DIY Projects – Tips and Ideas using Picture Frames
Do it yourself projects are a huge trend right now. They’re a great way to bring out your creative side, manage stress, or decorate on a budget. I look at a picture frame and think the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds of styles and sizes that can be transformed into exciting DIY projects! We’ll start small and work our way larger.
Let’s take a 4×6 frame and place a photo in it. It might seem obvious, but this could make a great gift for grandparents or other family members. You could also use that same frame and place a gift card inside – now there is a great gift idea! Using a picture frame instead of a greeting card is not only more exciting and unexpected, but many frames are more affordable than the average greeting card. They can also reuse the frame themselves.
Frames make for great wall decor just by adding printed craft paper or chalk board material. Check out this photo below of one of our customers who decorates the outside of our frames and sells them on Etsy! Our Decorate-It frame series is perfect for this kind of project. These unfinished frames are great for your DIY project like painting or collage.
Another favorite is the versatility of Frame USA’s natural Barnwood frames. This series has a great rustic look and can be filled with any style of photo, or decorated with paint or collage. We have even turned them into serving trays that can be customized by simply adding a seasonal paper or family photo.
Last year the employees at Frame USA had the opportunity to make a project from their favorite frame. Each project was unique, creative, and awesome! We are always adding new mouldings to our frame lines. The possibility of new ideas for creative DIY projects is endless! Get creative and send us your photos of any projects you use our frames for on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! We love seeing how creative our customers are!
October is here. Pumpkins, warm apple cider, a chill in the air and falling leaves. Lots and lots of falling or fallen leaves. When the foliage turns color and begins to drop from branches, it might be fun to preserve some of the more beautiful specimens you can find. There are hundreds of crafts that can be done using autumn foliage that are great for kids and adults, but we will just talk about two very simple ones that you can do using picture frames from Frame USA.
Before you get to the frames however, you have to get some leaves. The first week of October is prime foliage collection time. Everything has had a chance to change to those beautiful red, yellow and orange hues and have hit the ground but are still supple and haven’t really started to dry out and turn brown and crumbly. Try and get as many different types and colors of leaves as you can, large and small. A variety of shapes to choose from will make your crafts more interesting. Plus, it’s just nice to be out in the crisp autumn air. When you get them home, if you’re not going to use them right away, be sure to store them in a cool, dark place. It wouldn’t hurt to put them in seal-able, airtight plastic bags either.
Once you have a good selection of leaves, you can start the first project; framing fall foliage as a picture. There are a lot of ways you can arrange your leaves, but the two that are easiest is to frame one large leaf by itself, or create a collage of different leaves, almost a mosaic. The first thing you’ll want to do, either way, is to preserve your leaves a little. I suggest starting out by drying them. You can do this very easily by putting them between two pieces of wax paper and then closing them in a large book overnight. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to spray your leaves with a UV resistant acrylic sealer. This will help keep their colors from fading over time. You’ll want to do one side, then when that dries, flip them over and do the other. These are both spray-heavy projects actually, because I also suggest using spray adhesive (for this first project) and you can also use a glossy spray finish if you want to give your leaves a shiny look. Once you’ve treated your
leaf or leaves, and they’re dry, you can spray a piece of white foam core (all of these supplies are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local craft/hobby store and the leaves are free) with spray adhesive and quickly (but gently) affix the leaves or leaf in the position you want them/it. The adhesive dries quickly so you won’t have much chance to rearrange so you will want to plan this out first.
We have several wood picture frames that are ideal for autumn inspired framing project. The first is one of our rustic barn wood frames. Our Appalachian Barnwood to be exact. I would recommend it in the rustic brown color to give it that real outdoors-y, fall feel. This is a real wood frame with a 3/4″ recess and a 7/16″ usable depth. This is a good frame for any DIY type of project and perfectly shows off homemade art and photos.
If you’re looking for something a little more whimsical and bright, I would suggest our Colori Large picture frame in orange. This frame is made from an eco-friendly wood composite and finished with a colorful wrap. It has a flat 2″ profile and a 1/2″ usable depth. This frame is great if you’re doing this project with kids and want to maybe hang the piece in their room or in a classroom. It also comes in yellow and red, if you’re doing multiple frames and want to represent all the fall colors.
Now that we’ve framed leaves, it’s time to put leaves on the frame itself. After treating your leaves you can choose a bunch of different ones that you like to affix to the outside of our Decorate-It wood picture frame. The Decorate-It frame is made specifically for crafting and comes in 3 flat profiles; a 1 1/2″, a 2″ and a 3″ width. For this kind of project I recommend the 2″ width to give you more room to play with.
You can use spray fixative for this again but because it’s wood I would actually suggest using a very thin layer of wood glue to hold the leaves really tight. Arrange them in any pattern you like around the edges of the frame and after you’ve glued them in place I suggest spraying them with the gloss finish, and a layer of spray adhesive, just for good measure and to make them look good. After everything dries you now have a nice autumn picture frame that you can maybe put halloween photos or Thanksgiving photos in.
Autumn is maybe the prettiest season of the year and you’ll be glad you have something in your home that reminds you of it all year long.
Summer vacation is almost over. For some of you there may be a scant few days left before the kids head back to school. You feel like you’ve done it all; amusement parks, road trips, the zoo, the aquarium. You’ve played games together, seen movies together, the whole gamut of activities has been run. You’re all a little tired but you don’t want to just sit around and do nothing, but you don’t have a lot of time (and you don’t want to spend a lot of money). What can you do?
A fun and
relatively easy activity is decorating unfinished picture frames to commemorate all the special things you and your kids did over the break. If you’re lucky enough to be home with your children over the summer, you know that it’s fleeting and you want to have something that you, and they, can hold on to. At Frame USA we have a frame that is specifically made to be crafted and decorated. It’s called the Decorate-It frame and it comes in 3 widths (1.5″, 2″ and 3″–for when you need a lot of room–).
The decorate-it is made from real, unfinished wood so that it can be painted on, glued on, have wood-burning pens used on it–anything you can think of. In addition to coming in three different widths, the decorate it picture frame also comes in a ton of standard
sizes, including 8×10, 11×17 all the way up to 24×36. But hey, maybe you bought some nifty piece of art at the Summerfest art fair that you all went to and it’s not a
standard size. That’s okay because the decorate it also comes in custom sizes as well.
You can sit down with the kids, take your decorate it frames, and maybe pick out pictures together of the fun stuff you did over the summer. Maybe when you were running around the museum, or at the bacon festival. You can paint the frame with your favorite colors and even glue decorations onto it. Did you happen to keep the movie tickets from when you took the kids to see “Avengers: Age of Ultron”? You can glue those to the frame that has the selfie you guys took together in the lobby that day. And even if you didn’t take a lot of photos (because you were too “in the moment” to worry–a good thing to be) you can sit down with the kids and talk about their favorite memories from the summer and have them draw pictures of those days. Paint the frame to match the weather that was happening (lots of blues if it was rainy,
oranges and reds if it was hot and sunny). This way you can sit and enjoy reliving those memories with your children as they talk about how much fun they had at the splash park and the time you saw a skunk on the nature trail. And afterwards, you’ll have a beautiful reminder of each and every one of those little moments.
So get out your paints and feathers and glitter and beads, gather the kids around the table, on one of these last long afternoons before school starts. And don’t forget to order some unfinished, decorate-it wood picture frames from Frame USA, to help you get every last ounce of quality time you can.
Crafts can be a great way to pass the time on a rainy day, and it’s important to teach your child how to do crafts when bored instead of always watching television or playing on the computer.
Crafting with your children is also beneficial for your relationship with your children and for them as individuals. The following are four reasons you should do crafts with your kids.
1. It allows you to spend quality time together.
Everyone’s lives today are busy, and it’s hard to sit down with one another and truly enjoy each other’s company without some type of distraction. Crafting allows you to be with the ones you love and create projects together. You can spend the time making crafts and talking about anything you want, such as their likes and dislikes and what they’ve been doing in school or with friends. Quality time is extremely beneficial to your relationship with your children, and it’s something that doesn’t come around very often, so you should make sure to use crafting as a way to be together.
2. It teaches your children to be creative.
Creativity is important, and it’s a skill that many people lack. When you craft with your children, you’re allowing them to express their creativity. They can make something by following the directions, or they can take matters into their own hands and decide which colors to use, which products to use and what to make. Being able to express creativity is important to your child’s overall development, and it can help them realize that they have an imagination and a unique talent that they may have otherwise overlooked.
3. It can teach your children to be frugal.
With all the technological advances children have today, most children are growing up assuming that money grows on trees and that entertainment only comes in the form of spending money. Instead, you can teach your children the value of a dollar by crafting with them. Teach them that instead of spending a fortune on entertainment, they can be entertained at home by creating something. You can also teach them that instead of going to the store and spending money on a product, they can use objects around the home to try and build it themselves. Not only will your child learn about money, but also they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when the craft is finished.
4. It can start a tradition.
You want your children to have memories of time spent with you, and you want to teach them things that they can pass down to their children. Crafting is a way to do both of those. Your children will certainly remember all the things they made with you during craft time, and they’ll be able to recreate these memories and these crafts with their own children someday. Then, their children can pass the tradition along to their children, and your time spent crafting with your own children has suddenly turned into a family tradition for many years to come.
Jessica Brown is a freelance writer and mother of four who loves frugal crafting. She has recently been sharing some creative kids’ crafts online via blogging.