This project is an absolute blast to put together. It involves some thrifting, printing, painting and a fun process of crackling frames. Pop on a killer Halloween playlist and you’re on your way. Not only that, I already have the portraits for you! All you need to do is click, download and PRINT THEM FOR FREE!
I wanted a gallery of portraits that were overwhelmingly spooky. You usually find these plastic cheap moving portraits in stores during Halloween time and there is nothing wrong with them. If you know me by now, I wanted to be extra and get really creative!
Enter an amazing inspiration courtesy of Roger’s Gardens in California. Every year they have an out of this world Halloween display that I look forward to every year. I stumbled upon this photo and I instantly found my new challenge.
Let’s get into this. First, you need to go thrifting and find a ton of frames. I started right after Halloween and spent months gathering frames. If you want to get to the number of frames I or Roger’s Gardens has, then this is a marathon not a sprint. Start today. When you go to look for frames, look for sturdy frames with some sort of detail. You want as many different styles, shapes, and sizes to really create a unique display. Make sure the glass is intact and not in danger of becoming loose or breaking. It’s amazing the frames you can find.
Next let’s get some supplies together:
- Matte black spray paint. I recommend the chalk spray paint.
- Unbleached Titanium Acrylic Paint
- Crackle Medium
- Paint brushes
- Printed Haunted Portraits (CLICK THIS LINK AND PRINT FOR FREE!)
First we need to take the frames apart and carefully separate the glass and backing. Set them aside, but keep together so you know what goes with what frame. I don’t actually clean the glass because I want the weathered and dingy look to the glass. The only time I clean it is if the thrift store price tag won’t come off easily. Then I use some Goof Off and a rag.
Once separated, I spray with a base coat of black. Let it dry completely.
Once they have dried, I am going to add the Crackle Medium to the small oval frame. What this product does is it will give the frame a VERY weathered and aged cracked look. These details may go unnoticed by some, but if you’re like me, you like to go for those small details. Apply a heavy coat to the frame and let it dry completely. When it has dried, take your Unbleached Titanium paint and brush a heavy coat of paint on the frame and watch as the cracks come through.
While that dries, we are going to dry brush the other frame with the Unbleached Titanium paint. Put some paint on a paper plate and dab the paint brush with the paint. Then brush off as much paint as possible. I know it sounds crazy. Then lightly dry brush the frame. Start with an area that can’t really be seen to make sure you got as much off as possible. When you are happy with that, dry brush the whole frame.
SIDE NOTE: I used these colors. Get creative and use other dark colors like browns or grays to create different looks. Reverse these colors! If you find an aged frame, leave it as is and get a picture in there. The idea here is to create a large diverse aesthetic with your haunted portraits.
Now it’s time to download the photos, print them and get them into frames. You may need to resize photos to fit the frame. Use can use these free programs to resize:
I scoured the internet and Photoshopped some portraits that you can DOWNLOAD FOR FREE HERE!
TIP: Instead of nails and screws to hang the pictures, I use 3M Strips for frames. It’s a little pricey but worth it so you don’t damage your walls. With old frames I trust the 3M Strips more than using a nail. I HIGHLY recommend it!
That’s it! Now get out there and make one helluva portrait wall!
Any questions? Please let me know!