Small Metal Frame Display

As I previously mentioned I have collected all the small metal frames I see at thrift stores in preparation for this project. I wanted to display a line of these cheap little metal frames on the strip of wall next to my living room closet. I actually ended up with a couple more than I needed, I am sure I will find something for them to do. Anyway these frames are meant to be propped not hung so a little modification was needed.

Here is the typical back of one of the frames:

The flap that props the frame up needs to be removed to allow the frame to sit flush to the wall. On this one I was able to pull the flap off but on others I had to use pliers to remove the metal hinge connecting the flap to the backing. To create a hook I took thin wire cut in 1-ish inch pieces and bent them into U’s. To attach to the backing I applied hot glue, pressed the U’s ends into the glue and then added a little more on top. This is what I ended up with:

Because the frames are all varying colors of gold, different shapes and sizes I decided to fill them with black and white photos to give the display unity.

I printed all the pictures myself, but I had some problems. Since they were b&w I didn’t think I needed to have a color cartridge (I usually don’t buy color ink) but the first couple pictures came out weirdly pixellated and grainy. After running the print utility, cleaning the cartridge nozzle and messing with the print settings I looked up my problem online. My printer like many others uses the color cartridge to produce grayscale, so I bought a color cartridge and the pictures turned out great.

To finish up I took each frame apart and cleaned the metal and then used Windex on the glass. To insure that the frame, glass, picture and backing stay together when hung up, I stuffed the back of each with filler cardboard.

The easiest way I have found to hang pictures is to trace the frame on the wall, measure where the hook will be and transfer that measurement to the wall. Drive a nail or picture hook or whatever on the spot you marked, then wash the pencil marks off.

Here are the finished pictures, it was impossible to get a good shot of the overview. The light is always wrong right there and the couch casts such a shadow, but you get the idea… it looks really good in person.

The top one has a glare but it’s Matt in front of Cloud Gate in Millennium Park in Chicago. Then it’s me and my sister Bailey on our road-trip to Durango, and you can also see the top of Matt’s head in the next frame.

The first picture is of Matt and I inside the Sears Tower Skydeck also in Chicago, and the one below is a duckling Matt had when he was in high school.

The top one is obviously Todd, and below that is Bailey again, in Silverton.

I love the display but since it is in a high traffic the frames kept ending up crooked. So I used Zots (adhesive dots, usually used for scrap-booking) under each to keep them straight.

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