Mending Plates Triptych
Tonia Davenport demonstrates her process for assembling her mending plates triptych.
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15. Cut the first strip (bottom) into nine 1/2-inch squares, using a straight edge ruler, craft knife and self-healing cutting mat.
- Dip the four sides of each square into the brown inkpad — keep the squares in order.
- Cut eight foam dots into quarters.
- Beginning with the left end square, glue it to the bottom left corner of a 3-1/2" x 4-1/2" piece of black card stock.
- Adhere the next piece to the right, by raising it up on a foam dot quarter with craft glue.
16. Continue alternating all of the squares (with glue), with every other one flat and every other one raised, until the entire photo has a checkerboard effect.
17. Repeat process for the other photos.
18. Score the four sides of the back of the black mat board; 1/2 inch from each edge using a straight edge ruler, craft knife and self-healing cutting mat. In the four corners, cut the board all the way through to remove the corners.
19. Fold the four sides of the board up to form a box and tape to secure.
20. Begin laying out the mending plates on the top of the painted frame.
- Set a 3-1/8" x 7" plate horizontally at each of the two top corners, so that some of the plate extends into the interior space of the frame.
- Set a 1-13/16" x 5" plate vertically below each or the first two plates, with the outside edges lined up with the outside edges of the frame. (Each should overhang the wood by about 1/16 inch on the inside.)
- Set the other two 3-1/8" x 7" plates horizontally below the last plates, so that the tops of the plates are just slightly above the interior edge of the bottom rail of the frame, and about half of each plate overhangs the bottom of the frame.
- Set the two 12-inch plates vertically against the four corner plates and adjust height as desired.
- Center the final two 1-13/16" x 5" plates between the last two 12-inch plates.
21. When the plates are positioned exactly as desired, secure them to the wood, using an awl to start a hole, and the screw and screw driver. Drill holes in rusty metal shapes and secure with a screw or a decorative brad.
22. Set the frame over the finished mat board box. Use the openings as a guide to adhere the photos to the box with a combination of double-sided tape and glue. Remove the frame from the box. On the inside of the box (in a horizontal position), glue the two black 6-3/8 inch strips vertically, 6 inches in from each end, using craft glue.
23. Cut strips of screen to decorate the bottom of each photo. "Rough up" each screen piece a bit to distress and fray. Make three holes along the bottom of each picture with an awl to secure the screen to the board with black decorative brads. Embellish the center piece with a rusty shape and a small strip of aluminum sheet secured with bronze brads.
25. Set the triptych frame over the Plexiglas box and invert.
26. Nail 8-1/2" x 20" mat board backing to the back of the mending plates triptych frame to secure the box and glass. Add strap hangers on either side, one third of the way down to finish. Polish frame front with metal polish if desired.
Before becoming a book editor for a Cincinnati publishing house, Tonia Davenport worked as a professional picture framer for 10 years. She believes that framing should be as much fun as making the art. And she should know; she does a lot of artwork too, most of which she gives away to lucky friends and family.
Terri Nikolis of Dallas turned an artistic ability into beautiful frames for furnishings.