Monday, February 21, 2011

How To's Day

The problem:  I needed something (anything!) to hang above the bed in my freshly painted master bedroom.
The challenge:  Come up with something different and inexpensive.
The inspiration:  Thanks to my 365 photo project, tons of unused landscape photos on my hard drive.

I wanted to use a found object of some sort, so I made a trip to my parent's storage building. You can find similar pieces at junk stores, antique markets, yard sales, flea markets or maybe your parent's house!  Be on the look-out for any piece that catches your attention.  This is a method, not a recipe, as the saying goes!(Bonus points if you get it for free or find it in the trash!)
 I found this old wood door.  I liked the lines and it had character.  I also liked that it had four panels.  Did I mention it was free from my parent's house?  Just checking...
The four panels reminded me of the four seasons.  Could I come up with four photos that represented each season?  My wheels were turning!
Back at home I made a quick scroll through my photo organizer.    I came up with about twenty photos that I liked.  However, I must have something against Spring, because there were no photos to represent that lovely season. I ran the Pioneer Woman's black and white action on the seasons that were represented. This way they would look similar in the project. 

Something you must know about me:  I am an obsessive-compulsive, perfectionist who has no patience.  I know, I am a walking oxymoron.  It completely ruins lots of projects.  Waiting on photos to arrive really stretched my limits. 

The first thing I did to the door was give him a quick shop-vac. (Not sure why, but the door is male.)  Don't scrub too hard or you knock off the character!  I just didn't want spider webs hanging above my head.  (That's what corners are for at my house.)  I made a call to my local hardware store and had them cut four pieces of plexi-glass five by seven inches. 
A trip to my guy's workbench turned up eight rusty nails that would look perfect to hold the plexi-glass in place.  (Note to self:  might want to update tetanus shot.)

For my project, I tapped a nail in the bottom and top of each section of the door, right at the place where the plexi-glass edge would be.

See how the plexi-glass slides under the edge of the nail head?  That's what will hold your picture and your covering in place.  So make sure you leave the nail partially out of the wood.  Here's what it looks like with all four pieces in place:

Next was a way to hang the door.  It wasn't too heavy, but I didn't want to run the risk of it falling off the wall onto my head anytime soon.  Remember how I told you about my oxymoronic self?  Well, I refuse to hang anything that requires two nails.  The whole level, straight line thing just baffles me.  I opted instead for two screw eyes on either end and a picture wire stretched between them.  Yes!  One nail!  Instantly straight!

See?  Just twist it in and you are good to go...

Stretch the wire tight and wrap it around itself.  Lift up your piece by the wire to make sure it holds correctly.

(Insert long wait because of snow storm that made my pictures which normally arrive in two days not arrive for six!  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!)

Slide your pictures under the plexi-glass and you have a great picture frame/piece of art! 

Here's mine in it's new home.  Note the missing season of Spring?  I promise as soon as some buttercups or tulips bloom I am going to replace it.

Speaking of which, that's one of the great things about a found piece of art that you create with your own photos.  As you want, you can change out the pictures to reflect the season, your mood or your improved photography skills.
Here are two other found objects that I have used to display photos

An old window...
A piece of iron gate that I've had forever.

 I framed our family's Christmas cards from the last few years and hung them by some string from each of the points. (Don't tell my mom, but I just took this down today...yikes!)

   My next project is a spring mantle, inspired by The Lettered Cottage.  I'll keep you posted!

How do you use your photos?  I hope everyone will share some ideas.  I plan on making a blog book at the end of the year, but why wait?  It's a challenge to get those photos off your computer and into use in your home.  Immediately!
Blessings Friends,


  1. Oh wow! You are so crafty! See that is my problem! I am great at taking lots of great photos but for some reason putting them up intimidates me. I don't know why. My pictures end up in a year end picture book and on the computer. I really need to get more creative. I think cost usually turns me off too, but if I could do it cheap or free, that would be great!!!

  2. Very cool. Thanks for sharing your technique. I love found pieces... but never can seem to find any :) I'll keep looking.

  3. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea! You did a great job of documenting it and making it easy to understand, so much so that I think even I could do it! You've inspired me to get out and start looking for some fun old stuff to do this with.

  4. Wow, very cool! Thanks for sharing!

  5. The door turned out great. I love repurposing things (especially wooden boxes). I used a leaded glass sidelight across a headboard in one of our guest rooms.
    Dropping by from How To's Day. Hope you'll come see DD2's picture wall we did for her.