My girls and I tend to craft with scrapbook paper often enough that I buy it when it’s on sale, but not often enough that I tend to use up all the paper that I’ve bought. Coincidentally, I also love photography, long to display my photos more around the house, and loathe store-bought photo frames–it just seems like I’ve sold, donated, given away, or thrown out enough photo frames over my lifetime for various reasons, you know?
Here’s another stash-busting project that I’ve been working hard on this week: covering recycled cardboard with pretty stash scrapbooking paper to use as wall photo frames around the house. The benefits of these photo frames are that they’re cheap, light and easy to mount without a lot of hardware, amenable to a plethora of modifications that will allow you to match your room or express your personality, and quick to make, letting you get as quickly as possible to the point of the project: getting your beautiful artwork out there on your walls.
You will need:
- pretty stash scrapbook paper (or wrapping paper, comic books, vintage book paper, or pretty fabric–basically anything that’s stash and that would look lovely as a backdrop to your photo)
- a piece of cardboard at least as large as your scrapbook paper
- spray mount
- a laminated photo (or a piece of artwork, a comic strip, a newspaper article, an Artist Trading Card, etc.)
- appropriate adhesive to attach your photo to your frame (use double-sided scrapbook tape if you want the adhesive to be invisible, or something pretty if you don’t mind it showing)
- box cutter for the cardboard and scissors for the paper
- twine to hang the photo frame (or pretty ribbon, shoelace, beaded necklace, etc.)
NOTE: I print most of my photos at home, because I use them for a wide variety of purposes. My photo paper doesn’t hold its color well if it’s exposed to air, and I tend to mix and match my photos and move the same one from a wall frame to a children’s game to a scrapbook to a collage component, so I also want them to be sturdy, able to handle wear and last for a lifetime. For that reason, I tend to laminate many of my photos. Laminate material is absolutely NOT environmentally friendly, but since it keeps me from using the ink and the paper and the electricity to print a dozen copies of one photo when just one laminated photo would do, it fits in with my own family’s green crafting manifesto. You’ll have to decide if it fits your own based on your own priorities.
1. Following the directions on your can of spray mount, adhere your scrapbook paper, pretty side out, to your cardboard. Trim off the excess cardboard if necessary.
2. Turn your cardboard over so that the cardboard side is up and the scrapbook paper side is down, and draw as imaginative a photo frame as you’d like. Your only consideration is to leave room for your photo. For this particular project, I’m creating a frame for a photo that my four-year-old daughter took of me holding a caterpillar. On the backside of the cardboard, therefore, I’ve asked her to draw a very large butterfly.
3. On top of an appropriate cutting surface, carefully cut out your photo frame with your VERY sharp box cutter. Be careful! Don’t be afraid to go over the same line with the cutter several times to cut all the way through–the less pressure you apply to the cutter, the less likely it is that you’ll make a mistake.
4. Turn the frame back over so that the pretty scrapbook paper side is out, and adhere your photo to it wherever you’d like. If you’d like to use your frame over and over with different photos, consider putting a piece of hook-and-loop tape on the frame and the photo–to change photos, you’d simply have to put a new piece of hook-and-loop tape on your new photo to go with the one on your frame.
5. Using the sharp point of your scissors, poke a very small hole through the photo frame wherever you’d like your twine to be. You may want a loop at one point of your frame, or you may want to tie your twine between two points on your frame. If you think you may want to switch photo frames often on a certain spot on your wall, you can also use hook-and-loop tape in the same way here.
And thus begins my living room photo gallery…