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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