The wall above my fireplace was until very recently a blank slate, and with my husband threatening to hang his bike above it, I decided we needed a fun statement piece. This got me thinking about the ever-popular last name photo frames, something fairly common in my friends’ homes. However, professionally done personalized name art is pricey. So…knowing me, and my innately thrifty nature, I set out to make one on my own. My thought process: “How difficult can it be anyway? I already have the perfect elongated frame, so all I need are pictures and a matte.” And it really was super simple!
4 Easy Steps
1. The Pictures: Well, I mentioned my idea to my fabulous mother-in-law, who is actually an aspiring photographer. And seeing as I now have the same last name as her, she took this as an opportunity to find all the letters outside in her garden and around the house. And let me tell you, they turned out so much better than I could have done on my own! And now she can make a frame too.
Once she edited all the pictures and passed them along to me, I printed them at CVS.
2. The Matte: The next step is to either buy or make a matte. My original idea was to lay out the photos on a piece of poster board and evenly space, measure and cut the slots. However, I couldn’t find any poster board long enough, so my next option was to have one specially made at Michaels – my go-to craft store. They were really accommodating and helpful, so I would definitely recommend the framing department at Michaels if you ever need a special ordered item. Not to mention, they are constantly doing promos, which I love!
3. The Frame: Once I finally had the matte, I dug out my elongated poster frame from the closet. (This was actually from Michaels too, not surprisingly). Let’s just say the hubs wasn’t too thrilled with the pink fashion poster I previously had in it – from my college years of course. [Oh, and side note: since the frame was from Michaels as well, it made the matte ordering process really easy because they knew the exact size it needed to be to fit perfectly.] So I took off the backing, laid the matte in it, and added each picture. I had to tape the pictures to the matte slightly to secure and prevent shifting.
4. The Finished Look: Finally, I put the back on the frame, and voila, a finished and polished piece of art! All that was left to do was hang it on the wall above the fireplace. And with a nail and hammer this was the easiest part.
The whole project was really cost-effective considering the professional alternative. And it makes me so happy to think that all the pictures are from a sentimental place for both my husband and me – his childhood home. Here is the cost breakdown:
Photos: $1.42 – CVS
Matte: $27 – Michaels
Frame: $0 since it was already just lying around – Michaels
If this is a project you’ve been thinking about doing, it really is easy, so find your camera and get creative!