Monday, September 23, 2013

Hanging Art (on the cheap)

My paternal grandmother was a mixed medium artist. So, when she passed away all of her kin got to rummage through a storage unit full of her life's collection. The canvases with oil paintings of distorted figures and "little clay monkeys" (as my dad described some of her ceramic work) aren't really my personal aesthetic, but I was very glad to go home with a few of her photographs that I've admired since I was a little girl. 

For the past year I've been storing this photo of an iris that I really love, but haven't been able to come up with a way to frame it that I like. Gigi framed and matted everything in simple white metal frames in order to best showcase her work. But, again, not really my style. 

Once I chose a place to hang it in my new place though, I decided that I need a big frame to make a statement, and dark, contrasting mat. The price for a big frame and a custom mat at Micheal's-- about $40, even with a coupon. Ugh. 

If you've been keeping up lately, you know where I went: Goodwill, of course (they should probably sponsor this blog). I found a truly atrocious wedding frame with a sale sticker and brought it up to the register, apologetically. The cashier looked at the price and then at me, "What a bargain for $3!" I agreed, and assured her that I with a little spray paint and different art, it would be great. "You don't need to do a thing to it!" she argued. "Just put in your wedding photo!"

Now, my biggest regret of this project is that I was in such a big hurry (housewarming party at T - 06 hours) while working on it, that I didn't snap a photo of the frame before the transformation. I've now wasted about 3 hours on the internet trying to find anything that could even come close to the caliber of ugly we're talking here, but imagine thinking that you would "just put in your wedding photo!" to a frame that is some combination of the worst parts about these two:
I assure you, that does not do it justice, but it's the best I can do. Luckily, with a coat of yellow spray paint it was well on its way to a new life. The frame was designed to rest on a table, so I tore of the cardboard "stand" and took a pair of needle nosed pliers to the hinge that held it on. 

To serve as a "mat" I pulled a scrap of navy blue poplin out of the fabric stash and cut it to be just a little bigger than the glass of the frame. Then, I put the photo on the fabric by running a line of acid free adhesive (from the scrapbooking supplies) around the outside of the back of the photograph, and sticking it to the center of the poplin.

Finally, I just dropped the fabric into the frame, catching that little extra edge of fabric in the cardboard when I put the frame back together.

The outcome is impossible to photograph without a reflection in this darn apartment (my apologies), but all in all, I'm pretty thrilled with it for $3. 

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