Monday, June 6, 2011

Free (or very cheap!) DIY Project written by guest blogger Lisa Lemble!

Free, Elegant-looking Photo and Art frames

Photo courtesy of 

For framing small photos, especially cropped 4"x6" prints, a beautiful alternative to buying photo frames is a CD jewel case. Every case has an insert--usually black or white--which can easily be popped out. Then you are left with a case that can both display one or two photos and store additional photos inside.
Here are some of the winning characteristics of CD cases reused as frames:

1. Beautiful. The simplicity of CD cases makes them instant classics. So many inexpensive frames sold in stores have designs or colors that clash with photos. CD cases allow the photo to be the focus.

2. Portable. CD cases are lightweight and fold up securely for travel or moving. This means they are the perfect gift for a family member who travels. Put several photos in each half (the tabs that hold in CD booklets are perfect for this) so they can be rotated occasionally. Just imagine mom or dad arriving in a hotel room and being to pop open their CD case photo frame and put it on the nightstand. The artwork of young children can be but down to size, or one side of the frame can be filled with an infant or toddler's handprint. (You're getting teary-eyed right now, aren't you?!). And if it is left behind by mistake it can be easily replaced.

3. Versatile. Opened up and propped on a shelf or desk with the sides at a 90-130 degree angle gives you a double photo frame. Because they are so lightweight, closed up they can be attached to a wall with that tacky blue stuff used for posters or with glue dots. Posting them on a wall in a series or a pattern can make an incredible display.

Since the cases are three dimensional, small works of art with depth to them can be displayed while being protected. Cut some thin cardboard to the size of the case, use them to make your own collages of found items, then arrange them on a wall. Use them in a narrow floor-to-ceiling spot in your room or apartment.

4 Free. Ask friends or put a request on your local freecycle site. People often have these and want to get rid of them, but can't stand the idea of just putting them in the trash. After all, they should be useful for something, right?

***Here's to another cheap and awesome week, readers! -Captain Cheap ***

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