Apple Frame

By  Becca Malone  for  The Dow Chemical Co.

Let someone special know they are the "apple of your eye" by displaying their photo in this apple-shaped frame. Or, craft this frame as an "a-peeling" teacher gift.


  • Dow STYROFOAM Brand Foam Ball: 5”
  • Polyform Premo! Sculpey Oven-Bake Clay: Leaf Green, 2 pkgs.; 1 pkg. each: Cadmium Yellow, Burnt Umber
  • White paper, 5"x36"
  • Wooden twig, 1-1/2" long
  • Craft wire, 18-gauge, 4" length
  • Photos


  • Lightweight spackling
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paints: Opaque Red, Chocolate Cherry
  • Brown antiquing gel
  • Interior gloss varnish
  • Real leaves with vein lines
  • Clay-dedicated pasta machine
  • Acrylic brayer
  • Palette knife
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Cooking spray or baby oil
  • Dark brown ink or tea (optional)
  • API Crafter's Pick The Ultimate! Craft Glue

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, ruler, pencil, craft knife, serrated knife, bar of soap or candle, sanding block, sandpaper, paintbrush, scrap paper, paper towels, wax paper (to cover work surface)
  • 1. Carve foam ball into apple shape. Flatten bottom slightly and carve small cone into top for stem. Use sanding block or scrap of foam to shape apple.
  • 2. Rub serrated knife on bar of soap or candle. Saw apple in half with serrated knife; sand edges smooth. Apply two coats spackling to apple with palette knife, letting dry between coats. Sand surface until smooth; wipe away dust with damp paper towel.
  • 3. Basecoat apple Opaque Red; shade peel Chocolate Cherry. Apply antiquing gel; let dry. Apply varnish; let dry.
  • 4. Working on wax paper, condition each package of clay separately by running clay through pasta machine several times on widest setting until clay is pliable. Mix all clays together to create medium green shade. Roll clay through machine at widest setting. Coat real leaves with cooking spray or baby oil; place on clay and run through machine at next setting. "Tear" away excess clay around leaves; smooth edges. Make ten leaves.
  • 5. Roll 1/2"-thick clay snake into ring to fit around apple base; place ring around apple and adjust to fit. Follow manufacturer's instructions to bake ring. To maintain shape, bake ring on drinking glass or coffee cup.
  • 6. Press leaves onto ring, turning up every other one. (Note: Upturned leaves will need to be supported while baking.) Insert wire into one single leaf, leaving 2" stem. Remove real leaves from clay leaves and bake according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • 7. Apply antiquing gel to leaf ring; let dry. Apply varnish; let dry. Adhere single leaf and stem to one apple half.
  • 8. For page pattern, trace apple half onto scrap paper. Reduce pattern by 1/4" all around. Accordion-fold paper so each page is 1/4" narrower than width of pattern. Cut folded paper into apple shape. Tea stain, stamp, collage, or decorate white paper as desired. Adhere one end to each apple half.
  • 9. Adhere photos to pages as desired.