Introduction: How to Make Personalized Wire and Clothespin Picture Frame

This is an easy craft for anyone with little to no experience.

Hang your pictures in a way that matches your personality!

Step 1: Collect Supplies

Here is what you need for this project:

  • One large picture frame
  • Clothes pins
  • Wire (or string as a backup)
  • One small sheet of sandpaper and a wet rag
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Spare Scrapbook paper
  • Artists' glue (Mod Podge)
  • Hot glue, super glue, or wood glue (depending on your frame choice)
  1. Look around you for old picture frames or explore your local thrift shop for a large frame that has removable glass. You want to be able to hang your frame without the glass or the backing attached.
  2. The picture above shows an example of a mounting bracket on a frame. This would be a good form of hanging your picture frame, so look for this feature in your frame.
  3. If the frame is in need of an attachment to help hang it, be sure to have extra wire and the appropriate glue.
  4. Look around for spare scrapbook paper that will match your color theme. You do not need a lot and they will not have to be in large pieces (you will be cutting them into pieces the size of the face of your clothespins so for regular sized clothespins, you will need pieces about 3 ½ by ½ inches).
  5. Select your paint for the frame and for the clothespins based on your preferences and your scrapbook paper.

Step 2: Paint the Frame

Note: The next two steps can be done at the same time because, you have to wait for paint to dry, which allows time to get started on the next step.

  1. Take your large picture frame and remove any glass or backing to the frame.
  2. Using the sandpaper and a wet rag, make sure your frame is clean, smooth, and ready for painting.
  3. Lay the frame flat on a sheet of newspaper and paint the first layer of color. Do not worry about hitting the opposite side of the frame.
  4. Allow to dry, and add a second coat.
  5. Once that side is completely dry, flip the frame over so you can reach the other side, and paint two coats as you did for the first side.
  6. Your frame should be a solid color of your choice. Be sure to check for any spots that might have been missed now before you go any further!

Step 3: Paint the Clothespins

There are two ways of going about this process. I will focus on one method, but if you would like another see <> This method requires you to take apart the clothespins and put them back together. You are more likely to break a clothespin or not be able to get it back together. The method I am suggesting takes a little more time, but it is worth it in the long run!

  1. Select a color to paint your clothespin and while pinching the clothespin as show in the image above, cover all sides of the bottom half of the clothespin. Be sure to get in between the two sides and cover as close to your fingers as possible.
  2. Hold the clothespin open for another minute to allow for it to dry.
  3. Gently allow the clothespin to close, and set it out to dry on old newspaper. Every few minutes, gently pinch the clothespin to ensure that the paint did not seal it shut. Do not be discouraged if you have the paint comes off, you will be able to fix it with another layer.
  4. Now, add another layer of paint to the original side. Hold the clothespin open once again, and dry in a similar fashion.
  5. Once those two layers are completely dried, grab the clothespin from the end you just painted (make sure it is dry), and paint the rest of the clothespin.
  6. After the first coat drys, finish that side with a second coat.
  7. While waiting for your clothespins to dry, you can move on the Step 4.

Step 4: Add Wire to the Frame

  1. Once all the painting and drying is completed on the frame, add the wire that will support the clothespins and pictures
  2. Depending on what kind of frame you obtained earlier, make sure you have a way to hang the frame on a wall or support in on a table (see step 1 for details).
  3. Attach as many rows of wire to the back of the frame as will fit. Be sure to leave room for your pictures to fit between the rows and take into account the last row will need to confine pictures to the inside of the frame. The best way to make sure your wires are secure is by wrapping it around staples in the frame. If your frame does not contain staples, you can take the hot glue, super glue, or wood glue to secure the wire in place on the sides of the frame. See the image above depicting staples in a frame being used to hold wire.
  4. If you are using any of the glue to attach the wires to your frame, be sure to add an adequate amount of time for it to dry and before adding any weight to the wires. E6000 industrial strength adhesive is a good option to secure your wire in place.

Step 5: Add Paper to the Clothespins

  1. Make sure you have cut your pieces of scrapbook paper into small rectangles that will line up on the face of each of the clothespins. This can be done by outlining the clothespin face on your paper and then cutting it out. Ensure your final cutout is accurate by lining it on one of the clothespins. It is very easy to cut incorrectly and not notice until after the paper is stuck to the clothespin.
  2. Using the Mod Podge (pictured above), add a layer of glue to the back of the paper as well as to the face of the clothespin. I recommend using a paintbrush to get an even layer on all surfaces, but you can use anything that can distribute the Mod Podge.
  3. Place the glued-covered side of the paper to the glue-covered face.
  4. Hold it in place for about thirty seconds.
  5. Once the glue dries and the paper feels stable on the clothespins, add another layer of Mod Podge on top of the paper. Be sure to spread it past the paper and onto the wood of the clothespin. This way your design will blend in with the clothespin, and they will have similar finishes.

Step 6: Hang Your Creation

  1. The final touches for your masterpiece is to select what will go in it. Search through your favorite pictures and select a few to attach to your frame. These pictures do not all have to be the same size and shape. Look around for different sizes so your frame has a little variety. If you only have the typical 4x6 photos, angle each of the pictures, and it will look great!
  2. Attach the pictures to the wire using the clothespins. Be sure to catch the wire and the picture with the clothespin. Depending on where the wire is, it might keep the clothespin open and not able to hold a picture. Aim for getting the wire to fit in between the wood where it will stay in one place and still close all the way.
  3. Hang up the frame on a wall or set it up on a table so you can admire your beautiful work!