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Nostalgic Photo Frames

Frugal Crafts and Homemade Gifts (featured column)
Submitted by Rachel Gillett

Nostalgic photo frames

The most meaningful homemade gifts are those that are personalized to recall memories of fun times with loved ones. One of my favorite crafts incorporated my grandmother’s jewelry into a picture frame.

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When my grandmother passed away, there were lots of unwanted broaches and earrings in her jewelry box, and the box of trinkets was given to my daughter for dress up. Although nobody was interested in wearing the jewelry, it all had sentimental value, and it seemed a shame not to display it somehow. So, for Mother's Day, my daughter and I chose some of the jewelry to make picture frames for my mother and aunt as a special Mother's Day gift. This is a very easy, fast craft; it just takes minutes and no artistic ability. It is a great craft to do with a child as long as an adult handles the hot glue gun.

Items needed:

Hot glue gun (If you don’t have one, you can buy a mini gun at Michaels for just $2.99. You will need to buy extra glue since the two sticks included won’t be enough.)

Picture frame, new or old, any size

Broaches and earrings


1. You will need a picture frame. Because you will be covering it, it doesn’t need to be a nice frame and can be quite inexpensive. A Pewter-colored frame blends better with the jewelry than a black, white, or wooden frame.

2. Arrange the jewelry on the frame. Take care that the jewelry doesn’t protrude from the bottom of the frame or it won’t sit squarely on a table. For one frame, I created some semblance of symmetry by centering a broach on the top of the frame and one on the bottom and then using earring pairs down the sides. The other frame is just a wonderful hodgepodge of sentimentality, which my daughter and I had fun assembling together.

3. Using a glue gun, attach the jewelry to the frame.

4. Place a photograph in the frame, wrap it up to give as a gift, and enjoy the reaction.

This gift reminds me of a great line in the movie Steel Magnolias:

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

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Return to Homemade Gift Ideas

Copyright © 2012 by Rachel Gillett. All rights reserved.

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