Monday, May 2, 2011

Ye Old Wood Frame to Wall Wonders!

Two of my good friends have adorable black and white photo montages in their houses. In my frugality and artistic endeavors, this is my DIY solution...

1. Find wood frames at a thrift shop. I spent around $20 on six frames of varying sizes.

It is importent to gather a variety of frames that have similarities. You can pair frames in WEIGHT, TEXTURE, and SIZE. Two of the sixe are identical, two more are the same wiggly outside frame but in two sizes, and the other two are different all around- one is very heavy and has lots of wood and the other is a huge size frame, for some reason this balences out. Look for frames with cool curvy edges instead of the traditional "frame" swoop.

2. Find location. (maybe step 1 and 2 should be switched, but this worked for me because I couldn't convince my husband of any of the locations I chose, so i jut bought the frames and we chose later.)
This is the computer area of our craft/toy/computer room. Isn't this wall so boring!!

3. Select your photos!! This takes forever I know. Here are my tips.
Have a varity of close up, medium range, and zoomed out.
A variety of, everything in focus and just a few things in focus.
Biggest one- family shot (mostly zoomed out)
The photos left, right, and on top (those closest) should be the opposite, close up and only one thing in focus or one thing to foucs on. I hope that helps! It is actually complicated to get a nice arrangement of photos that don't distract from each other. Go, busy, simple, simple, busy, simple simple.
4. Supplies -
250 grit sand paper
Clean Cloth
Drop Cloth or Plastic Tablecloth
Black Paint
Fine Paintbrush

5. After disassembling your frames, set aside the glass and cardboard backings in a safe place. Then clear out a work area, outside or inside and begin sanding!!
If it is nice, sand outside... my mistake. Even this little bit of wood dust will finely coat everything in the room. Since I hadn't cleaned my craft room in a while, it didn't really matter, it just made me sneeze.
You want to sand off the old finish on the frames. If there is gold painted on the frame, you definatly want to try and sand this down too. This way the paint will adhere properly and you will be able to put on fewer coats of pain. I probably took 45 min to sand my frames and an hour to paint them.

 Left frame has been sanded, right frame is original finish.

6. Lay down a drop cloth, set out all your frames, and find a cheap paint and a good paintbrush.
I used Glidden Black with an Eggshell finish that I purchased from HomeDepot, and a paintbrush with fine bristles (not like the kind you use on your walls, like the kind you use on a canvas or toll painting!) and the brush was probably an inch wide.
 (See I didn't sand my gold paint very well, and the first coat didn't cover it very well.)

 After two coates they are perfect! And if you use a fine bristle brush, you don't even see brush strokes!

You are eventually going to do two coats, and you will coat allll the little edges. Start with the inside corners and the edges closest to the center of the frame. That way you make sure the hard parts are well coated first.
 7. Prepare to make holes in your wall!
Stop putting it off. You ARE going to have to put a hole or two in your walls at some point! DO IT NOW instead of waiting for year and years.

I'm simple, nails and these weird weight bearing nails is all I use.

 8. Hammer hammer hammer!
Start with the main pic, then do the top two. Then the sides. Don't be paranoid about lining everything up, get one or two thing close. For everything else worry about the space between the frames not linning up the tops and bottoms. If all the spaces between the frames are close to equal, all the frames will looke lined up!

Ta DA!!!

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