Sunday, 9 February 2014

Window Photo Frame Project

This is my project for this Sunday afternoon.

It's a big, heavy, old ,metal window frame that I found in a salvage yard. I'm hoping I'm going to be transforming it into a photo frame for my Dad's 80th birthday that's coming up this week. I've been putting off this project for quite some time, because I really don't know how I'm going to do it.

There are loads of amazing window frame transformations out there, but they all seem to be wooden window frames, which obviously provide more options for fixing on a back. Like this lovely frame you can find on the blog Capturing Joy.

The back for these frames is cardboard and it's staple gunned on to the wood.

I'm hoping I can use this scruffy old piece of board for my backing, it's very thin.

It came from the side of one of my old kitchen cupboards. Obviously needs a bit of a clean!
  But I'm not sure on how to attach it. I don't really want to glue it, apart from anything else that would mean the photos in the frame couldn't be changed ever. I wondered whether there were any clip type things that might work, but I haven't managed to find anything. My only other ideas are to drill holes in the back and then tie it to the metal frame somehow, as unobtrusively as possible. But I'm worried it won't be unobtrusive enough for my liking and will spoil the view of the photos. Or possibly to not attach it in any way - have the backing stuck to the wall somehow with the photos arranged in the right places on there, and then just hang the metal frame in front of it in the correct position. Do you think that's doable? I maybe should say, the frame hasn't got any glass in it at the moment, and I'm planning on keeping it that way.

And I also need to decide what kind of photos to use, do I go with old black and white ones from years gone by, or more modern colour snaps? And do I paint the backing board or use fabric/paper to cover it? What colours do I go for? You see why I've been putting it off?! Wish me luck! And if anyone has any wonderful, practical advice please shout out!



  1. god luck! it will look great! I have successfully just taped photos onto the back of open (no glass) frames that I made out of pottery need skukum masking tape though so it stays stuck and it may damage the photo so make sure you are using duplicates! can't wait to see it!!!

    1. I hadn't thought about just tape, that sounds like one to fall back on when Plan A fails miserably! Thank you! I like the sound of your pottery frames too, have you still got them, or a picture of them?

  2. I think this is a wonderful idea and lovely way to show off your photos. I considered doing this last summer but decided I wasn't feeling that ambitious about it at the time when someone I knew was giving away a pretty and old window frame.

    Maybe a hardware store or picture frame store would have the little pieces that attach to the back? I like your idea of paper or fabric for the background. I think both would work but paper may be easier to work with? If you go with all older black and white photos maybe a black, white or beige background would work well with the photos? You could make little test pieces with different color paper maybe?

    Which pictures to frame? I think the older black & whites or color photos would work well. You could select your absolute favorites and go from there. Maybe starting at the top left with older photos working down to newer photos? (i.e., grandparents at the top working down to little one's?)

    1. I really hope you find another window frame some time, I feel a bit gutted you didn't go for it with the last one. You would clearly make an amazing job of it! Thank you for helping me instead, I think I'm probably going to go with the black and white photos, I love your idea of the old to new photos but I'm struggling to get them to look good together, I think my 'new' photos are just too glossy, if I had classier, matte prints I think it could work really well. And you're right with the background too, I tried a few possibles and have liked a sort of charcoal colour best. Will hopefully get it all finished and report back soon. Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.

  3. I have no useful input but ink it's a great idea that's going to look epically wonderful when done! If it were me if do fabric covered cork board in each section so you can pin pics on that you like. Or that ribbon stretched across board on a couple so you can slide pics in and out. Or a selection. That way you could glue the back but still change the images.

    Can't wait to see it finished.


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