to add the fun stuff. Decide where to place your kitschy critters inside the shadow box. Small toy animals, cupcake toppers, trees from the model train department and dried moss are all good suggestions. Use Liquid Fusion Glue to adhere everything in place.

Your work here is done and now you have an adorable picture frame with an organic feel that even the blackest of thumbs could not hurt.

This may possibly be one of my favorite craft projects of all time. Let’s face it not everything we make gets displayed in the house, some things are banished to the studio forever. This frame however sits proudly in my dining room right next to a much larger gnome. Know any other fun terarrium style crafts out there? I keep thinking I am going to embroider a big terrarium on something using Sublime Stitching’s Gnomes & Fairies pattern.

Suggested Reading:
A Journey Through Terrarium Time
Wedding Themed Terrarium
Homes for Gnomes: The Top 10 Terrarium Tutorials of the Web

13 Responses to “I Love to Create: Terrarium Picture Frames”

  1. Rachel

    Hoo, Lordy! That is all kinds of cute. Your little family is really something else. Perfect showcase.

  2. Danna

    That is so cute! I love Gnomes and Ozark Highways!
    I am from southern Missouri so I actually know exactly where your postcard came from. Only now it's a full-fledged four lane highway. Much less nauseating while riding in the back seat on the way to Grandma's house. 🙂
    Such a cute project. Again, I love it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jennifer Perkins - Naughty Secretary Club

    So glad everyone likes the project. Like I said it is one of my all time faves, the more the kitsch the better for me.

    Danna I love that you have ridden the Ozark Highway. I inherited a huge box of vintage postcards from my grandmother when she passed. All places she and my grandfather had visited, instead of taking pictures she apparently bought postcards. Anywhoo I have enjoyed

  4. Eileen

    That is so cute! It reminds me of the dioramas we used to make in grade school. Do they still do those?


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