Updated for 2016
Gather the kids around your kitchen table and get ready for a Disney-inspired craft. What supplies do you need? Some craft paints and a $1 craft/picture frame from Michael’s Craft Store. Google images is swamped with photos and clip art of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. When I paint these inexpensive frames, I pick an image I feel like I can fairly easily reproduce. As you will see from my photos, I am certainly not an artist. I never took a single art class, and as a high school teacher, when I draw anything on the board, students laugh, and not because what I drew was funny on purpose. If I can do it, it’s time to grab your pencil and take a chance!
And since you are using Google images, you are not just freestyle drawing on your own. You are simply copying what you see. I’ve even cut out pieces to trace on frames before. Fee free to use whatever shortcuts you need to get the job done. So let me show you what my 4th grade level art skills produced for one dollar. I don’t count the cost of paint or Mod Podge because it would be pennies given the small amount I used.
This is the image I found on Google that I started with. This is pretty simple in terms of Mickeys.
This is the frame I started with, which is just a plain wooden craft frame from Michael’s. I like buying Michael’s frames because many of them only cost one dollar. Hobby Lobby frames are nice but generally more expensive, and I’m not convinced the frames are any higher in quality to justify the inflated price.
I started drawing Mickey and immediately drew a line wrong and had to erase it. And that’s ok. If you draw like me, you’ll erase many lines before you’re finished. I put the image in front of me and started copying. My particular eraser left marks. If would be a great suggestion to make sure you have an eraser that doesn’t leave marks, but you’ll see that in the end, even my messy eraser marks turned out just fine.
One of the hardest things to draw freehand are circles, and I’m offering absolutely no tips for that. I grabbed two cups from my kitchen and cheated = traced Mickey’s ears.
So my frame is a mess at this point, which I photographed so you will understand when I say, it’s ok to make mistakes. Unless you are a professional artist, which I clearly am not, then you will mess up and have erasure marks.
You can see here where I traced my ears one size, looked at them, erased what I had, and then I traced them again. Beige paint is coming up, and its arrival will rescue your frame. Trust me!
This frame has a black and white appearance because the only colors used were beige, black and gray.
Using the beige color, you will now start to paint over all any erasure marks on Mickey’s face and fill in the background color. What looked pretty messy starts to perk up, and you suddenly don’t feel like such an art class failure.
You’ll notice Mickey looks more polished when you finish with the beige paint.
Once you’re done with beige, start to fill in with the black paint. Black, being so dark, is really tough to paint over, so I use a smaller brush for greater accuracy. If you do paint over the lines, just use your beige paint to fix it.
Raise your hand if these eyes briefly reminded you of Pac-Man!
I simply mixed the black paint with the beige to make gray and added swirls and lines somewhat similar to the original. The original Mickey was created by a professional artist somewhere and my skills can not compete, so I didn’t even try. I just made it my own.
Your swirls do not have to be all that neat and tidy, because once you give up on the idea of your painting looking as perfect as the original, you give yourself some mental flexibility. Plus you don’t notice messiness as much from a distance anyway.
I added more swirls and background designs.
Your final step is to take a large paint brush and coat your frame several times in Mod Podge for a protective coating and a shiny finish.
And voila, a pretty great Swirly Mickey Mouse picture frame, if I do say so myself.
Like to see another frame that’s pretty easy to make? Use this link:
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you looking for cheap wooden frames in craft stores, Mickey on your mind…
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