This really is a super simple DIY art project, but the secret is in the supplies:
- Agate slices (these seem to be a similar colour)
- Square matted frames (mine are 5"x5" Wood Gallery Single Opening Frames from Pottery Barn)
- Gel Epoxy (designed for slippery surfaces like stone)
- Glue stick
- White cardstock paper and cardboard
For this project I found a really fabulous frame that makes the whole project look professional. What makes these Pottery Barn frames special is the quality, particularly on the corners. So many other frames have a messy miter, while these are completely seamless.
Wood Gallery Single Opening Frames, 5 x 5”, Modern White - $25 eachAvailable at: Pottery Barn, 855-860-1079, www.potterybarn.com
You know I am a fan of LePage Gel Epoxy and have used it for a whole host of projects, including my agate necklaces and tile trivets. This time we bought one specifically designed for glass, ceramic and stone. Ask your local hardware store folks for their recommendation for the best epoxy or glue to affix agate slices if you can't find this:
The How to Make Agate Art:
First I created a backing for the agate by gluing two sheets of white cardstock paper together and then to the cardboard backing that came with the frames. I kept the glue to the area behind the matting, in case it crinkled or stained the paper. I added some packing tape to be doubly sure, but I think this was a touch neurotic. It's tricky to photograph, but you can see the backing here:
You could also just use something like foam core, and skip this step!
Next I held up the agate slices to a light source to figure out where to apply the epoxy. Although it dries clear I wanted to be sure no gobs of glue would be seen through the less opaque sections of the agate.
I mixed together the two-part epoxy and applied it with a wooden skewer (a toothpick works too) to the most opaque sections of the stone, keeping away from the edge to avoid squishing epoxy out the sides.
I eyeballed the center of each matting and gently pressed the agate in place, wiggling it a little.
I very patiently waited a whole 48 hours before hanging the agate slices over the new dining room cabinet. I want to keep the surface of the cabinet clear, for use during dinner, but it needed something . . . the quirky placement of the agate slices below the pass through, and at eye level when folks are sitting, means they can be admired during dinner and they also add some character (and purpose) to the new furniture, creating a sweet little vignette and making everything seem more thoughtful and intentional.
I absolutely low how they turned out - and they remind me of Lake Superior. Over the years, with the additions of the new dining room painting, framed enamel art, mid-century cabinet, Shane Norrie pottery and now the framed agate slices, the dining room has become such a fun and lively space. Happy sigh.
Disclosure. The four frames for this project are courtesy of Pottery Barn, but I wasn't asked or encouraged to write a favorable review. I'm actually thinking of ordering another set of four to replace my framed enamel artwork and elevate that sentimental art. Here are the different sizes they offer: