Project: Frame It!

Yesterday, while Mr. Scrimp was getting very involved with a new video game, I decided to do a little on-the-fly craft project. Back in October, we'd picked up four $5 black frames at Wal-Mart, hoping they would fit some prints we had on hand. Sadly, they didn't, and I never got around to returning them, so they just sat in a bag in our spare room for months.

Until yesterday!

I grabbed some scrap fabric, a pair of scissors, and the first pictures that came to hand--in this case, a torn-out page from a $1 calendar I got at JoAnn's a month ago, and some line drawings from a "Celtic" coloring book that I've had since high school and never colored in.

The calendar page was the first one of these that I did. I didn't feel like cutting it, because I just wasn't prepared to invest a lot of energy in a project I wasn't sure would work out well. I folded the edges so the torn bits didn't show and it would fit better in the frame. Lacking any sort of matting or poster board, I just covered the cardboard back of the frame with a piece of upholstery fabric that my mother-in-law gave me back in the fall, centered the picture on it, and put the glass on.

Voila. Beautiful framed art in five minutes. The fabric adds interest and texture and I feel like it adds a really pretty, feminine aspect to what was otherwise a somewhat severe frame and photo combination.

Inspired, I looked at my coloring book, picked out three pictures that I really liked, and went to work making them look like.. well... like they didn't come from a coloring book.

First I brewed a cup of black tea and used the tea bag to sponge paint on the paper, staining it unevenly to give it an antiqued, parchment-like look, just like we all learned how to do back in grade school. While it was still quite damp, I crumpled it (gently! Wet paper rips very easily) and unfolded it a couple of times, and then tore the edges to make it look softer and old. (N.B. - it's a lot easier to tear evenly if your paper is a little damp).

Because I am impatient for immediate results, I got out my blow dryer to dry the paper the rest of the way so I could get on with the framing. This time, instead of the ivory fabric, I got some scraps of a very dark brown jersey that I'd used in a sewing project for Mr. Scrimp back in the summer. I mounted each of the three on the fabric, secured them in the frames, and arranged them on our living room mantel with some candles and two red berry garlands that I picked up at a pre-Christmas sale.

I like it. It's a very clean, simplistic look with just a hint of color, that says "winter" to me without saying "Christmas." It changed the whole look of our living room.

 Three of the four Gospel writers, in an illustration copied from The Book of Kells.

This was an incredibly quick and easy project. Including digging through my piles of scrap fabric for bits that would look good with my artwork, cutting them to fit, aging the paper, and taking photos, I spent about two hours and got four new pieces of artwork for our home. Total cost? Just over $5 a picture.

This is definitely my favorite project of the year so far.  


Linked at DIY Day and Tip Me Tuesdays and the Remodelaholic Friday link party.


  1. I love this project. I have some 8x10 black and white photos I have been trying to figure out how I should frame them for the bedroom. I love your idea.

  2. Hey , I recognize that fabric in the first picture. I made the shades in your in laws livingroom.

  3. I love what you added to that last one- great reuse!!

    Thank you so much for stopping by the Talented Tuesday at My Frugal Family link party, and adding this to the page! Don’t forget to stop back tomorrow to see which links from last week are featured, and to add your new links!

  4. I love the torn edges! That is such a great detail! Good job

    I am so glad you stopped by to join our little the party, I hope to see you there again! We have them every Friday. (And we are now doing a recipe link up on Wednesday!)

    Cassity @ Remodelaholic



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...