Thursday, September 25, 2014

14 UHeart Organizing: Craft & Reclaim a Frame

Although my pal, Sarah, is queen of crafting and scrapbooking, it doesn't mean her ideas stop there.  I love that what she brings here not only applies to her personal passions, but could also be incorporated within other hobbies and lifestyles as well.  Today she is stopping by to share her process for displaying her recent projects within her craft room, but the idea could also be used in a kitchen or office for important memos and reminders.  Versatile options are great options!  Here she is now!



About this time last year, I shared with you my new system for organizing all the bits and bobs I use for creating scrapbook pages and cards. Since then, the wall above these delightful mason jars has been blank, awaiting some sort of display.


I knew I wanted to hang an empty frame, preferably with some cool detailing. The stars aligned and I managed to snag this frame for half price. I loved the frames bevel and the carved flower detail.



But I was torn: should I fill the center of the open frame with an assortment of smaller frames? Or should I create a kind of open weave memo board on which I could display finished pages and cards? I ultimately opted for the latter, though I plan to display the collage of colorful frames elsewhere in my craft room.

Decision made, I could finally paint the frame. I selected a lovely, sunny yellow, to pick up the dominant accent color in my room. I purchased a can of spray-paint at Michaels, using a 40% off coupon, of course. I also picked up some white and turquoise ribbon to create the grid. I chose two different widths of ribbon – 3/8 inch for the white and 1/4 inch for the turquoise – for added visual interest. I originally planned to get some fun patterned ribbon, but decided that might compete with the craft projects I plan to display.


I started by removing everything from the frame, which included peeling the black paper off the back {my husband’s friend claimed all the pieces I wasn’t using, so luckily nothing went to waste}.


I had initially planned to use my manual staple gun to adhere the ribbon to the back of the frame, but I discovered that the staples used to hold the picture in place would do the job instead. They were evenly spaced and there were enough of them to let me choose exactly the design I wanted for the ribbon, plus they sat high enough to let me thread the ribbon under but not so high that they would prevent the frame from sitting flush to the wall when hung.


Don’t you love it when things work out like that?! But of course I didn’t know about the staples until I removed the backing, so this is a difficult option to plan for. To get the frame ready for painting, I gave it a really good cleaning and a light sanding. Then it was time to paint. My knees aren’t such a fan of squatting on the garage floor, so I placed the frame on a card table, protecting the surface with some pieces of cardboard covered with an old sheet.


I {and by “I” I mean my sweet helper of a husband} gave the frame 5 light layers of paint, which helped avoid drips, holding the can about 12” away from the frame and letting it dry about 10 minutes between layers.



I am absolutely in love with the finish. It has just the sheen I was hoping for and I love the color. And the paint highlighted the flower detail even better than expected. Because the wood frame did have some imperfections, the coverage isn’t 100% perfect. I could have added more layers of paint, but with each layer the flower details because less and less defined. So I decided to embrace the imperfections {I think the experts call it “character”…}. But if you really want that flawless finish, make sure to look for a frame without gouges and run your hand over it to make sure the surface is smooth.

Now it was time for the ribbon grid. I played around with the configuration a bit to see what I liked best. I used a piece of painter’s tape to hold the ribbon in place while I tried different options. If you use ribbon like I did, as opposed to twine or wire, notice that the ribbon has a tendency to twist, so make sure before you permanently adhere it that it’s laying the way you want it to.


For my first attempt, I played around with crossing the ribbon and overlapping it. My original plan was just to use one long length of ribbon, to conserve ribbon. However, had I decided to keep this really random design, I would have actually cut smaller lengths of ribbon for each pass across the frame. It was just too hard to use one length, because I I had to undo all the ribbon just to change one pass. This was definitely an instance of the project determining the process.

But alas, the random design and I weren’t meant to be. I thought I would love it – and it is fun – but I decided I couldn’t handle looking at anything this asymmetrical on a daily basis. One problem {for me} with the random option was I didn’t care for having ribbon strung vertically. So for my next design I wove the white ribbon back and forth through the evenly spaced staples, every other one. Then I did the same with the turquoise ribbon.


And yet… It just felt a little too perfect… After all, this space is all about crafty creativity. So I thought I would give it one more a try. And it was juuuust right.


I actually just left the white ribbon where I had placed it for option #2, woven back and forth through evenly spaced staples. For the turquoise ribbon, I still laced it back and forth, I just chose more random spacing. Because this design was more predictable, I was able to use just one length of white and one length of turquoise.

Once I was happy with the placement of everything, I adhered the ribbon to the frame. I started by tying one end of each ribbon in a tight double knot around the first staple. Then I followed my selected pattern, making sure to pull the ribbon taut as I wove back and forth through the staples, since the ribbon will need to bear the weight of scrapbook pages and cards. Had the frame not already had staples, I would have stapled it in place each time I passed back and forth across the frame. You could also use small finishing nails. When I got to the end of the line, I secured the end with a quick staple, which allowed me to pull the ribbon tighter than I could with just a knot. A couple of quick taps with a hammer and everything was secure. Then I repeated the process for the other ribbon.


Now it was time to hang it on the wall. Since the frame is really light without a picture or glass, I just used regular nails to attach it. If your frame doesn’t already have hangers installed, like mine did, I recommend attaching two hanging brackets along the top backside of the frame. This way you don’t have to worry if items hanging on one side are heavier than the other. I really hit the jackpot with this bargain item!



Now the only thing left to do was hang some of my recently completed projects on my lovely new frame.



To hold the projects in place, I used these colorful magnetic clips I picked up in the office supplies section at Target and small clothes pins from Michael’s craft department. The magnet clips are nice because they won’t damage the paper, which is very important. An added feature that I hadn’t anticipated is that I can use the bottom lip of the frame to bear the weight of lower items. Yet another happy accident.



The frame turned out even better than I hoped for and I’m so excited to finally have a place to display newly finished projects.

I would love to hear from you brilliant I Heart readers: How do you display your finished projects so you can admire them?


"My name is Sarah and I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN with my husband of almost two years, Eric, and our two adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Hermes and Brontë. I am a Communications Consultant by day and by night/weekend/any spare moment, I indulge in my passion for writing, crafting and organizing. I am honored to share with all you dedicated iHeart fans my tips, tricks and secrets for organized crafting, which will not only help you get control of your craft clutter but also allow you to make more efficient and productive use of your precious crafting time. While I am blessed with an entire craft room, I promise to explain how all the solutions I share can be tailored to your specific situation, whether it be a dedicated room, a small storage space or mobile crafting. In the meantime, Happy Crafting!"

14 comments:

  1. I like the ribbon pattern Sarah went with, it's quite complimentary. The color choices are soothing. Love it!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Heather - soothing is exactly what I was going for!

      :) Sarah

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  2. I love all the colors that you chose and that pup is the cutest ever!

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    Replies
    1. She is pretty adorable - and she knows it, too!

      :) Sarah

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  3. Oh Sarah! I always enjoy your posts! You are extremely talented! Love this frame projects! =)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jessica - what a lovely complement to start the day with.

      :) Sarah

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  4. OMG.... I am soooo glad that someone else out there has animals who hate it when I take pictures of them and yet gets into every single picture I try to take of OTHER things! Your pup is cute and I love your project! :)

    http://repurposefulboutique.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time, Courtney, every time... It's a miracle I have any pictures without here. :)

      :) Sarah

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  5. Is the storage unit an IKEA Kallax or Expedit and if so, where did you get the blue bins? I can't find any big enough to fill the whole cubby.

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    Replies
    1. The book case is the older Expedit. The bins are from Target's Itso collection and they are exactly the right fit. I have heard from other I Heart readers when I talked about them in the past that they couldn't find them though, and it's been a few years since I bought any, so I'm not sure they are still available. I've also noticed that Ikea has a larger selection of colorful bins then they've had in the past, but I've never tried them myself. Good luck in your search!

      :) Sarah

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  6. I did a similar project with a fine wire and turned it into an earring holder for the hoop style earrings. It was obviously much smaller, but so functional! Gotta love a project that recycles and organizes all at once:)

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, sounds cute! Great minds think alike, eh?

      :) Sarah

      Delete

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