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DIY Frame Collage

April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!  I don’t have internet this weekend because of a series of unfortunate events,  so I pre-posted this at the library yesterday.

I had been thinking about buying one of those collage frames, you know, the ones that are a bunch of smaller frames joined together.  But the ones I had seen seemed to all have boring plain plastic frames.  Then I saw a neat one at Winners that was made of a bunch of different frames.  It was pretty pricy, but looking at it made me think, hey, I could make this myself.

So I set out on a quest for random wooden frames and used it as an excuse to visit about five different thrift stores.  It turned out that wooden 4”x6” frames are hard to come by.  I then broadened my search to include dollar stores as well, but they had a surprisingly limited selection as well.  It took me a very long time to slowly get all the frames I needed.

Chai helping decide frame layout and how many more I needed to get

If you decide to do this, keep in mind that unfinished frames are best, or at the very least try to get ones with light finishes.  I bought several with dark finishes and although one worked fine (my favourite frame, so I’m very happy), three others had the dark colour drawn up through the paint when I applied varnish, so I had to throw them out and buy replacements.  (Now in hindsight I should have repainted them a dark colour and used them for something else, but I wasn’t thinking clearly.)

I thought that I was just going to use the white paint and brush-on varnish that I already had, but they were pretty old, and both full of lumps.  I had to throw them out and buy new supplies.

So… things were getting more expensive than I originally anticipated.  But still not as expensive as the Winners frame.

Chai supervising the painting of the last two replacement frames

Finally, I had all the frames painted and varnished, and I glued them together with some pricy wood glue.  I am slightly concerned that the glue might come apart and a frame with fall off, but so far so good.  As you can see, as the glue dried the frames got a bit crooked– I suppose they should have been clamped together?  I thought about nailing the frames together but was worried that they would split.  I also tried screwing them together but some of the frames had too hard of wood.  If you have a cordless drill this might be a good route to try.

You can see why Chai was so interested in the project

And now, with less than 3 weeks until I move out, I have it hanging on my kitchen wall.

Chai approves.

Have you ever tried to make something yourself and have it turn out to be a lot more trouble and expense than anticipated?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2012 9:21 am

    cool project!!! ive totally made something and then it was so much hassle that i shoulda just settled with a store bought one! any quilts ive made…so much work and so expensive hahaa. and a few other crafty things, although with some practice i eventually got quick enough to make it worth it sort of lol.

  2. Pamela permalink
    April 8, 2012 2:49 pm

    Looks good. Just wondering, where did the family photo and the picture of Gramna end up afterwards? Lots of my projects end up being more work than anticipated!!! Of course that usually is because I try for free or cheap items as well.

  3. Jennie Frances permalink
    April 8, 2012 6:51 pm

    Oh Chai, you are so cute :) Lots of my do it yourself projects have turned out to be alot more work and expense than it was worth. And then some have never been finished!! Remember the mukluks?!! – the couch and—–!!!!!
    Anyway, sometimes it is just fun to try things for yourself.

  4. April 8, 2012 7:34 pm

    The frames look awesome! But yeah, I hear you about the expense. You have to be careful with these DIY things – lots are more trouble and expense than they are worth in the end.

  5. April 8, 2012 9:44 pm

    This has happened to me with a few sewing projects… fabric for what you want is never on sale when you need it to be! I finally got to the point where sometimes I will just buy the real thing rather than try to make it myself every time. But most of the fun is in the making!

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