Saturday, 7 November 2009

Metal-Effect Photo Frame

Warning - lots of photos follow.

It's my Dad's 86th Birthday this week. What do you buy someone who says he has everything? I decided not to buy him something - but to make it - as he is always so appreciative of my crafting efforts! I decided to make a metal-effect photo frame for this shot of him in his beloved garden which I changed to black and white, added text, and printed off on 6x4 photo paper.
The metal-effect technique is nothing new, but as some of you may not have seen it done, here's what I did. The top photo shows how I used thick cardboard to cut the back and then the sides of the frame, shaping the corners with a craft knife and steel-edged ruler.

Then I passed silver card (mostly scraps) through my Cuttlebug using different embossing folders. Black acryllic paint comes next! Just smear it over the embossed card with a sponge - or a finger, like I did! Crafting's no fun unless you can get messy! Remove the excess straight away though as the paint dries quickly.
I cut the card roughly into 2 inch squares but some were larger - the size is up to you - and arranged them to cover the frame pieces in a design I liked.

I adhered the embossed card to the frame pieces. Using a sharp craft knife and steel-edged ruler, I trimmed off the extra card and inked around all the edges with black ink. Then I adhered the photo to the frame back and the frame pieces around that.  Nearly done!

I used a piece of thick cardboard to make a stand for the back of the frame and scored it one third down before attaching it. You could always paint the back or cover it with patterned paper, but I left it plain.
Now for the result!

An easier option might be to cover an existing photo frame but I always like to make things from scratch. If you've not tried this technique before, it really is as easy as I've shown, and it really does look like distressed metal. I hope you've been inspired to have a go yourself.
Now all I have to do is post it and hope it gets there in time!


  1. It looks fab Ann, the hardest part being the arranging of the pattern pieces maybe, but still a great technique.

  2. Absolutely brilliant ... looks so real ...he will love it I am sure. As parents get older it is hard to think of presents. My late mum loved the Xmas hampers we put together.... sweet treats .... savory treats .... minitures of 'booze' to enjoy as an evening treat ...and a smelly one too as she loved talcs and soaps and little fragrant candles.
    She said they gave her enjoyment well past January and I loved putting them together over the months prior to Christmas.



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