Introduction: Recycled Curved "glass" Picture Frame

Another use for our modern waste of plastic bottles, leftover cardboard packaging and some thrift store clothes- make nifty antique style curved front picture frames for your favorite pictures all out of recycled materials!!!

These make great keepsakes to send to family or friends, or as wedding gifts. And you can make them either permanently closed as a keepsake or hinged to open and close and swap pictures out.

Step 1: Stuff

Plastic bottle with gently curving top area
Cardboard- I used a packing box
Fabric of your choice- I used a good velvet that I cut up a thrift store dress to get.
Xacto Knife and/or Scissors
Elmers Glue- or your could use hot glue for some of the edges if you want more instant gratification
Scotch Tape
Sharpie

Step 2: Stab

First take a look at the plastic bottle and figure out where you are going to cut to get the best and largest curve out of the bottle, with the least plastic scuffs. Then use your sharpie to draw a oval shape a little larger than you want the finished plastic to be.

Cut around the area that is marked with the pen, using an xacto or your scissors, then trim the plastic down to be a smooth oval shape, and be sure all the marked edges are removed.

Step 3: Slice

Next take your oval shape plastic and lay it on the cardboard to trace around it. Then draw a second line inside the first oval the size of the sharpie tip to make the hole when you cut it be slightly smaller to hold the plastic in place.

Draw a line around the outside about an inch and a half or two inches outside of the inner oval trying to follow the general oval shape as much as easily possible, but it's not critical because you can always trim it later.

Cut out the inner and outer circles on the cardboard, then trim the outer edge to be an appealing oval shape and the right thickness for how it looks with mocking up the plastic inside of it.

Then trim back the inside edge of the cardboard opening a bit so the plastic will lay flat against the edge of the opening.

Trace a second piece of cardboard with the oval and cut that out to use as a back, then cut a small rectangle to use as a stand. Attach the stand to the backing with a few pieces of tape so the picture frame will sit at a lovely angle when it is done.

Step 4: Dice

Lay the cardboard oval down on top of the velvet and mark the inner and outer circle if you can- test your fabric for bleeding through of the pen before using the sharpie!!! If not a sharpie a crayon or pencil would probably work to get some guidelines down.

Then cut your velvet in pie shapes in the center and slits around the sides so the fabric will fold over the edges of the cardboard and glue down easily.

Cut a second oval of velvet to cover the back piece and cut slits around the edges of that too. Also cut a slit in the back where the stand pokes through

Then cut a square strip of velvet to cover the stand piece, allowing room for it to overlap at the bottom and the sides will butt up with each other underneath.

Step 5: Get Sticky

Stretch the velvet over the face of the cardboard, checking for fit, then flip it over and apply a thick line of glue around the center cut out area, then another thick layer around the whole outer ring. Press the center points into the glue, rounding the middle with a finger while you press it in.

Then put the outer edges down, dipping them in glue to have them stick where they overlap, or using the q-tip to apply glue to the edges that need extra sticking. Be sure to check the front while you are gluing to make sure it doesn't have wrinkles- and be careful not to get glue on the velvet in front!

Then do the same thing to the back piece, and then wrap the stand in velvet with the fabric wrapping from the outside to inside on all edges.

Give it a few minutes to dry at this point, but not long enough where it gets hard, the length it takes to have a cup of tea works good, then put a thin layer of glue on top of the velvet around the inner edge and set the plastic into the center, pushing it up through the center so it sticks out, and watching that it doesn't make the center edges of the frame look weird, if they come out just push them back down flush.

Let the pieces dry overnight. If you are impatient and don't want to wait overnight you can use hot glue instead.

Step 6: Sepia = Brown

Next you've gotta figure out what picture you want to use, ideally it is something that will look kind of vintage when it is in the frame. I used one of our awesome wedding photos that my friend Margie Richlen took and I used iPhoto to make it sepia toned (although I used the antique effect because the sepia effect didn't look right)

Figure out how to get the picture to be the right size, then print it using decent quality paper, and then cut it out so it is an oval shape to fit into the backing.

Use a thin layer of glue around the edges of the photo. or a glue stick to glue the picture down into the back where it will look good.

Step 7: Hinge?

Here is where you have a couple different directions the project can go in. You can either glue it all together to be a solid closed frame, finishing the edge off with a ribbon or some kind of frill if you desire, or you can build the frame to open and close.

If you want to make it open the inside edges have to be nice looking and we have a few extra steps: like cutting a piece of plastic from a bottle to hold the photo in place, building a hinge out of tape or wire, and building a clasp out of cord or wire. Anyways I'm not going to go into all that in detail now, but it's not that hard to figure out if you want to make replaceable photos, but myself I like the one photo aspect because it makes it more of a permanent keepsake.

I also made some non-curved ones out of flat pieces of plastic and some chinese paper cut out cards that I think came out really cute so that is the other picture here.

Comments

author
lucy barth (author)2009-01-22

wow what a pretty frame and reasonable price of free. thanks for sharing your idea. and it is nice that it can be reused again too. and various colors or fabrics can be used too.