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04.20.2006

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get crafty: Frame It! |  1 2
3 easy ways to frame pictures ... for cheap!

Whether itís your favorite goofy family snapshot, or a pretty black and white ink drawing you created in some college art class, your picture will look infinitely better displayed in a nice frame rather than taped to the wall using poster gum. You can buy fairly cheap unfinished wooden frames at IKEA, Target, or Walmart, in sizes to accommodate standard snapshots, but if youíre looking for a frame for a larger picture, youíll have to get a bit more creative. A few ideas for inspiration Ö

1 Fix-up old picture frames found at garage sales + thrift shops.
Donít be disheartened when you find that all the photo frames being sold at garage sales seem to feature tacky 70s-style gold-painted borders. Look for wood or metal frames (avoid plastic). If the frames are an ugly color or have chipped paint, use spraypaint to re-paint frames in whatever color suits your dťcor (I like matte black and matte silver spraypaint). Youíll need to spray 3 coats to ensure even coverage. If the glass front is damaged or missing, get replacement pieces of glass or plexiglass cut-to-size (try your local hardware stores).

Variation: If youíre the artsy-craftsy type, you might want to experiment with decorating your frames Ö paint them some funky pattern, glue beads, pebbles, seeds, or other small objects to the surface to create an interesting texture. This is also a good way to personalize those cheap-o wooden frames you bought at IKEA.

2 Make a borderless floating frame:
Minimalist floating frames look elegant and very contemporary. Plus, they're super-easy to  construct:

  1. Use two sheets of plexi-glass. You can buy plexiglass in pre-cut sizes at Home Depot, or have it cut to a custom size at a hardware store or a plastics specialist.
  2. Buy 4 bolts and 4 nuts (1/16" diameter is a good size). Drill holes (in a size that will accommodate your bolts, of course) at each of the four corners. You'll want to be sure to drill your holes at least 3/4" away from the edge, to avoid splitting the plastic.
  3. Place your picture in the frame (Iíd recommend some sort of double-sided adhesive on the back, to prevent the picture from sliding), sandwich it between the two plexiglass pieces and fasten the corners with the bolts. 

don't stop ... there's more!

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