In our family Father’s Day is sometimes overlooked, lost in the hustle and bustle of summer vacations, family reunions, and other events. Determined not to let this happen I scoured the web last month for gift ideas my grandsons could make for their poppa, and uncles. There were many great ideas out there, I even wrote a post, 12 Really Cool Father’s Day Crafts – FREE Printables, highlighting my favorites.
I showed the different ideas to my grandsons, Dion and Devon, they both loved the comic book decoupage frames and boxes. Devon especially loved the frames and wanted to put his picture wearing his Captain America costume in them. Definitely right up his alley! Dion decided he’d make the boxes and fill them with candy, he knows how much his dad and uncles like candy. He’s filling his poppa’s box with coffee K-cups, his poppa’s a big coffee drinker.
These ideas came from Crafts by Amanda, aside from the frames and boxes she also makes comic strip magnets. She uses comic book pages from comic books she was lucky enough to find at a garage sale for a quarter. We weren’t so lucky, we didn’t have any old comic books laying around and I didn’t want to hit the garage sales in search of any. Instead I found some free images of comic strips online (there are many, just do a google search for “free comic strip images”) and printed them to use for our craft projects, they worked just fine.
I found the unfinished frames at the Walmart craft department, they cost $1.11 a frame. The paper mache boxes came from our local craft store and were $4.39 each for the large oval ones. The boxes come in many shapes and sizes and ranged in price from $1.99 on up. Mod Podge can be purchased at Walmart’s craft department and most other craft stores. We used small sponge brushes that we got from Home Depot for .54 cents each, they have them at Walmart in the craft and paint departments as well. This whole project ( 4 frames & 4 boxes) cost me less than $30 and I still have lots of Mod Podge glue and sealer left for future projects. So the average cost for each frame and each box is about $3.75. A great deal!
We pretty much followed the directions found on her site but added extra coats of Mod Podge glue (affiliate link)and a coat of Mod Podge gloss sealer (affiliate link). Thanks to Crafts by Amanda we came up with super Father’s Day gifts that didn’t cost much and were very easy to make. The boys made 4 frames and 4 boxes in a couple of hours, that’s including drying time between coats! (The boys went out to play while they waited for the glue to dry, they are very good multi-taskers!)
I found that working with comic strip pages is very forgiving, the print is so busy you don’t really notice flaws such as wrinkles and seams. A great craft for kids who aren’t always patient about gluing things together!
*Clicking on affiliate links will take you to our Amazon affiliate.
Here are instructions for the frames and boxes!
Supplies for frame:
Comic Books or printed comic strip images – if you are going to print them be sure to adjust the size on the printer so that the image will fill the page otherwise you may end up with a tiny image surrounded by white paper.
Mod Podge Original Glue – Matte finish
Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer – Matte Finish
Small sponge brushes
Newspaper or drop cloth to cover work surfaces
1. Position the frame on top of the comic strip page as best as you can so that you can have the images you want on the frame. The boys tried to get as much of the super hero’s image on the frame as possible by shifting the wood frame around until they were satisfied that they weren’t cutting off “vital” parts. Trace frame onto comic strip page with pencil. To get the desired images you may have to trace two “C” shaped strips and connecting them when you position them on the wood frame. We didn’t need to so we just traced the whole frame and the inside part as well. Remember the rectangle you cut out of the middle won’t be placed on the wood frame. We saved those pieces for later should we decide to make them into magnets or other craft.
2. Cut out the traced shape being careful to cut the middle opening out without cutting into the surrounding piece. Should you nip a bit of the outer piece don’t worry too much about it. You don’t need to start all over, just glue it securely in place later on, you’ll probably hardly notice it.
3. Brush a light coat of glue on the wood frame and on the backside of the strip or strips you will be using. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
4. Carefully position the comic strips onto the glue coated wood frame (place the side of the comic strip you brushed glue on to the frame – both glue coated surfaces should be together). The strip should lightly adhere to the wood.
5. Working from the middle of the frame out, gently lift off the comic strip section by section and press onto the frame to work out bubbles and wrinkles. You may have to dab on a bit more glue so that the strip sticks to the wood well.
6. When you’re satisfied with the placement and have made sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles brush on a coat of glue over the entire surface. You don’t have to soak the paper, just be sure you get the glue brushed on evenly on the whole frame. Allow to dry 10 -15 mins, or until it’s no longer sticky. We had a fan on so it didn’t take our glue to dry, it dried in about 5 minutes.
7. Once the glue is dry check the frame, you may have to trim off excess paper at this point.
8. Brush on 3 – 4 more coats of glue, allowing glue to dry between each coat. About 10 – 15 minutes drying time between coats.
9. After your last coat of glue allow the frame to dry for an hour.
10. Spray on acrylic finish. This is a job for adults to do outdoors or in a well ventilated area. If you’re sensitive to chemicals wear a mask when applying the acrylic finish, it has a very strong smell and can’t be healthy. Allow to dry at least an hour before inserting your photo. We let ours dry overnight.
Supplies for box:
Paper Mache Box – any shape or size
Small sponge brushes
Newspaper or drop cloth to cover work surfaces
Spray paint (optional – in your choice of color)
1. If you want to spray paint your box before applying the comic strip you can spray paint it in what ever color you want. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding to glue on comic strips. We didn’t paint ours.
2. Position the lid on the comic strip page, try to include the images you want to apply to the lid. Trace the shape of the lid on the page.
3. Cut out the traced shape.
4. Cut out 2 strips of the page in the width you desire – you can cut them as wide ad the sides of the box or slimmer so that you will have plain edges on the top and bottom.
5. Brush glue on the box lid, sides of the box, and on the backside of your comic strips. Allow to dry 5 minutes.
6. Position the comic strips to on the lid and sides of the box.
7. Working from the middle, gently lift off the paper and work out bubbles and wrinkles as you press it on to the box.
8. When you’re satisfied with the placement and are sure you’ve worked out all bubbles and wrinkles brush on a coat of glue on the comic strips. Don’t soak the paper, just be sure the glue is spread evenly. Allow to dry 10 – 15 minutes.
9. Once the glue is dry check all sides of the box and lid. You may have to trim away excess paper so that the comic strip is even with the lid and box.
10. Brush on 3 – 4 more coats of glue, allowing glue to dry between each coat. About 10 – 15 minutes drying time between coats.
11. After your last coat of glue allow the frame to dry for an hour.
12. Spray on acrylic finish. This is a job for adults to do outdoors or in a well ventilated area. If you’re sensitive to chemicals wear a mask when applying the acrylic finish, it has a very strong smell and can’t be healthy. Allow to dry at least an hour before inserting your photo. We let ours dry overnight.
Fill box with what ever you want or nothing at all, the boxes make great storage for cufflinks, coins, and other small stuff.