Dressing up a plain frame

For Christmas 2007, Jon and I bought his mother a digital picture frame. After growing accustomed to the idea of yet more geekery (she married an engineer and raised 2 of them, to boot!), last Christmas she handed off one of her three plastic frames and asked me to do something with it. She didn’t care what, and had no input, only that the plain black frame needed more character.

I sought to do something temporary, or relatively temporary, in case she wants to change it again at some later date. I took the idea from one of the budget decorating shows on HGTV, which often runs in the background while I’m working (the technique was applied to the edge of a thrift-bought coffee table to dress it up).
I can envision this technique applied to pillar candles or plain ceramic flower pots, too.

I measured the widest area around the frame and cut a chipboard frame to match. Then I cut a piece of copper foil (40 ga.; .003″ thick) to fit that, burned patches of color into the foil with a propane torch, and chased texture into it with the peen end of my hammer. The foil was then wrapped around the chipboard frame and secured to the plastic frame using Terrifically Tacky Tape (which really IS terrifically tacky, by the way).

The copper frame isn’t yet attached to the plastic in the above picture. This was the “does-this-work-for-you?” picture which went to her inbox for final approval before project completion. Normally, she’s more of a brushed nickel kinda gal.

Happy crafting!

P.S. I am sad to inform the public that International Cake Month has — as of today — officially passed. Long live CAKE!

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5 Responses to Dressing up a plain frame

  1. Michelle says:


    This is my favorite thing by far. I love the hammered metallic look, especially how there are so many colors. She’d be crazy not to love this!

  2. Sea gypsy says:

    Great project and I think because of the colors it will work in any decor. Good Job!

  3. Diann says:

    Thanks ladies! I was up visiting this week and saw the frame in action … it looks neat! Great inexpensive way to add some punch to cheesy-cheap or dull home decor items. I wholly recommend giving it a try. :)

  4. Roddy says:

    What else should I try?

  5. Diann says:

    Hmmm. Cake. Pie. Cupcakes. You should try any of those.

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