A few years back I was sitting in my den watching TV when my mind dug up an old random fact that began me stewing. (This happens to me periodically and usually costs money. This is why DH likes it when I am occupied playing online games.) I remembered that there was a framed picture that my Dad had given me years back that I had never hung on the wall. I knew where it was, so I hopped up from my perch and yanked the thing out. Ahhh ha! I knew why I had never hung it up! It was ugly.
My Dad passed away a few years back (hanging head, dropping shoulders, sighing…I’m back now) so I hesitate to take things he gave me and change them. Then my good sense took over and reminded me that my Dad would have been thrilled to know I was using it or had just come up with another of my brilliant plans on how to reuse it. Dad so loved to hear about and see my brilliant plans. Well, he did say that I always made him laugh.
So, I promised Dad that this was nothing personal and I started ripping the back off the frame and pulling out staples and stuff. Why? Because although the picture was U-Gully, it was double matted and had a great frame. Matting and framing is expensive, no matter how pretty or U-Gully your art is. That much I knew. It comes from having bought $3 worth of fabric remnants and having them framed and matted for $300. I’ll show you that later. Stop laughing. Stop. I can still hear you. Anyway, I had a perfect thing to go in that frame that had been holding some pointless ancient feast scene. I put a picture (that was hiding in another closet) of one of my babies in there. It turned out GREAT! Here’s what I do now…
Ahhh, it’s ART BABY!!
First, I had this framed, double matted “art” hiding in a closet. That’s where I keep all art I deem too U-Gully or wrong for my home. Granted, I probably was the one who purchased it at one time, but let’s just move along, ok?
Second, I told my kids that if you can’t afford one of a kind art (skip mass produced stuff…like I have had plenty of), then you should make your own. So, that’s what I did. I took a photo (you’ve seen it from my travel adventures) that I took at Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park in Maine and I cropped it. My kiddos were in it on the side, but it wasn’t flattering and included some other folks we didn’t know. So, I cropped it down to just an interesting flow of water.
Third, I uploaded the photo to www.snapfish.com and had it enlarged to fit the frame. This cost me under $10 to have it enlarged and shipped to my house. You can pick it up locally, but I didn’t opt for that.
Fourth, I took the frame apart. That was actually a pain in the neck, but it didn’t really take too long. I had to pull the staples out of the back, so I used a pair of regular pliers. I have some needlenose ones for this, but I can never find any of my tools. I can tell you where they aren’t. Look in my toolbox. Yeah, that’s where they aren’t. So, it was more of a pain than it had to be, but I got it done. The hardest part was separating the mat from the picture because they were glued together. The mat is what I wanted to save more than anything, because that is the expensive part of the whole thing. (Not hugely expensive, but still…I’m trying to reuse here.) Once I got a little opening between the two, I used a plastic cake cutter that had totally flat (no serrated edges!!) sides. I just slid it along and fought with it for a while until it was separated.
Fifth, After disassembling the photo. I took the frame outside and spray painted it flat black. So Cool! I love the quick change paint can make. It’s awesome! Plus, the whole thing was done and totally dry in one hour. Rockin! I used Rustoleum Painter’s Touch Flat Black spray paint.
Sixth, I’ve learned NOT to try and attach the back and all that stuff yourself. Here’s why…most craft stores have a photo framing area (so would, say, a photo framing store) and they will properly reassemble, clean out all dust and put on the backing and the hanger for you for free (that happened to me once) or for very little money (more likely). So, I do that. In the meantime, I stuck that sunflower photo facing out the back because it’s attached to the backboard/cardboard of the whole thing. They’ll probably just keep it like that and seal it all up when I take it in. Of course, they will also properly attach my photo as well. I just have it stuck in there, unattached at this point. Now, I did buy all these special little things to help me reassemble the picture, but … I’m just not doing it. I know my limits and tapping spiky things into a frame where glass is involved…not my ability.
Seventh, Here’s the front! Ta da!! Oh, I’m good.
Anyway, that’s it! Now, it’s too pretty to hang in my boys bathroom..which is where it was supposed to go. That was the whole reason for this project. Now that I look at it…I think it might look nice somewhere in the house that I don’t fear to tread.
UPDATE:>>> I went to Michael’s yesterday and they cleaned it, mounted the photo, put the backing on it AND added a new hanger + some little dots that keep it from damaging the wall. All for FREE!! Yay for me…Yay for me…I’m doing a little dance. The Yay dance.