At first I thought I'd just cut out the pages and frame them, but I quickly discovered every page's art was a different size - and none were anywhere close to a standard frame size:
As I sat pondering, the digital photo corners in the calendar's design gave me an idea. Why not use brass book corners to make custom frames?
I still had several sets of book corners left over from my old book purse experimenting days, so my only expense was this $6 poster frame from Wal-Mart:
Kindly ignore the truly outrageous Jem pink, please; the plexiglass is clear, promise.
Think of the frame as an art sandwich: first the plexi, then the art, and lastly a thin sheet of chipboard or heavy cardstock. (Not cardboard, though; the corrugated sides look terrible.)
My calendar pages were perfect because each page had a virtual mat already printed in place, but you could always place your own art on a colored background, scrapbook paper, or even use real mats, if you want to get crazy.
So, cut out your art:
Then cut out matching chipboard backers, and use a glue stick to stick the art down:
(The chipboard came off the back of last year's desk calendar. Yay, recycling!)
This doesn't have to be perfect; the book corners will clamp everything down later. Make sure your edges line up, though!
The most time-consuming part is cutting the plexiglass, but if you do it right it's super-duper easy. (Which took me three or fours tries doing things the hard way to figure out, of course.)
As you can see, I had enough plexi for all 9 or 10 of my pages, and with space to spare for future frames. (Also, that pink: Ow.)
First, trace your art onto the side of the plexi with the thin plastic protective layer on it:
Use a pencil; it'll show up on that thin plastic.
Next use a craft blade and a ruler to start scoring those lines. (The ruler will keep you on course; this plexi is slippery stuff!)
Now, here's the slightly time consuming - but extremely important - part: you need to score each line 8-10 times, and on both sides of the plastic. That's right; flip the whole sheet over and score the opposite side, too. (Be careful when flipping; the plexi is both flexible and oddly brittle.)
Once you're done scoring, get a padded pencil (or something with a similar amount of "give") and place it directly underneath your score line, like so:
Now gently press on either side of the pencil, and your plexi should snap or tear easily. If it doesn't, don't force it; go back and try scoring the line a few more times. If you force it, you risk snapping off a jagged break.
Btw, because this plexi is so thin, you may be tempted to cut it with scissors. Technically you can, but this is what happens:
When your plexi is cut out, use a nail file to take off any sharp burrs or jagged bits. (There shouldn't be many.)
Now you're ready to assemble!
I don't remember where I ordered my own book corners all those years back, but here's a close up of two of the styles I used:
here on Amazon. That's enough to do 25 frames - not too shabby!
You can also check the scrapbooking aisle in your local craft store, or find a book-binding supplier online. Just remember you need corners that wrap around the back side; not just decorative ones that stick on the front.
Place your plexi over the art & backer board, and then use a pair of smooth-jaw pliers to clamp the book corners in place, holding the layers together. It helps to pad your pliers with a small cloth, just to be on the safe side; don't want to scratch those shiny corners!
When you're done give your corners a tug; if they budge at all, go back with the pliers and clamp them down tighter.
I finished cutting 10 pieces of plexiglass and assembling seven frames in just one night - but I think I spent a good 5 hours doing it all.
This project is Tonks-approved.
Even the best plexiglass is a bit scruffy compared to glass, of course, but you'll never see the imperfections from any kind of distance - and lookit that beautiful shine!
The corners are what really make the whole frame, though; I love that rich gleam of brass:
To hang your art - get ready to judge me - I recommend using that re-usable poster putty stuff. Yes, really! These frames are so ridiculously light that there's no point in hammering nails in your walls, and the putty lets you re-position them to your heart's content. (You could also put magnets on the back and class up your fridge, or go ahead and glue down a traditional saw-tooth hanger, if you really want to.)
I'm currently working on putting together a nice collage in a corner of our back room:
Not quite there yet, but working on it!
Happy crafting, and happy framing, everyone!
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