The other day my daughter and I were shopping for some items to decorate her room at college (waaaa!) and she picked up a chicken wire photo holder at Michaels. She thought it would be a cute way to display photos, verses and sayings above her desk. While it wasn’t an exorbitant price – around $20, though I can’t remember exactly, all I could think of were the thrift store frames I have, the huge roll of chicken wire out in the garden that came with our house and the mini clothespins I had bought a few years ago and used only 2.
In other words, free or $20 – what do you think we chose?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a before of the frame (or the print, but trust me, it was so bad it wasn’t even worthy of Brian’s bad art collection – the symbolism in the painting was just too, um, gross), but picture a dark 70’s frame with lots of little holes in it and streaked with black to make it look old. Except it didn’t. At. all. I’m sure you’ve seen many frames like this. When I’m looking for thrift store frames, I always look for chunky wood frames and just try to ignore whatever bad finish it has.
Once you have your materials this project is so easy it literally takes just minutes, though it is spread out over a couple days to allow the paint to dry.
How to make a DIY Chicken Wire Photo Holder
Here’s what you need:
- Thifted frame in desired size
- Paint for frame (if painting) – spray paint or acrylic
- Sandpaper (optional to distress)
- Chicken wire to fit frame opening
- Light duty wire cutters (you can also use the wire-cutting part on most needle-nosed pliers since this wire is very thin)
- Staple gun and staples
- Duct tape for back (to protect wall) – optional
- Picture hangers
- Mini Clothespins
Here’s what you do:
- Paint frame and let dry thoroughly. We needed a few coats and ended up brushing paint on in order to fill all the little holes in the frame.
- Distress frame, if desired, by sanding edges with rough sandpaper.
- Measure chicken wire to opening of frame and cut to size with wire cutters.
- Staple chicken wire to back of frame, pulling gently to make wire taunt and evenly spaced (the wire can easily be bent).
- If you want to protect the wall surface like we did, you can cover all the edges of the chicken wire with duct tape.
- Apply picture hangers, if needed. For our daughter’s college room, we are using velcro picture hangers since you can’t nail anything to the walls.
- Use the mini clothespins to hold photos and mementoes.
I have to say that my daughter wasn’t all too sure how it was going to turn out, but she loves it. And ours is bigger than the version we saw at the store, so she’ll be able to use it for more things and it will fit nicely above her desk. It looks nice here in her room, too – but I don’t think that’s enough to keep her home. Sigh. They always gotta go and grow up, don’t they?
Sorry. Got a bit off track there. Anyway – even if you didn’t have all this laying around to make it free like ours was, you can find large frames at thrift stores for about $5 dollars, the chicken wire and little clothespins are each a $2-4 and a can of spray paint is a couple of dollars, so it’ll probably run around $10 to make – even less if you’re making more than one to give as gifts!
These also work really well as jewelry holders – earrings hang easily on the wire and necklaces can be looped through or hung from hooks added to the wire. Have you made one of these? How did you end up using it?
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