Frame Headboard Project

24 08 2016

DIY Framed canvas headboard

This week we are mixing it up a little for DIY With A.I. Friedman to show off one of our Custom Framing employee’s own DIY home projects!  Heather teaches a weekly painting class on Mondays at the Port Chester store. She used her painting skills and ingenuity to make a very unique headboard for herself!Bracketing the frames to the crown molding

Everything she used to make the project:

This project looks amazing but is actually very simple to do on your own! After painting the canvases Heather placed them inside the frames, then she just bracketed the frames to each other.  And finally, she bracketed the crown molding and side rails to the frames to build the headboard.

This is such an original way for to display art as a part of your home decor!  We also love the idea of using ready made frames as building materials. Thanks for the awesome idea, Heather!

DIY headboard made from canvas, frames and crown molding



Paintings by Peter Jerry

23 08 2016


Bahamas Boat Painting by Peter JerryThis September we are excited to be welcoming local artist, Peter Jerry, into the A.I. Friedman Gallery! Peter Jerry grew up in NYC and attended the High School of Music and Art as well as Pratt Institute.  He earned his Masters of Art Education from NYU.

Peter is obsessed with the rapidly disappearing machinery of the early industrial age, particularly the age of steam.  The subjects of his oil paintings draw inspiration form the 17th through 20th centuries.  He enjoys exploring the coasts of the United States, painting harbors and the commercial shipping process.  His paintings focus on industrial and maritime culture.

The photorealism and attention to detail really draw us into his work.  You can see a love of the subject matter with every delicately painted rigging line.

Tugs at Portsmouth by Peter Jerry

The paintings will be up in the gallery for the entire month of September but we will have an Opening Reception on September 10th from 1-3pm!  You can see this incredibly detailed work in person and you can meet the artist. Check out more of our upcoming events on the Event Calendar.

Mason Jar Apple Pencil Holder Teacher’s Gift

17 08 2016

Mason Jar Apple Pencil Holder Back to School Teacher's Gift

I know it’s going to send some of you running and screaming, but there is no denying it, it’s time to go back to school.  I’m going to try to help you out and check one of the million things you need to do off your list; teacher’s gifts.  It can be hard to come up with a thoughtful gift that a teacher will actually like year after year. Teachers always need extra pencils (students have a tendency to pocket them), then tie a little bonus gift card to this apple and your student’s new teacher will be very appreciative!

What You Need:Materials Needed for Apple Mason Jar Craft

  • Round short mason jar
  • Red paint (Americana Multi-Surface Satin: Dark Scarlet)
  • Green paint (American Multi-Surface Satin: Turf Green)
  • Green felt
  • Green string
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Fresh pencils to go inside
  • Time: 30-45 minutes

After gathering all you materials, go ahead and start painting! Paint the bottom glass part of your mason jar with the red.


Since the mason jar is clear, it will take you 2-3 coats to get good coverage so no light peeks through.  Below is a picture at 1 coat, see how all those patches are visible?  A couple extra coats fixes this problem.

Painting a mason jar

Next up is the lid,  mason jar lids are two parts, a disc and a ring.  You only need to paint the ring.  We don’t use the disc in this project, so save it for later or get rid of it.

Mason Jar Lid Parts

Grab the green paint and paint that ring.  You can skip the inside part of the ring, it won’t be visible.

Painting the top of the mason jar apple pencil holder

While your paint is drying, cut out a couple of leaf shapes from your felt. Poke a hole at the bottom of them either with your scissors or a sewing needle and string them on the green string.  Once everything is totally dry, tie your leaves around the lid of your jar.


Now all you need to do is screw the lid to the base, stick your pencils in and you are totally done!  It’s perfect for back to school, Teacher Appreciation Day, Christmas or end of the year teacher gifts.  We would love to see any apples you make, use #DIYwithAIF and share them on social media.  Happy crafting!

Mason Jar Apple Pencil Holder Back to School Teacher's Gift

Westchester Children’s Museum at A.I. Friedman Gallery

11 08 2016

The Westchester Children's Museum

This August we are combining two of our favorite monthly events into one extra fun event!  We will be showing off work from our First Saturday Art Workshops at the Westchester Children’s Museum in the A.I. Friedman Gallery this month!

The exhibit will feature photographs from our events as well as creations by the young artists!  We love working with the kids to make unique works of art each month and are so excited to share them with visitors to the store.

Fun glitter project!

There will be an opening reception for the gallery exhibit on Saturday August 13th from 1pm to 3pm. Museum staff members will be on hand to help you plan your next visit to the museum.  You can see some great works of child creativity and learn about a fantastic new community museum all at once.

Clothespin Watermelon Wreath

9 08 2016

Clothespin Watermelon Wreath

Wreaths are a great way to add a festive touch to your home all year round!  This watermelon is a fun summer wreath that is very easy to make yourself.

Materials needed for Clothespin Watermelon WreathMaterials Needed:

  • About 70 clothespins
  • 12 inch metal wreath ring
  • Craft Paint (DecoArt Americana Multi-Surface Satin)
    • Pink (Flamingo)
    • Dark Green (Turf Green)
    • Light Green (Melonball)
    • Black (Black Tie)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Small Paint Brush

Like I said before, this project is very easy to make but, it is a little time consuming because you have to individually paint all the clothespins.  It’s a great weekend project to break up into little chunks of painting at a time!  To get started, take apart your clothespins.

How to take apart a clothespin

It’s easy, you just need to twist the two wooden parts away from each other so they come out of the spring. Do this to all of your clothespins. Don’t lose your springs, put them in a baggy or something for later!

Separated clothespins

It’s time to grab your pink paint.  On every single wooden clothespin piece paint up to the last groove on the inside (the part that touches the spring).

Pink painted clothespin

I decided to paint to this point on the clothespin because it’s about half but there is no need to measure because of the handy dandy grooves.  You are going to paint both the inside and outside of this half!

Other side of the pink clothespin

Let your pink paint dry to the touch, then go ahead and paint the other half of the wood with your dark green paint.

Looking more like a watermelon now!

Let that dry, then grab your small paintbrush, black paint, and light green paint.  On the outside of the clothespin (the flatter side) paint a little teardrop shape with black on the very tip.  This is going to be a seed.  Then grab your light green and paint a thick band where the dark green meets the pink.  Then just do a few light green lines on the dark green to give the watermelon some detail.  I did these lines randomly on all the pieces, it’s better if they aren’t uniform.  You only need to do the seed and light green lines on half of your wood pieces!

All finished painting!

Let these get totally dry because the next step is putting all of the clothespins back together.  You will be putting one wood piece with the seed and detail lines with another piece that just has the pink and green.  You will probably want to practice with an extra unpainted clothespin, because it’s a little tricky at first to get them back together. I read this blog, Lady and the Carpenter, to help figure out the trick of getting them back together.  It also has a helpful video.

Completed watermelon clothespins

Now is the fun part, putting the wreath together!  You are going to start by clipping a clothespin on the innermost two rungs on the wreath, then clip the next one on the middle two rungs.  Continue alternating like this until you have gone all the way around the wreath.

How to put on your clothespins

Now you are all done! How cute is your new summer wreath?  The cool thing about clothespin wreaths is that you can change them seasonally!  So when summer is over you can just take off your watermelon clothespins to save for next year and put on some Fall themed clothespins. I’d love to hear suggestions for some other clothespin wreath themes in the comments.  Don’t forget to tag projects you make with #DIYwithAIF, Happy crafting!

Watermelon clothespin wreath

100 Suns at Westchester Children’s Museum

2 08 2016


Westchester Children's Museum

We love working with our friends over at the Westchester Children’s Museum. We present a craft project over there on the first Saturday of every month, but this Saturday’s craft activity is extra special because we are celebrating the first 100 days of the museum being open!

Keva Planks Construction Zone

Keva Planks Construction Zone

We are going to make 100 suns using stencil collage to celebrate this milestone. The craft is included in the price of admission to the museum, so your kids can see the whole museum and make a fun project.

If you haven’t been to the museum yet, it is really a great time!  We love the Build Your Own Rollercoaster exhibit and Keva Planks Construction Zone (we liked the Keva Planks so much that we even carry them in the store now)!

We will be at the museum with our sun craft from 11am to 3pm, this Saturday August 6th.  Also, later in the month A.I. Friedman Gallery will be showing work made by children during our art workshops!  Keep your eye on our event calendar for more future events with the Westchester Children’s Museum.

100 Suns with A.I. Friedman


DIY Marriage Advice Mailbox

27 07 2016

DIY Marriage Advice Mailbox

It’s that time of year again, wedding season. DIY weddings have become a huge trend, but sometimes just planning the wedding takes up too much time to add in extra DIY elements!  This mailbox is a really cute and quick DIY project, that will hopefully give you great advice for years to come. The idea of this mailbox is to set it up on a table at your engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or even wedding reception. Leave it open and provide guests with cards and pens, then they can write their own advice to the new couple! You don’t need that much to make it:Supplies needed for DIY Marriage Advice Mailbox

  • Blank Mailbox
  • Stickers (Thickers, from American Crafts)
  • Paper (I used scrapbook paper)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Baker’s Twine
  • Optional: Sewing Needle
  • Time: 15 Minutes



You really only need a small scrap of paper to make the little banner, so if you are the kind of person who keeps leftovers, it’s time to dive into that scrap bin.  Same thing with the baker’s twine, it could just be any piece of string but I thought the “barber pole” look of the baker’s twine was extra cute. The stickers I used are Thickers by American Crafts, they are perfect for this kind of project because they have depth to them, stick really well to unusual surfaces (like tin mailboxes!), and come in several different styles.

Let’s get started! Lay your ruler across the non-flag side of your mailbox. It’s going to be a guide to place your stickers evenly and in a straight line!


I started my “Marriage” pretty close to the edge of the mailbox because I wanted to make sure the lid had plenty of room to close. After you are done with the word, “Marriage” scoot your ruler down to be a guide for “Advice.” I thought the words looked better alined to the right, so that is how I did mine.


Now we are going to make the mini banner for extra decoration. Grab your scissors and paper. My paper is scrapbooking paper but you could also go for a different look with newsprint, or even photos of the happy couple! Cut a small triangle out of the paper. My triangle is around 1 and 1/16th inches at the bottom.

Paper triangle for mini banner

Cut out about 7-9 of these triangles, then use a hole punch to punch holes in the bottom two corners.

Make holes in your triangles

Now you need to string your baker’s twine through the holes in the triangles. I am using a 1/16th hole punch (really tiny) so I ended up using a sewing needle to thread my twine through. If you use a larger hole punch, you can probably thread with your fingers.


Make sure you thread the twine up through the back, then down through the front. Do this the same way on every triangle so your banner looks nice and even.

Mini paper banner

Tie little bows at the end of your twine, then attach your banner by putting a dot of hot glue underneath each of the outermost triangles.

Attach the banner with hot glue

Step back, and admire your work, you are already done!  See, I told you, even the busiest bride would have time to make this. Guests will have a fun time coming up with advice and hopefully, the bride and groom find some of it useful! This idea could easily be modified to be a card box for a bridal shower or reception as well. If you make your own mailbox, share it on social media with #DIYwithAIF, we would love to see what you come up with. Get creative and happy crafting!

Finished Marriage Advice Mailbox


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