Stuff to Give: Picture Frame

One awesome thing about having babies is that giving a wonderful gift to family members (especially grandmas & great-grandmas!) is now super easy.  Are you ready for it?  A picture.  Seriously.  What grandmother wouldn’t want a darling picture of their grandson?  I love giving our family pictures of Bug, but I feel rather thoughtless just shoving a picture into a store bought frame.  So, here’s a simple, inexpensive idea to put a little more love into the pictures you give out.  Also, this is my first craft “recipe.”  I’m freaking out a little bit… it’s almost like I’ve become a crafty mom!  (Notice I said almost.)

Here’s what you need:

  • A picture (duh)
  • A piece of scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, pretty fabric, etc
  • A store-bought picture frame with a mat
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Exacto knife (or scissors)
  • Glue (I heart rubber cement.  Don’t take that the wrong way.)

Take the back off of the frame and take out the mat… really all we’re doing here is gluing pretty paper onto the mat to make it, um, prettier.  Place the mat onto the backside of the paper and trace around the outside & the inside.  I’m going to tell you right now that I feel a little silly telling you how to do this.  Like you can’t figure out how to trace, cut & glue.  Whatever.  I’m telling you anyways.

Picture mats are beveled, meaning they have a little slanty edge that makes them look all chic (pronounced “sheek”, not “chick”) and professional.  We want our pretty new mat to look the same, so, using a ruler, draw lines about 1/16 inch inside of the inner line.  The new line is where you’ll cut.

Using an Exacto or scissors, cut your paper.

Spread a thin layer of rubber cement on the front of the original mat and also a thin layer on the back of your pretty paper.  Let both dry.  Way back when I was an art student, this is how we matted photos and artwork.  Rubber cement holds just fine if you glob it on one piece of paper and then smush another on top, but it really becomes cement-like if you spread it evenly on both things you want to glue together and then let them dry before smushing them.  I have pieces of art that I matted over a decade ago that haven’t moved a millimeter and would certainly tear if I tried to pull apart.

Anywho, after both pieces are dry, carefully put them together.  As I said above, a very strong bond will form… and it will form immediately.  You want to line it up right the first time.

Then, all you have to do is tape your picture in place and put it all back in the frame.  Voila!  The picture at the very top is one I did for my mom last year with pretty sparkly paper, because she likes sparkly things.  The picture above is a photo a purchased for my cousin and his wife that I thought needed a fun color to make it pop.  Pretty cool what a simple piece of paper can do, huh?

I should probably mention somewhere that Mother’s Day is like 3 weeks away.  Hint. Hint.


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