For Valentine’s Day, many people will give a photo frame to the person they love. But a better gift is to make your own Valentine’s Day present. Not only does it save money, but it is personalized to the recipient. These tips will have you making your own picture frames in no time at all.
First, you will need to buy clay that can be baked in a normal oven. Use a rolling pin to smooth it out to about a quarter of an inch thick. Make sure the thickness is the same throughout the clay, and that you roll it out on a hard surface. Wax paper is best because you can peel it away. Then, you need to decide what shape and size of a frame to make. You will want to inside cutout area to be slightly smaller than the photo you want to use. For example, if you are making a 4″X6″ frame, you will need to make the inside measurement slightly smaller than 4″X6″. If you decide to use a special shape of cutout on the inside, you will need to take this added size difference into account. For the size you are using, cut out a piece of paper that is the size of the photo, and then trim a small amount from each side. This will be your template.
After you have decided what size photo you want to use and have your clay rolled out, you can begin cutting. There are special rollers you can buy at some kitchen or craft supply stores. This has a uniquely decorated edge on a wheel, which is rolled around the edge of cookie dough to give them an interesting look. If you cannot find one, feel free to use a butter knife and cut your own design around the edge. As mentioned above, you can also cut the inside edge of your picture frame too. Also, you can use a special shape. For a Valentine’s Day picture frame, you can use a heart shape where the photo will be displayed in the middle. Place this clay in the oven and bake it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Because this craft is for Valentine’s Day, you can decorate it with various Valentine’s Day shapes. Use a hot glue gun to attach wooden heart shapes, or paint it pink, white, or red. One thing you can do before baking it is to press letters into the clay, so that they spell out the recipient’s name. Another idea to do before it is baked is to make large openings near the edge. Thread ribbon through this, and leave a little extra for a hanger. For another way to frame it, you will need to attach a ribbon to the back. Glue it securely with epoxy so that there is little chance of it falling.
Next you need to make a pocket for the photo. Use two sheets of clear plastic, self-adhesive laminating sheets. Cut one so that it is roughly as large as your picture frame, and one that is slightly smaller. Attach the smaller one, sticky sides together, to each other. Because one has a sticky portion that is uncovered, you will place this on the back of the frame. Make sure that all sticky parts are covered so that they do not stick to the frame. This will form a pocket where you can slide the photos in and out.
Whatever you do, make sure to customize the frame. This is what really makes it worth doing. Anyone can purchase a picture frame, but this one comes from the heart. One final note, a way to make it an even more personal gift is to design it in such a way so you can display a row of photos from a mall kiosk in there. Go in and make funny faces, and for the last photo, hold up a sign that says “I love you.” Slide it into the back of the frame and present them with a beautiful Valentine’s Day gift they will never forget.