Creative Gift Idea: Picture Perfect
The glue that holds it together
I thought of this about years ago - as an inexpensive, but creative Christmas gift for my family. Having little money to buy something extra nice for someone can easily put you in a "scrooge mood". Instead of getting in the holiday dumps, get creative and make something from the heart!
This gift idea is not just for a picture frame, but dozens of pictures in itself, made personally, with loads of memories! Before I started crafting the idea, this is what I started with:
- 6 picture frames (for 3 couples). My frames were flat with a 2" border (can be made of any material, but plastic and wood are easiest to work with). Or, you can use the matting - whichever you prefer!
- Mod Podge, or some other waterbase sealant. It is important to buy something that is clear, and rather thin.
Once I had my basic materials -along with scissors, paper, a computer (with printer), magazines, scrapbooking supplies, stickers, and more- I created questionnaires for everyone. Of course, I went "all-out" with this idea, and wanted to make it perfectly personal. This step is not necessary; just fun!
Some suggestion questions (for doing a spouse questionnaire) are:
- "What is your anniversary?"
- "What is your first memory of your spouse?"
- "What one place reminds you most of your spouse?"
- "What of your spouse's traits are your favorite?"
- "Do the two of you have a 'song'? If so, what is it?"
As you can see, they are questions about the spouse. My reasoning for this was to obtain memories, funny stories, words and symbols, and more, that were special between the two. This become my foundation for the frames. Love would be the glue that holds it together...
Make a cute, personalized frame for your boss or co-worker, Grandma or Aunt, friend or sister. Construct a memory-filled collage, add a fun picture, and you've got a great gift!
Once I had the answers in hand, I went to work. Now, if you do not do questionnaires (remember: it's not necessary), join in here!
- Search for pictures, words, lyrics, quotes, etc. that embody the answers. Adding some cute words/sayings, such as "Love conquers all" or "I do", add a romantic touch, and help take up some space on the frame. I looked online and in magazines for words and quotes. I also used some scrapbooking books, which help to add color and special/pretty fonts. [Scrapbooking supplies work well for this project, and can be found at any hobby store, or main grocery/retail store, like Walmart.]
- Next, find pictures that describe emotions, places, people, movies, food, dates, and more - from the answers provided. For example, if one fond memory is flying in a certain plane, try to find a picture of that plane. Or, if the two met in a certain place, try to obtain a small picture of that place, or a picture of the name of it.
- Then, get some pictures of the couple. Keep in mind that all pictures, words, etc. that are gathered together, should be relatively small... small enough to fit on the frame. The point of this is to create a collage of multiple memories, that will eventually surround a picture of the spouse or the couple.
- Once you have collected all of your pictures, start the collage! Use fun scissors to create crazy edges, add stickers and glitter, and mix-up the pictures so that you have words with pictures. It is okay to overlap a bit, as not having any of the frame showing is best.
To stick the pictures to the frame, I use a double-sided scrapbooking adhesive (aka "mounting squares"), which can be found at hobby shops and large, well-known department stores. The squares of tape are very tiny, can be cut, and are easy to use. A box of 250-500 usually costs $4-7 USD, and you should not need more than that to create a frame. They work wonders for scrapbooking, making cards, and more! Glue can be used, but I would not suggest it, as it will create waves under the pictures, and can be lumpy and messy. *See above right for examples.*
- Keep placing and taping/glueing pictures and words (and anything else you desire) to the frame, until you can not see any of the frame showing through.
I have been framed!
Once the frame is completely covered, and you are satisfied with your work, lay down a few pieces of newspaper or cardboard (on a flat surface). Make sure that this space will not be trafficked much in the next few hours.
- Then, using a clear, waterbase sealant, lightly coat the frame. Make sure to get edges, and do not be scared to lather it on!
I use Mod Podge: Matte Mat, which works well for a variety of surfaces and projects, and lasts longer than other sealants (in my opinion). I only used about 2-3 oz. of Mod Podge for six picture frames.
- Let the frame dry for a couple of hours. Touch-up any areas as needed.
- Lastly, slip in a picture of the spouse.
You can put a picture of the two of them, or one of them. I actually gave the frames without pictures, so that each person could choose their favorite to place in the frame. I would suggest, though, to place in a picture of the person that answered the questions for that frame. [[I hope that this does not get too confusing.]] The person that answered the questions, answered them about their spouse. Therefore, the frame is memories of that other person. So, it should be given to that person.
In a nutshell...
Of course, you do not have to do what I recommend for this project. You could just as easily make a frame of your own memories for your spouse, kids, or friends. Here are some other ideas for making a collage frame:
- A child's favorites - toys, colors, places
- Memories of your grandparents
- Pictures, words, and sayings from a particular event, like a birthday party, and put in a picture from that birthday party
- A friend's wedding - and put in a picture from the wedding
It is up to you how elaborate the frame is, and how much you spend creating it! The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do!