Monday, October 21, 2013

do it yourself: vintage halloween picture frames

Part of the charm of any holiday decor is homemade. Welcoming guests into a space you put time into creating allows them to feel like they are experiencing your home, & in turn learning something about you that is unspoken. A home should be seen as your heart on a sleeve. The things that matter to you most are bursting the minute someone opens your front door. Family photos, pets greeting you at the door, decorations, smells of candles or cookies or perfume, it's all a reflection of you. What do you want to say without speaking a word? 

Vintage charm is appealing to so many because the craftsmanship is of high quality, the verbiage is often flowery & romantic & it isn't a common item that makes you feel cookie cutter. I have a deep love for pieces previously owned, I want to feel the love & see the character of a lifetime. Sometimes we also see things created to look vintage & with that comes a higher price tag. For the life of me I will never understand wanna-be antiques with large price tags, it's not really special & it's usually not well made, so why are you gouging the price? If i had one word of wisdom it would be to save for the heirloom pieces. Bring them into your home with open arms & cherish them. Pass them down to your children & if it's not their style pass onto your grandchildren. You know how nothing goes out of style, it just cycles through a generation.

This craft is a nod to those expensive wanna be antiques that are over priced for no reason. I literally replicated the same quality for pennies & these are items that though aren't real antiques will stand up to being boxed away & brought out, year after year.

vintage Halloween picture frames 

Scratched & worn picture frames at the thrift store should range from .25¢ to 1$
Printed pictures at home 
Card stock
Glue stick
Spray paint

Start by picking out frames that catch your eye, they can be metal or wood. Try to steer clear of any frames with large gouges in them unless you plan on using wood filler & sanding it, which seems more trouble than this project would deserve. Surface scratches, chipped paint & outdated wooden frames with gold accents are perfect & inexpensive. 

 Step One; Spray Painting

Clean your frames with warm water & soap.
Wash the glass & let dry.

Next, find a spray painting zone, someplace well ventilated, a cardboard box cut open is great! I spray paint so many things I actually have some old stepping stones stacked by our workshop that I use as my zone.

Get your handy-dandy bottle of spray paint, for the black frames I used a cheapy brand that cost 1$ for the can & it worked just fine.

The oiled bronze bottle of Rust-Oleum paint & primer is about 8$ a can & worth every penny in my opinion, (the handle is comfortable to grip, the spray is even & it applies nicely on different materials).

An important tip about spray painting is to start spraying before your project that way you're not getting a round spray blob with spidery lines (see the blob to the top left of the frame on the stone).

Get a feel for your can & move quickly, do not try to apply only one coat, rather you should apply two or three light coats layer by layer.

Here is a video showing the first coat, demonstrated by my wonderful husband, notice how quickly he's moving!


Once you've finished the top & sides let dry for about 15 minutes, it will still be a tad tacky to the touch, if you need to spray paint the back now is the time (some will be black already or velvety).

 Step Two: Finding & Printing Images

While your frames are drying begin a Google search, for Vintage Halloween Images, click an image you like & then save the image to your desktop, resize to fit your frames & print.

My printer has resizing options & image quality choices, I selected "best photo quality" on "regular paper".

Once printed I placed my pictures next to the card stock & let my imagination run.

I kept with a traditional orange & black theme & aimed for variety with polka dots, stripes & zigzags. The frame with the little girl atop the pumpkin came with matting inside so I just put the picture in & was finished!

 Next, I cut out my images using a crafting blade & scissors.

 I folded flaps to glue my pictures rather than gluing the actual image. That way it didn't look like it had specific glue spots anywhere.

 I let the glue set for a minute & put the frames back together with my new pictures inside!


You might be wondering what happened to my oiled bronze frame, I thought that deserved something very special, Sydney's latest school picture!

It's just another everyday, holiday with jillie

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