Puzzled Photo Frame

About: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.

Photo frames are meant to hold memories & art, but it's also possible to have a bit of fun with the frame itself. The frames from Ikea are just begging to be messed with so I figured that some decoration would be fun to do.

Here's how it was made

Step 1: Get Stuff

What you need:
  • Photo frame
  • Items to attach to frame
  • Glue. Here I'm using Loctite Super Glue
  • White spray paint
You can use other colors of spray paint, of course. I just like white because it's instant class and goes with everything. With so many visual things happening with all of the stuff that's attached I like to take it down a bit with a white coat so that the colors of the photo still stand out.

Step 2: Paint the Frame

Go to a well-ventilated area, outside is best, and apply a couple coats of white spray paint to the frame. Make sure to give time between coats for it to dry.

This step is important because with items glued on top it will be harder for the paint to get good coverage on the frame.

Step 3: Glue!

Don't glue yet! First lay out the items on the frame so you get an idea of how you want it to go on and how much room you'll need.

Why the super glue? The Loctite is sticky stuff and you don't need much. This is a big advantage over hot glue, another great adhesive, since you're less likely to get blobs sticking out.

So with a plan and some glue, start putting everything in place. Dab, attach, and repeat until covered.

Step 4: Paint!

Go back to the well-ventilated are and apply thin coats of paint, letting it dry between coats. Don't try and get it all done too quickly or the paint can pool and drip, making it look messy.

This part can take a while so relax. Apply a coat, do something else long enough that you forget bout it, then do it again.

Step 5: Add a Photo

With the paint completely covering the art and completely dry, you can add in your favorite photo. Then place it wherever you want and enjoy! You're done.

Step 6: Bonus: Space Toys!

Puzzle pieces a little too 2D for you? You can always try adding elements that pop out a little more. These are little space toys from our local toy store. 

The one extra step here was to take care of the wheels. Again using the Loctite super glue, I glued the wheels in place first, let that dry, and then glued the wheels to the frame. Again the advantage here is that you don't need much and the final product has a cleaner look than if you used hot glue.

Of course the whole process can work for other old toys you might have lying around like Micro Machines, Barbie dolls, or green army men.



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    5 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I adore this and I think it could be a very easy project for kids to make or to make in school for gifts for parents. Even cheaper you could use a cardboard frame. Love it love it love it!

    Void Schism

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Just a thought that occured to me. You could stick other photos to the puzzle pieces and cut them to shape to make a puzzle montage frame.

    Thanks. I haven't seen many others. Once I had the idea I didn't want to see that others had done it. The white paint is absolutely necessary. I wanted the texture of the pieces without overwhelming the picture to go inside.