Thursday, July 30, 2009

diy photo frame cardbox

Thursday, September 27, 2007

DIY Photo Frame Cardbox

OK, so I have another DIY project to share (with instructions!). I finally finished our photo frame cardbox last night. I had to hold up everything once I realized I wasn't going to be able to get the glass/photos/backing into the frames again without unscrewing my L brackets (my process was largely trial and error!).

I had to make a lot of modifications to my plan as I went along, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Hopefully those of you hoping to make one will at least be able to take away some idea of how to construct it based on these photos/instructions. So here goes...
- 4 photo frames (8"x 10" or 11"x 13", whatever you prefer--mine is 8x10 because I didn't want it to be huge--it is plenty big as it is)
- Drill
- Screw driver
- L brackets (I used four packages of four brackets)
- Screws (use the size recommended on the L brackets in terms of width. Mine were #8 screws, I believe, but only 1/2" long because didn't want to have any danger of them going through the front of the frames)
- Lazy susan (I bought mine for $5 at Walmart)
- Foam board (I bought a large one at Michael's)
- Batting material (used for "cushion" on the top)
- Pretty fabric (I bought a yard, which was way more than I needed)
- Exacto knife
- Scissors
- Stapler
- Duct tape

1) I started by putting the frames together. I measured down on the frame where I wanted to drill the pilot holes for the screws so that the L brackets would be even to connect the frames together. Then I marked the spot with a pencil.

2) Drill the pilot holes into the frames. My box of screws recommended the size for the drill bit, so I went with that. To ensure I wasn't going to drill straight through the frame, I measured like 1/3" on my drill bit and placed a piece of tape there. I only drilled up to the tape line.

3) Once all of the pilot holes are in place, you can start screwing your brackets onto the frames. This is where I made my first mistake--I put the frames together empty (since I didn't have my engagement pictures back yet). Due to the size of my L brackets, there was a bit of L bracket overlapping the back of my frames, which made it impossible for me to squeeze the glass and backing back into the frame. I had to take my frames apart again (which wasn't a big deal, but still) to actually put the photos in. So I highly recommend cleaning the inside of the glass, inserting your photos, and completing all that before screwing them together.At this point, with yours, it should look pretty "complete"--the photos and glass will be in, and your box will be solid.

4) Next, start on the top. I began by measuring the space in the top of my frames, and measured the foam board to correspond with that. I ended up having to shave a little extra off of the foam board in order to make a little room for the fabric I upholstered it with.

5) Remember to cut a hole in the middle of the foam board for your cards. I made mine pretty big, but not big enough for hands to fit inside.6) Place the piece of foam board that you just cut down on the table and lay your batting material over it. Cut around the edges, giving yourself enough extra material all the way around to be able to fold it under the bottom of the box top. 7) Start folding and stapling! Stretch the fabric around the box top and staple it to the back side. You're basically upholstering the box top. You also have to cut a slit in the middle of the material for the slit in the middle of the foam board. Just pull the edges of the fabric through and staple to the inside of the opening.

This is what it looks like when it's done.

7) Repeat steps 6-7, but with your nice fabric. I used a sparkly white fabric I found at Joann's.

8) Cut out a piece of foam board (no need to cover it in fabric) that will fit inside your frames for the bottom of the box.

9) Now, you can attach the top a few different ways. Some people velcro the top and bottom directly to the top of the frames. I chose to attach additional L brackets to the bottom and top sides of my frames to hold the bottom and top in place. You can see them in the photos below.

View of the inside of the box from the top. The bottom is already in place, but you can see the additional L brackets I put in place to hold the top of the box in place (so it won't fall down insdie of the box).

This is a photo of the box turned upside down. Here, you can see the L brackets that I attached to keep the bottom in place.

10) Secure the foam board for the bottom to the bottom of the box. I used duct tape and taped over the L brackets. It was important to me to not completely ruin the frames (we want to be able to take the box apart and use the frames after the wedding), so Ididn't want to tape anything directly to the box.

11) Attach your lazy susan to the bottom of the box (optional--if you don't want your box to spin, you don't need it). This is another area where I had to improvise. My lazy susan had a dip in it so that the middle of the lazy susan wasn't touching my box (which made it difficult to attach). I cut a few square pieces of foam core and taped them to the lazy susan to build up the middle. I then rolled little pieces of duct tape and stuck them to the foam board and taped it to the bottom of my box. It's pretty sturdy--I used a lot of duct tape to make sure of that!

This is the taped-up lazy susan right before I turned it over and attached it to the bottom of the box. Thank you to whoever invented duct tape!

12) Turn your box back over, place the top on, and you're finished!

The finished product.

This is a view of the finished top of the box.

Another angle of the finished box.

I hope this helps someone! It seems more complicated than it actually is. If you or your fiance are handy with a drill and a ruler, it's really not a problem at all. Good luck!