• Mr. Intrigue

3. DIY Floating Picture Frames

Instead of posting photos to Instagram I'd rather post them to my IRL wall. A collage of my photos is a good way to fill an empty wall and would be a fantastic reminder of the unique experiences and memories. Now, I'm grown and this ain’t college, so,that means being an adult and putting pictures in frames. Sticking photos directly to the wall just ain't the move. Adulting!¶

Personally, I like a sleek, modern and minimalist look. Floating frames are perfect for accentuating and highlighting photography without the added heft and distraction of the photo mat.

However, it is important to note that:¶

1) Store bought floating frames are expensive, especially in large quantities and¶

2) I thought the available frames were ugly and plain

I don't like my options so I have no choice to but to make some custom shit!

The vision for this walled photo collage is to have multiple frames disparate in design and structure, yet united in a theme that are both individually unique and collectively pleasing to the eye without overtaking the photos they contain.¶


So I'm buying cheap regular frames and converting them to floating frames by fixing the glass to the frame and the photo to the glass.

To get the frames I needed I turned to the 99 cent stores. Dollar stores have tons of cheap things that look like what they cost - cheap. (No shade but it is what it is --you get what you pay for.) But, with a little thought and creativity, these stores can provide the necessary fodder for many projects.

These stores have a variety of frames in different sizes and designs all for a dollar each. I tried not to duplicate styles and vary sizes.

First, remove the cardboard back, the mat, the pane of glass, and that lovely couple that comes with the frame.

I like to number the card and the frame to keep things together.

I also like to take a dry erase marker and number the glass directly if I have one handy. This will help me return the correct pane of glass to its rightful frame.

I literally have used every color, but for this room I decided on Satin Brown Boots which compliments my gray walls and the other artifacts on display. I liked the warmth it brings tonally but these frames can be done in any color. I did a wonderful assortment of colors for my home in Europe.

Painting the frames is relatively simple. I lay them out on cardboard or paper bags and paint them In order to prevent gaps in coverage. Also, get close to eye level when checking your work.

While a smooth paint finish is the generally desired, the puckering of one paint layer atop another gives a really cool texture. This project is about playing with differences and similarities so imperfections are encouraged.

With the right weather conditions, your frames should be dry and ready to move back inside within an hour.

I hate finger prints on glass so I will be wearing gloves from here on out. I use a spray bottle of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and a microfiber cloth to clean the panes of glass.

Hot glue is a great way to lock in the glass. By applying large dollops to the corners and midpoints you can press the glass into the hot glue. It should ooze along the depression and create a lip that will help hold it in place.

This part is easy. I prefer using the 3M adhesive dot roller to attach my photos to the glass. It works just like your office white out strips but its glue!

The trickier part is placing it evenly within the frame. I usually eyeball it, but my suggestion if you are nervous is to place a piece of graph paper underneath the frame. Stand above your project, align your photo to the grid and press to fix it to the glass.

There is nothing left to do but prepare to hang the photos on the wall. To do this I use 3M command picture hanging strips. You can buy the small ones because the dollar store frames weigh virtually nothing.

The strips come in pairs, take two push the Velcro ends together, then cut the pair in half lengthwise. You can now remove a label exposing the adhesive and stick it to your frame attaching the other half parallel to the first.

If the metal brads are in the way fold them down or use a set of pliers to remove them.

And done. Only thing left is to hang the photos.

I suggest laying all of your frames out on a large surface like a bed or open floor before transferring them to the wall, but you can also go rogue and see what you come up with. I’m not here to judge --live your best life!

Having decided on your arrangement you are ready to hang the photos. You can simply remove the remaining 3M label and press the frame firmly to the wall. Now, I eyeballed the spacing and level of the photos -- this is my superpower and I will not be shamed for it -- but for those less spatially inclined I suggest downloading a leveler app on your phone and finding something that can act as a spacer between frames (like a Lego brick or one of those pink school erasers).¶

The result is one I am still very proud of and it quickly becomes a conversation piece whenever anyone sees it. The equal parts similarity and disparity are what gives this project its allure and causes an organic interest in your photos. Not only are the photos beautiful to look at but the arrangement and framing of the photos are beautiful which has a multiplying effect that becomes a bit meta-- after all, it's an art piece within an art piece! Whether viewed from across the room or up close, your photos will be something to behold and that's how you craft intrigue.

For me, social media feels like a tedious chore but I do engage when provoked so feel free to say hello and that you've seen the website. I am currently active on Instagram where you can see more photos and videos of the things I make. Find and follow me @CallHimIntrigue I do my best to keep it Intriguing! ;) ✌🏾

20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Leave a comment below.