Thursday, August 28, 2014

A New Project!!

I was recently inspired to make something using vintage anime pics of my favorite mermaid characters!! So, I decided to try my hand at making a sort of 3D art in a picture frame. You won't need any paints or amazing art skills to create this, but just a good hand at cutting and scaling things to fit, and an imagination!

I found an 8x10 shadow box photo frame, and photo project paper at Kmart. I also got some materials at my local craft store, like scrapbook stickers, and a foam board. The materials I already had was a printer, some anime art photos I saved from online, and wallpapers of underwater scenery.

- a shadow box photo frame (Size can vary depending on how elaborate you want yours to be.)
- a white foam board
- photo paper or project paper matte finish
- scrapbook stickers, cabochons, etc. (things to add details, like bubbles, fish, or seashells.)
- a printer, scissors, craft blade, paint brush, and Mod Podge glue.
- photos of your fave anime characters and scenery.
- depending on the scenery, I used plastic sea grass for aquariums.

 Above, just some of the things I already owned and the print outs of the background scene, using wallpapers found thru google... First, I chose several underwater backgrounds to use. I cut them down to fit the size of the frame, and and because of my draft outline I drew before hand, I had an idea of how I wanted to put the pieces together... Almost like a puzzle if you will.
Second, cut out the pieces you would like to use in the frame, glue them with the mod podge onto the foam board, and brush glue over the cutouts to seal them. Depending on the depth you want, will decide on which layer you are working on... from background, middle, and front or part closest to the glass of the frame. As you complete each layer, you place them on top of each other, but don't glue them down until you are sure that the layer is ready and you like what you see.
 Above, I had to print out two Marina's because the first version has some Japanese characters on her tail and so, I improvised, and cut out from the second Marina photo I found a tail with no characters. In order to replace hair sections and her tail. I tried my best to make the colors match. That part can be hard to do unless you have a program to do that with. I cut her out and placed the sections to cover over and brushed on the mod podge to seal. The background layer was just the blue underwater scene, and I was able to find and cut out Marina's Castle, and placed that in the foreground, no foam board used for this part.

 Third, in layers I placed the next part of the scene, the coral sections, Marina, and I placed them strategically so that it looked as though she was floating between them. I did have to put an extra small piece of foam board behind her to lift her up over the coral beside her.

Lastly, the coral with colorful sea anemone, coral fans, etc. in the front, closest to the glass of the frame. I added the aquarium sea weed grass, and some scrapbook pearl beads to look like bubbles! If I want to add more details I still can. I then, placed the frame over the art and closed the frame. Here's my end results below!!
 Sorry, I didn't take photos in between the works to show each step, but you get the idea! LOL.
It turned out lovely, I've always wanted a scene where a mermaid was swimming thru the corals, towards you as if she was exploring! This will go on my wall, for me to admire. I must admit it can be hard trying to cut with a craft knife the foam for each section. So be sure to have a really sharp blade on hand. This helps reduce the rough look of the foam board.
 I truly enjoyed creating this and I have an extra frame, so I will be working on another to share with you soon! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Have fun!
Thanks for reading! - ggsdolls


  1. Depending on the width of foam core you used, you can glue paper quilling strips to the edges of the foam core to hide some of their foamy insides. The strips come in a lot of different colors and make the edges look very tidy if you wanted to hide them a bit.

    Also, have you seen Soom's new BJD mermaid pre-order?

    1. Hi A,

      Thanks so much for the info. I will look into that^_~ Many hugs, gg