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Make a Faux Leather Frame (With Paper Bags!)

Learn how to make a paper bag leather frame using Mod Podge and other basic materials. You can use this treatment on walls and even floors!

Skills Required: Beginner. It helps to have experience with decoupage medium and stain, though any wrinkles you may experience just add to the texture of the frame.

Decoupage frame that looks like real leather

So sometimes we get a little girly around here and the Man Podgers have to bring us back to reality with tutorials that are acceptable for dudes. I have four brothers, so I get it.

If you are a dude, or even if you need a more masculine touch to your decor, I think you will appreciate this project from Walter.

Do you REALLY think you can make a decoupage frame look like faux leather? Yes, it can be done . . . with Mod Podge. Take a look for yourself and learn how I made this masculine decoupage picture frame.

I was inspired by a recent trip to Ralph Lauren; there were so many vintage leather props in the shop like mail carrier bags, belts and boots . . .

And thus a idea was born. “I can do that” with Mod Podge!

Brown bag decoupage finish on a frame

Brown Paper Bag Decoupage Frame

Gather These Supplies

Pile of rice paper, a paint brush, and Mod Podge Gloss

I used an old neglected flat frame. I first measured the width of the face of the frame – then I cut pieces of rice paper to fit the first layer of the frame.

For the second layer, you’ll prepare strips of paper bag by tearing with a ruler:

Man's hands tearing a paper bag along a ruler

Decoupage the rice paper onto the frame and let dry.

Crinkled the torn paper bag strips and then uncrinkle (not completely, but mostly). Use the round tip brush to apply the Mod Podge into the crevices and place on top of the decoupaged rice papered frame


Press the paper right on top with your fingers and let dry.

Superfine Japan Colors in Rose Pink

When I studied Furniture Design in college, I used Superfine Japan Colors all the time. The quality and color(s) are very rich and elegant!

Take a plastic cup, fill it with a half a teaspoon of Rose Pink and a 1/4 cup of mineral spirits and stir until the paint is smooth and slightly watery. Use a sponge brush and apply over the decoupaged frame.

The results are out of this world! Some of the irregular patterns from the crinkling absorbed the paint  in an inconsistent pattern (that’s what you want; it gives more  of a rich leather look!).

Brown bag faux leather frame sealed in polycrylic

Superfine Japan Colors dry fast, though I would let it dry for at least a day before sealing with Polycrylic.

Make a decoupage frame that looks like real leather

Look at the gorgeous and masculine rich texture this frame has! I inserted a image from the Graphics Fairy and hung the faux leather frame above my dressing table. I could see this type of frame in Ralph Lauren shops . . . that would be nice, don’t you think?

Did you enjoy this craft idea? Let me know in the comments! I’d also love for you to check out these other posts I think you’ll like!

Julia M

Saturday 28th of September 2013

The finished product looks like smooth squares of paper were placed around the entire frame, not thin torn strips of paper. there's no photo showing the paper applying steps. do you comepletely cover the rice paper with the brown paper, and if so why do you need the rice paper? how does pink paint work to amke a leather look?

Amy Renea

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

Maybe THE best mod podge project I have EVER seen. wow.

Walter Silva

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

Thanks, I am really pleased with the results.

Amy Renea

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

INSANELY cool! I am LOVING this!!! Copy copy copy - pin pin pin!


Monday 6th of May 2013

This turned out so well! If I wanted to do something similar to get an aged parchment look, what color do you suggest I look into? ~M.

Walter Silva

Tuesday 14th of May 2013

SuperFine Japan Colors come in a variety of colors... I would thin the closest color to Parchment with Mineral Spirits and seal frame and then Age it with a slightly darker color or HINT: Shoe polish and then seal.


Monday 6th of May 2013

I love this - I hope you don't mind but I posted a link to it on my blog . . .