Sunday, August 5, 2012

Project of the Week: Homemade Custom Framing

For the longest of time, I have had this long picture frame (18" by 45") with some random panoramic image that I had no interest in. It's kind of one of those things you acquire from a friend when they move because it just seemed like a good idea at the time! Well, I finally got irrinoyed (it's a Bettyism! It means irritated and annoyed at the same time!!!) with it and decided to personalize it. We had taken family photos not too long ago, so I figured those would be perfect for this frame. The frame is like a dark grey metallic color. So I decided that whichever photos I chose, I would make them black and whites. I picked a few of my favorite pictures from the photo disc we had and headed over to CVS (a local pharmacy here). I put the disc into the Kodak Picture Maker kiosk and followed the prompts. I used 5" x 7" and 8" x 10" photos since the frame was so big. I also added a classic border around them that is black and white, which fit perfectly with the color scheme I wanted. Then I changed my color photos to black and white and printed them out. I was ready to begin my project! I found a plain black plastic tablecloth to use as the background (you can use poster board or wrapping paper too, or whatever they have in your color in a large enough piece to cover your image on without creases or cut marks. Black is just a tough color to find sometimes. Plus, the plastic stretched smoothly and easily without tearing, so it looked nice). I also found some silver-ish gift bags big enough to use as matting for my photos. Then I began.

Here is what you will need:
Picture Frame
Backing (large enough to cover the insert of your frame without folds or tears)
Matting (large enough to go behind your photo without creases or tears)
Two-sided Tape

How to do it:
1. Choose your photos. Make any edits such as enlarging, reducing size, changing color, or anything else, that you want to do to make your photo frame look nice. Also, make sure your photos are the right orientation (vertical or horizontal) for your project. I used pieces of paper and laid them on the frame before I printed out my photos. This helped me decide how many photos I needed, what size, which orientation, and how much matting I needed.

2. Once your photos are printed and ready to go, you can do your matting. The easiest way is to use a ruler to carefully measure out where to cut on the material you are using for matting. I chose to have a 1/2" border all around my prints. So for the 8" x 10"s, the pieces I used for matting measured 9" x 11". And the matting for the 5" x 7"s measured 6" x 8". I measured the right size and used the ruler to draw straight lines to cut along. After I cut out the matting, I carefully placed my photo on the middle of the matting (you can use your ruler to help make sure it is centered). Once it was in place, I lifted each corner individually and put a piece of two-sided tape on the back of the photo to keep them in place. Do this with each photo. Then set them aside.

3. Put the backing on the insert of the frame. Most frames come with inserts that are the size that fits inside a frame. This is what you want to cover with your backing. Lay your backing flat (upside down). Then put the insert on top the backing. You can cut away some of the excess backing, but make sure you leave enough to fold over the insert. Then carefully fold each side of the backing over the insert, taping as you go. Also, make sure to pull the backing tightly to reduce any wrinkles, folds, or creases on the side that will show.

4. Now you can place your pictures! Turn your covered insert over. Place your photos where you want them. Use your ruler to keep them centered and straight. Once they are in place, carefully lift each corner individually and place a piece of two-sided tape on the back of the matted photo.

5. After each photo is placed and taped, you can put the insert back the frame and enjoy your masterpiece!

As you can see, I have a few creases on the matting of my photos. But I left them there because I think that some little imperfections can make projects more personal! This project is very flexible because you can choose any sizes or colors. Plus you can use any materials that fit your purpose. As a bonus, most of this stuff is pretty inexpensive!
Have fun with your homemade custom framework and let me know how it goes! 

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