new ribbon old frame fireplace leland brewsaugh art
Crafts,  decorating

Add New Ribbon on an Old Picture Frame

I recently saved an old picture frame by adding new ribbon to it. It was one of those highly satisfying, but unexpectedly annoying projects.

By that I mean my expectation was this craft project would take five minutes.

In reality, the train veered off the track on this project, went down an embankment, and an hour later the train was dented and crushed, but I saved the cargo and called the project good.

Gee. Dramatic much?

new ribbon old frame fireplace leland brewsaugh art

I realize sharing my experience in this way might dissuade instead of motivate you to try to add new ribbon on an old picture frame.

That’s not my intent.

My intent is to encourage you to set more realistic expectations for a project than I do.

Case in point: I am forever convinced that I’m actually going to make one of those “30 minute meals” in 30 minutes, but I never do.

See? Realistic expectations are not my thing.

But if I was a cookbook author and had someone prep all the ingredients beforehand and my kids didn’t interrupt me 5 gazillion times, I could totally do it!

My intent is also to encourage you to look for the beauty and potential in something that others have passed over for whatever reason.

Despite the comedy of errors that encompasses most of my projects, usually the outcome is totally worth the drama. If it isn’t, I tell you. Or I turn it into a “what not to do” blog post. I’m much better at those than the “how to” blog posts.

What can I say? It’s my gift to the world.

Back to the project at hand.

Don’t overlook thrift store art because the ribbon on the frame is damaged or dirty.

That can be replaced!

My daughter found a bird print for $1.00 at the thrift store. It was probably in the dollar bin because the ribbon on the frame had sustained water damage. While dirty, everything else about the art was in good shape.

new ribbon old frame fireplace leland brewsaugh art

My original vision was to replace the ribbon with a forest green velvet ribbon. Wouldn’t that have been gorgeous?

I went to Hobby Lobby and Michael’s looking for such ribbon with no luck. There wasn’t any in the Christmas section either. It was the ONE time I wasn’t annoyed to see Christmas stuff gracing store shelves in August. However, as soon as I didn’t find what I was looking for I was back to being annoyed.

Instead of velvet ribbon (and if I ever see some in the size I want I’m snatching it up) I opted for a more neutral ribbon with a bunch of texture.

The old ribbon on the frame was actually a paper-y type of ribbon. So when I removed it I was not only left with glue, but also paper residue. It was SUPER FUN to get off. That’s where this project went off the rails. There was also some gold paint flaking off that I didn’t notice at first. Again, SUPER FUN.

I could have left the ribbon on since it was so thin, but it was just a smidge wider than the new ribbon, so it had to go.

new ribbon old frame fireplace leland brewsaugh art

I tried a variety of things to get the glue off such as soap and water and Goo Gone.

I probably should have tried to heat it with my hair dryer, but that’s hindsight for you.

Wallpaper remover worked the best.

After the frame was all cleaned up, I briefly considered leaving it as is. It would have looked fine. But I already had one foot off the diving board, I might as well finish the belly flop jump.

new ribbon old frame fireplace leland brewsaugh art

I cut the ribbon to size and glued it on to the old picture frame with Mod Podge in a matte finish. Clamping the ribbon down while it dried was a little tricky due to the frame’s profile.

In truth, I just stood there for awhile holding the ribbon with my fingers while I contemplated a better method and which 30 Minute Meal I should attempt to make for dinner.

Eventually, I used the items closest at hand to clamp the ribbon in place. I was in the kitchen, so those items were a cutting board and a frying pan. MacGyver would have been so proud.

The ribbon detail, while not necessary, definitely elevates this frame to a more custom level. The thrift store could get more than a buck for this art now, don’t you think?

Uh…maybe don’t answer that.

new ribbon old frame fireplace leland brewsaugh art

Now, I don’t decorate in a bubble. My daughter picked out this artwork and the important part of this story is she’s happy with how it turned out.

Although, she was content with the art and frame before I “fixed” it, so she’s an easy customer to please. As further proof of her easy-going nature, the art hasn’t even made it up to her room yet!

May all your decorating projects go smoother than mine, but all your customers be as easy to please as mine.

About the Artist

You can’t walk away today without learning a little something about the artist that painted this bird artwork.

Leland Brewsaugh (1935 – 2003) was an American wildlife artist. Among other things, he is known for his wood carvings and paintings of birds from the American Southeast. Prior to becoming a full-time independent artist, Leland had jobs as a newspaper illustrator and as a model builder for a military contractor. One of Leland’s full-size eagle carvings was a gift to The White House and is now in the possession of The Smithsonian.

If you’d like to learn more about his work or buy prints, please visit this website.

I couldn’t find my print for sale anywhere, but more work from Leland Brewsaugh is available by various sellers on eBay and Etsy.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and that maybe it will encourage you to give that art in the dollar bin a second look. Here are some past blog posts that deserve a second look too. (Man, I tied this one up with a bow, didn’t I?)

DIY Horse Head Art (So Easy a Kid Could Do It)

Frame Art With Scrap Leather Instead of Using a Mat

Vintage Handkerchief Art


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