Fit for a wedding: Thrift store frames

We are continuing a run down of our epic wedding craft day this past weekend – Monday I chatted about our DIY favors made from glass test tubes filled with things like wildflower seeds and bath salts. We are moving onward and upward today with a quick, affordable craft involving my favorite DIY supply: spray paint. The goal was to create a colorful collection of frames to sit on various tables throughout our reception space to denote things like gifts, cupcakes, favors, guest book, etc. Rather than pay top dollar for said frames, I scoured our local thrift stores to find affordable options that I could give a face lift.

Here are my victims:

I was hoping to find elaborate, traditional frames with scroll work and filigree because all of those beautiful details really pop when painted a bright color. Alas, as you can see, I only found one that was even close to what I was searching for, but that’s okay. This was one such project that I didn’t feel needed a ton of leg work and multiple shopping stops. The frames didn’t really need to be the stars of the show anyway.

Can’t beat the final price tag! Only $10.05 for seven frames.

Time for their fashion-forward makeovers! I removed their “fillings” of glass and backing board and then put them out on the front sidewalk on top of some cardboard. Then my sweet and accommodating fiance did the rest – Spray painting each with either a pop of neon teal or canary yellow. We don’t actually have any specific color scheme for the wedding since we are using colorful mismatched vintage china in place of rented serving ware, and we are also just using whatever wildflowers are in season for the centerpieces, so I simply chose two of my favorite spray paint colors that we had in stock in the garage.

While John took care of the painting, I got to work on what went inside of the frames. To do so, I typed up a few quick phrases for sections I knew I wanted to label for guests’ benefit:

  • “Enjoy a celebratory cupcake!”
  • “In lieu of a guest book, please seal a note of encouragement or advice and toss it in the suitcase for future reading.” (I’ll explain this project in a post very soon)
  • “Favors – Please take your pick:” and “Grow a plot of wild flowers,” “Indulge in sweet candy pieces,” “Relax with aromatic bath salts” (these will all go into the one frame I bought that has two openings in the mat board)
  • “Thank you for your thoughtful gift!”

Oh, and don’t worry – I’m now aware that I misspelled the word “Indulge”…Will need to redo that one at some point ::sigh::

To cut them to size, I used the glass that I had removed as templates. Since the glass is clear, I was able to lay the glass on top of each phrase and then eye-ball it until it looked centered. Then, using a pen, I traced around the edges of the glass and got the perfect line to cut across to fit inside the finished frames. For the two phrases going inside of the mat board, I centered the words in the middle of the mats and traced the edges. I cut a little outside of those lines though so that the mat would overlap the edge of the paper.

Before I show you the final results of our newly-stylish collection of wedding frames, I have to show you one last quick fix. When purchasing anything from a thrift store, you have to know that there might be some less-than-perfect conditions to deal with. Case in point, one of my frames (the largest, in fact) was feeling a little unsteady due to a bent/creased backing arm.

I debated reinforcing it was a dowel rod, but in the end I went with a piece of ribbon and some tape. I cut the ribbon to the length of the distance I wanted the frame arm to swing out (with a little extra on the front and tail of the ribbon). After it was cut to size, I taped one end of the ribbon to the frame’s backing board and then the other end to the arm. This meant that the arm could swing out only so far from the frame, steadying it on whatever surface it sat on.

It’s not the prettiest thing you’ll ever see, but it did the trick.

Here are the finished thrift store frames looking lovely, colorful and definitely fit for our big day in April.

As you can see, we didn’t touch the little brass guy (you know how much I am digging brass these days), and we also didn’t fill all seven frames. I stole one for a project I’ll tell you all about next week, but the rest are empty and waiting should we think of anything else needing signage. Once I fix the spelling of “Indulge,” we will be golden (or should I say “teal”).

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

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