Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The old and new picture frame

Recently I acquired what I think was a busted (non-functioning) light. This doesn't sound particularly noteworthy, except for the part where I thought to myself, That looks like a nice picture frame.

Game on!

It's basically a square frame with 25 five-inch squares, in five columns and five rows, so first, I ordered a bunch of photos. I had planned to do 5x7-inch photos because each square is five inches, but I quickly remembered that 25 5x7 photos are a heck of a lot more expensive than 25 4x6 photos. I decided to print 4x6s instead and grab a white piece of tagboard to serve as my "matting" for each photo. I cut the photos down to 4x4 inch squares. I measured out the squares with a yardstick and pencil, then taped photos in the middle of each square with double-sided tape.

Then I popped out the frosted glass and picked up a new piece of plexiglas from the local hardware store for $8. (You can custom-order glass and plexiglas there, which I think is neat. Also, somehow this project jumped ahead of our coffee table's broken glass panel in the priority line.)

Then I put it all together.

Voila! Here's the final product, sitting on my bookshelf ladder. You might recognize a few.

Next, it was time to explore locations for my new frame. I thought about hanging it over our desk, but I honestly just didn't feel like making sure that the frame wouldn't fall and crash onto my sewing machine and computer.

Then I saw the perfect space on our bookshelf. This bookshelf came with our apartment, and I remember being asked on the tour if we wanted the landlord to get rid of it, and we basically yelled, "NO!" It's one of my favorite parts of our home, partly because of its little ladder for reaching the highest shelves. Anyway, I ran into a little roadblock here because I thought it surely wouldn't be that hard to condense a shelf's worth of books by choosing a couple dozen to donate - which, as book lovers know, is an impossible dilemma. I suddenly came up with all kinds of reasons why I might need a textbook I haven't cracked open in a decade. I shuffled some things around and was finally successful.

Here it is!

And, you know, me posing with it. Just because. Probably just because I don't perch on the ladder as much as I should.

I was worried that the pictures would be too small, but I can still appreciate each one even when I'm sitting on the couch across the room. I am by no means a master repurposer, but I love this effort's result.


  1. I love the bookcase and think that if you ever move the landlord should be charged with something if he removes it for the next tenant. My question would be is how was the frame ever a lamp but I love the frame and the fact that you put pictures in it right away, I have a number of awesome frames without a picture in fact I have one hanging in my bathroom because I know what picture I want in it and haven't gotten it yet.

    1. So true about finding the right photo! I tackled the project right away because I had to find so many photos that I knew the risk was high of letting it sit for ages otherwise!

  2. This is very, very cool. So that frame was a light? I am confused by that, but love the project despite my confusion. And it really is a nice touch in the bookshelf.

    Love that our last-day-in-the-BWCA appears to be the only picture we have of the two of us! We need to fix that and get a few photos where I look a bit more well-groomed. (vain).

    1. Yeah! I'm a little confused about the frame myself, but that's my best guess - the original glass was frosted. (Opaque?) But the actual lighting materials were gone.

      I DO have some from when we were in college but you've expressed hatred for them!

    2. hahahah! Hatred? I would love to see these.

  3. I appreciate the pose on the ladder. You look like Belle from Beauty and the Beast! Ha! Love it!