Saturday, April 21, 2012


I seem to recall that I promised a few home decor project-sharing posts. It might not be anything novel to some of you, but since I have had this hanging in my home for a few months, I've had friends ask me how I did it. So, here's a little step-by-step to another frame I was unsatisfied with. I don't have the original "before" pictures of the first frames I did, because I didn't anticipate blogging about it. But I'll include the pictures of them to show that you can use this concept with any frame, really.

This was my first effort. It was done with a frame I couldn't seem to part with. My mom had spray-painted this oval frame purple for me when I was in high school. It had a picture of some flowers in it. Through the years (and a time through the dishwasher!) the frame had faded, and I liked it better, but the old flower picture was too grandma-ish for me to actually hang... but I didn't get rid of it. I'm glad I didn't. During our last move, I had an idea to refurbish it. What I did here was invert the frame to hang horizontally and then I fit a 5x7 framed photo I had that I wanted to put in my new lavender room. I took the glass out of the frame and tied the black, empty frame to the purple one, sure to center it by adjusting the length of the string. I wanted to keep with the dated feel of the frame, so I just tied flimsy bows on the four corners. Then I inserted the glass, picture, and back of the inside frame, securing the string tightly.

When I saw how this one turned out, the wheels started turning on how I could use it on other stuff!

So, this one is done with ribbon. The square frame on the outside was again from another picture which used to hang in my kitchen, but I didn't have room for now. So, why not refurbish?! The outside frame I left as-is, and the inside frame I spray painted and then distressed by,um, melting. Yup, probably not traditional, but since it was a plastic frame, I wasn't sure how I could distress it, so I set it on fire. :) I just watched the flame to make sure nothing ignited and squelched the melting when I had enough of the look I was going for. For the frame, same concept - ribbon tied through empty frames, securing them tightly and evenly, then 4x6 frame centered and glass and picture inserted. Simple!

This next one was a bit bigger. I took a frame that housed an 11x14 photo, it seemed way too big for our place, so I down-sized it this way. I of course emptied it, and then took an 8x10 frame which housed our family photo from a couple years ago and strung the string through a few times until I had the look I was going for. This time, I wanted something taut and sleek.   Here I used the same concept, only I strung the string through the corners creating the triangular shapes I wanted and then back through again so I'd have enough string to support the weight of the pictures.  This particular string is much thicker than thread, but not quite as thick as yarn, but again, you can use pretty much any material.  Which leads me to our step-by-step project.

This is the picture I was dissatisfied with.  I spray-painted the old oak black, trying to fit in with the theme of black, white, and red I have in my dining area, but that old-school blue (which was nice once upon a time when my kids had baby rooms!) just clashed.  So, I took an 8x10 frame that would fit inside the 11x14 opening.

 Then I emptied the contents of both frames and measured the large picture to be cut down to size.  I would caution you to be careful if you, like me, decide to do this with your more precious photos.  I ended up scratching the photo during this step.  So if any of you have photo repair secrets, let me know!

The two empty frames fit nicely inside each other, evenly distanced. 

 This material was taken from an old skirt. I wanted something vintage-y and still clean-lined.  I cut four even strips from the hemline (so I didn't have to sew any loose edges!) And I settled on the four point system to secure these, drawing them tightly and securely to hold the frame. I used super glue, but I think that I could have used any bonding method. Then, I inserted the glass, photo, and backing to the inside frame.  I then wanted to fill the back instead of leaving the empty space to see the wall this time.  I got out my staple gun and stapled scraps of material to fill the empty spaces, pulling them very
 tautly to not leave any slack.  I would have preferred to have a large piece of material here, but since I had made throw pillows out of the other scraps of this skirt, I had to make due.  Because it was scrappy, I then decided to cover the back with a full piece of gray fabric to give it a finished look. I cut the fabric to the size of the largest frame and them folded and ironed the edges in order to create a clean back.  This step can be skipped since no one will see the back, and if you use an entire piece of fabric on the previous step, it may be unnecessary.  But for me... a little OCD and a lot persnickety about details, it's a must!

I hope you enjoyed  this and maybe it can even inspire some to just do an update or two before throwing out things they might have had for many years... or maybe just get things out of storage, which I plan to do more of myself!  Happy crafting, friends.