June 24, 2015

Dollar Store & Scrap Wood Collage Frame

I've gone round and round on what exactly to call this post but I finally just settled on stating it exactly as it is. 

This is a project I've had in my head for a while now and when summer break finally hit, I finally had the time & energy to put it into action. 

It all started with some black and white cheap prints that were taken at none other than Chuck. E. Cheese. Back when the rain was non-stop, we were desperate for some indoor fun and the kids begged to go. They have this silly photo 'drawing' booth where you can get your picture sketched and printed for one token. Me and hubby had taken Baby Girl in it and gotten a couple cute pics but weren't even going to attempt the older kids because they are so over the picture taking these days. 

We were happily surprised when they came running up to use later with their own pictures they had taken together!!! Then they begged for family ones and I couldn't pass that up. 

So we left happy, tired & with a stack of super cute black and white 'sketches' that I just knew had to turn into something amazing for the house. 

Don't you love when something comes out so much better than what you even pictured in your head??
That was definitely this project for me. 

It took a while for all the pieces to fall into place but once I found the perfect things to use, it was completely worth the wait!!!

I knew I wanted a 'gallery' frame of sorts but wanted simple frames to show off the pictures.
And I didn't want to pay a small fortune for nine frames. 

I kept my eye out at Hobby Lobby, Michaels and even Walmart for some frames that fit what I wanted and never found anything.
Then, running into the Dollar Store one day, I struck gold.
Literally :) 

I found the perfect gold frames and no paint needed. 
Although if you do find the size & shape you like, don't be afraid to spritz them with your favorite colored spraypaint for instant color satisfaction!! 

I also like that these were super lightweight since I was going to be adding them to a wooden background that would be heavy enough on it's own. 

So here's the supply breakdown if you want to recreate your own collage frame: 
Supplies needed: 
*Nine frames in your choice of size (mine were Dollar Store) 
*Desired photos/prints
*Velcro circles (Hobby Lobby) 
*Hot Glue Gun
*Scrap wood pieces
*Supplies to hang your piece afterwards (make sure you get something sturdy enough for however much yours weighs in the end) 

First things first, prep your frames. 
Mine didn't need to be painted but if yours do, go ahead and get that done. 
Then I gently tore off the easels on the backs of my frame. 
Mine were super easy since they were just cardboard and came off very easily. 
Some require a little more elbow grease. 

Next, gather your photos that you want to use. 
If you're like me and are using the cute prints from Chuck E Cheese, I wanted a way to display them without that red border around each of them. 
So I carefully trimmed each picture with a straight edge cutter and cut each of the borders off. 

Then I simply backed each picture with a piece of white cardstock that filled the inside of the frame. 
This created the look of having a matte around the photo without having to pay for one :) 
Fill your frames & set them aside for later. 

Now onto the wooden frame. 

For my frame, I used a bunch of scrap wood planks that I had salvaged from someone throwing away parts of an old fence. 
It's lightweight and was perfect for this project! 

To get an accurate size, lay your frames out on the boards and then measure out how far past the frames you want them to go. 
Use a table saw to cut them to size. 

My boards were a grey/green color so after cutting them down and attaching them together across the back, I took some glossy white paint and painted the entire frame. 
This is where you can get creative with it and paint it whatever color you want, stencil it, stain it... the possibilities are all over the place!! 

After it's painted, distress if desired and then gather your frames to start putting it all together!!

You can go two routes while putting your frame together....
1. Put the frames on it 'permanently' by using hot glue on the backs of the frame to attach them. 
2. Use velcro strips/dots on the backs of the frame to make them removable if you even want to change your prints out. 

If you go the velcro route, my suggestion is to still add a dab of hot glue on the sticky backs before adding them to increase the sturdiness of them. 
They tend to pull off if not reinforced. 

Add your frames to your wooden frame and then stand back to admire your gorgeous finished product!!! 

I'm so incredibly happy with how this little project turned out. 
And so so glad that I didn't give up on when I wasn't finding the right frames for so long. 

I added a cute quote printable in the middle of our frame that I feel like completely sums up those captured moments :) 

The gold & white colors are completely on par with my slight obsession with these colors lately :) 
Since the wood was a roadside find, the total cost of this piece was a whopping 9$ for the frames!! 

And it was a great piece to refresh some of my wall space that had been looking the same for far too long. 
I love walking down the hall and seeing those sweet faces looking at me!! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on our new piece of art!!

Let me know on Facebook or in the comments below :) 

Do you have a stack of pictures just waiting to be made into a cute custom collage frame?? 
Break them out and get to it. You can't beat 9$ for a frame, right??

Hope you enjoyed & see you soon friends!!

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June 05, 2015

Summer Succulent Wreath

It's summer!!!!!

At least around these parts it is :)

It's finally starting to heat up like a typical Arkansas summer and school is officially out.
I've had several days of professional development to finish but I pretty much feel like I'm on break and it is amazing.

I love being home with the kids and having time during the day to work on projects, clean the house and keep things under control.
It's bliss.

And GUESS WHAT??!?!? 
 I FINALLY have time to get back to blogging a bit! 

I really have been focused on learning more about sewing and working with my embroidery machine...which I haven't shared much here on the blog.

I definitely can try to start sharing some more of my embroidery projects here if you want but they aren't exactly something easy to replicate if you don't have an embroidery machine.
But the projects are super cute so maybe I'll a habit of posting once a week about some of the finished things :) 


I did finish a beautiful summer/spring wreath several weeks ago...maybe a couple months ago.
And I've been dying to share it with you.

Didn't it turn out gorgeous??

I have quite a collection of wreaths going on right now but some of my very first wreaths have seen better days so I've been pulling them out of the stash to give them new looks.

I wanted something with a splash of greenery in it for summer this year and I finally stumbled on some inspiration at none other than the Dollar Store.

Here's the breakdown of what was used: 

*Wreath Form (I like to get mine from Hobby Lobby) 
*Yarn (I used a chunky yellow) 
*Wooden name/sign (mine was purchased on Groopdealz
*Felt flowers
*Button cover kits (from Hobby Lobby) 
*Dollar Store Succulents
*Hot Glue Gun

My main source of inspiration started with the cute, tiny little succulents I stumbled on at the Dollar store. 
I'm obsessed with these cute little plants and couldn't believe it when I found several of them on the shelves there for a buck.

Hobby Lobby sells bigger ones and they aren't bad if you catch them on sale. 
But these were perfectly light-weight enough for adding to a wreath. 

The felt flowers I just threw together. There are tons of tutorials for them all over the place, just search them on Pinterest and you'll have a gazillion ideas for them.
I kept mine simple & added covered buttons in the middle of them to finish them off. 

I kept holding off on putting the wreath together because my wreath form was pretty large so I knew that it needed something else to show off in the middle of it all.

I ordered this customized wooden name off my fave site in the world-
 I'm a tad addicted.

You can get cute wooden signs & plaques at both Michaels and Hobby Lobby too.
Go with whatever makes you happy :) 

I stained my sign first with dark walnut so that it would show after it was distressed.
Then used my favorite glossy white spraypaint to add a topcoat.
Sand it down a bit and you're ready for it to become the focal point of your wreath.

Here's a quick step-by-step to guide you through: 

1. Cover your wreath form with your desired fabric, yarn or ribbon.
I chose to wrap mine in a thick yellow yarn. 
This part takes the longest so be patient and sit down with your favorite show :) 

2. Paint/make your flowers.
If you're adding a wooden sign, go ahead and paint it and have it ready.
Then either make or buy some fun felt or fabric flowers to add.
The succulents pop easy out of their tiny pots and I just snipped their stem off with some heavy duty scissors.

3. Position your desired items around the wreath the way you think you'll want them.
I always play with my design before gluing/pinning down so I can fix it the way I want. 

4. Once you have the positioning down, go ahead and whip out your glue gun.
I used tiny sewing pins to add my flowers so I can change them up later.
I used dots of hot glue to adhere the succulents and wooden name sign.

5. Add a wide ribbon at the top of the wreath to hang it from and you're finished!! 

In addition to the cute little succulent plants I found at the Dollar Store, I also added in a few Hobby Lobby succulent 'branches' to the wreath.
I felt like they added a little more variety and interest to it. Made it fuller. 

I'm so in love with the bright pops of color and gorgeous greenery in this summer wreath!!
A word of caution, if your front door gets tons of direct sunlight, be aware that the plastic succulents may fade.
I have a glass door in front of my wreath and it doesn't get tons of direct sunlight so it's been holding up great. 
But just a word of warning :) 

Hope you guys love my spring/summer wreath as much as I do!!
Go dig through your stashes, browse the aisles of your favorite stores and get some inspiration for summer!! 

I have so many awesome projects to share that I finally have time to get on here so keep checking back!!
Happy Friday friends!!

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