And so, finally, here is the pencil photo frame:
If your kids are like mine, they will have laying around a large series on coloring pencil stubs and leftovers. Some are quite new and correspond to the colors they rarely use and are returned to us at the end of each school year, and others are just random pencils, discarded whenever they receive a new set.
If you know me, you know that I hate to throw away things that I think are still useful. On top of that, I'm also always looking for activities to keep the kids entertained. This post is a little bit of both. The entire frame is made of recycled materials, my living room and kitchen were relived of a large number of unused pencils and the children were busy for several hours in different days (glue has to dry, right?).
Because I had little helpers almost all the time, my hands were quite free to take pictures, so here is a small tutorial on how to make a similar frame.
What you will need: two pieces of cardboard, a piece of clear plastic (if you want your frame to have a "glass"), glue, x-acto knife, paint (optional) and lots of coloring pencils.
First, start with the two pieces of cardboard (square, rectangular, whatever shape you prefer). I made the frame with a specific drawing in mind, but you decide which size suits you better.
My pieces of cardboard where white on one side and grey/brown on the other and they were cut from the sides of a box of printer paper.
On one of the pieces of cardboard, draw a frame as shown below: the sides and bottom are larger than the top because that's where you will be gluing the pencils.
Then use you x-acto knife and cut along your marks, leaving a hole in the center.
Now if you align both pieces, you will have the basics of a photo frame:
Paint the front of the frame whatever color you prefer. Because it was supposed to go into my daughter's room, she chose hot pink (and she painted it too, I just had to help even the color in some places).
Now is the time to gather all your pencils and decide which goes where.
Once you have the pencils aligned you need to sharpen them to the desired size. It may take some time, especially if some of the pencils are still quite long.
This is the part where the kids get bored after a while and will leave you to finish.Then they come back when you say it's time to use the glue...
Spread glue on one side of the pencils. Since some of mine had letters, I spread the glue on that side to hide the letters. I wanted the frame to stand out, not the pencils' brand names.
And all you need to to its to glue the pencils one at a time in the position you decided before, until the entire bottom of the frame is covered.
If you want your frame to have a "glass", now is the time to add it. And if you're wondering, this is where I got my "glass" from: one of those plastic document protection slips (which I'm sure have a fancy technical name but I'm not in the mood to Google it right now...).
Anyway, just cut a piece that is slightly larger than the hole in the front of your frame, spread glue around the edge (on the back side of the frame piece) and glue the plastic.
Once that is dry, spread more glue over the sides and bottom of the back of the front piece of the photo frame (confused? just look at the picture and let me know if you have any questions). Don't put glue on the top of the frame, otherwise you will not be able to get a picture inside.
Set the front on top of the back price and let the glue dry. And yes, those are clothespins holding the whole thing together while it dries, I'm full of resources.
As of now, your frame is ready and you can get your photo inside. Now you have to decide if you want to hang it or to have it standing on top of a side table, dresser, etc. Mine was to go on my daughter's dresser, but I decided to show both options anyway, as they are both as easy.
If you want the frame to hang on a wall, cut a piece of ribbon and glue it on the back of the frame as shown (the frame should be light enough for this to be sufficient).
Leave the ribbon long if you want it to show behind the frame...
...or shorter if you prefer it to be hidden:
If you want the top-of-furniture look, then take another piece of cardboard (I used some thick plastic I had leftover from another project because the remains of the printer paper box were long gone) and cut it as shown:
(when in doubt, check the back of an Ikea frame, that's where I got the idea from)
Fold the top a little and glue the flap on the back of the frame...
...and it is standing on its own!
And now its final destination: the girl's room.
One project down, several more to go. And if you're wondering about the drawing I put in the frame, I posted about it here.
I hope you enjoy,