Ring Box Photo Frames

I am going to be occasionally re-posting a few of my older posts (2+ years back) that most of you haven’t seen, starting with this fun recycling project!  I hope you enjoy it!

I have a couple of  shoe boxes full of those little boxes that rings, watches, and assorted jewelery come in- both the fancier hinged kind, and the cardboard ones.  Being the recovering pack rat that I am, I still have to look the other way when I am decluttering in my craft room, because they are just so dang cute that I cannot get rid of them!  And anyway, I might be able to turn them into something fantastic, right?

Well, after 12+ years of collecting these little boxes that I might use “someday”, I am finally figuring out how to give them new life!  I hope to share many different ideas; here is my first.

I kept the boxes my engagement ring and wedding band came in, thinking they were just too pretty to throw away.  I wanted to do something sentimental with them, and display them somehow without looking junky.  They reminded me a little of photo frames, and that seemed like a feasible option.


I had to rip out the padding so that photos could lay flat over each square opening.  I thought about also ripping out the other piece that covers the hinge, but decided to leave it in.
I used E6000 glue to stick the two boxes together, and the drying time was pretty short.  I recommend using some sort of clamp to hold the boxes exactly where you want them.


I measured the squares and chose 4 portrait- oriented photos and re-sized them to fit the openings, which for this project was 1.5 x 1.75 inches.  For sentimentality, I had to choose one photo from the day we were engaged, where my husband was actually holding the ring box- it seemed only fitting.  The rest are from right after we were married, and from our reception.


I glued each photo over the square opening, and let it dry.  I kind of wish now that I hadn’t left the white strip that covers the hinges, but not enough to rip the whole thing apart and start over.


For now, my little frame will live on top of my computer desk.


This idea works well if you have 2 identical ring boxes, but you could still use just one with cute results!  I am going to tweak the idea a little more with some of my other gazillion boxes and see what I can come up with.  I would love to see pictures if anyone else tries this (or some other way of recycling a ring box)!

A Peek into the Master Bedroom

About 2 1/2 years ago I started  dreaming, planning, and saving money for my “dream bedroom”.  I was bored with my room and it felt really cluttered, so I didn’t like being in there (I am a recovering packrat).  I made a goal to make my bedroom into a haven, a place of peace and beauty.  I still have a few details I would like to add, but it is almost there, so I am going to show you the progress!

The first year I updated linens- my bedspread, pillows, the whole nine yards.  The set I got came with sheer curtain panels and several small valences that didn’t fit my window, so I cut one up and lengthened another, sewing the sheers to the bottom of the valance to make them longer.  With the scraps, I made the fabric- covered- Styrofoam wall hangings you see above the bed.  Then, when I made my faux- metal wall art for my front room, I made a couple small ones with the extra materials to hang on either side of the styrofoam wall hangings.

Later, I spray painted the red vase black (you can’t really see it in the first picture, but it was on my dresser) along with a few other things.  My room was starting to feel more cohesive, but I knew I wasn’t done yet.

What I really wanted was grown-up furniture.  A few months ago, the timing was right- some savings, a tax return and a steal of a deal on a discontinued bedroom set at a local furniture store, and I had the furniture of my dreams!

The drawers in the bed frame are one of the things that “sold” me.


Only one problem… the new bed was king size.  Why was that a problem, you ask?  I was still totally in love with my bedding, and it was discontinued, which meant that it would be impossible to get the king size version, plus I didn’t really want to pay for it again.  So, I just decided to make it work.  I turned the comforter sideways and folded the top down and called it good.  If you look closely, you can see that the edges on the side are not quite long enough, but it’s good enough for me.  Plus now I can just keep the same curtains and everything.

As far as accessorizing, I mostly just used what I had already, with a few minor changes, like putting the frame on an easel that I had been using for a different picture, and connecting my faux- metal wall art.

I did buy one accessory, and that was the big wedding photo- I ordered a high quality print (we are lucky in that we have the digital copies of all our wedding photos) and bought a $20 frame at IKEA to hang it in, and I think it turned out great.

I really love this picture and I felt like it fit in well in my room, so I brought in it from the office.  It has hanging on it the pearly beaded headpiece (made with love by my mom) which I wore in my hair with my veil.  I’m sentimental like that. :-)

I did keep one of the styrofoam wall hangings; I hung it up by my door, but you may have noticed that the wall space on either side of the bed is now empty.  That is the part that is yet to be finished, and I am still debating what to do (any suggestions?).

Anyway, every time I walk in my room now it finally feels like a beautiful, peaceful haven, and so from my perspective it was totally worth all the effort.  It might even be my favorite room in the house now.  All the other rooms are getting a little jealous, but we’ll just take it one bedroom at a time, as the budget allows.

Do you have a favorite room in the house?  Why is it your favorite?

Valentine’s Day Decor Project

Ok, I know it’s a little late to be making Valentine’s Day decorations, but I felt like I needed to put something love-y up in honor of the day.  Because I ended up having to work today, added to the fact that we are crazy busy with getting some things in order in our house and moving furniture around, I decided I could pause just long enough to pull something from the archives that most of you probably haven’t seen (and it is a pretty fast project!)… enjoy!

Rochelle and I got together over this past weekend and decided we needed to add some LOVE to our home decor for Valentine’s Day! Here is our “heart-themed” result:

I had this old frame from the dollar store, and its backing was really really warped. I ended up taking it off, along with the glass, and giving it a good spray down with some black spray paint. Then I was left with a very empty (but much more attractive) frame.

I thought it would look really cute with something hanging from the top part of the frame, so that’s what led me to this idea – I’ve seen this technique done on wreaths and things like that, but I thought I would try it on a heart!

Here’s how to make this:
1. Trace a heart onto some cardboard from an empty cereal box, and cut it out.
2. Cut out circles about 2- 2.5″ in diameter from desired fabric (I should have counted them, but I would say it was at least 50 circles).
3. Point a pencil into the middle of the circle and pull it tight around the point (so it looks like a cone), and apply hot glue to the end; then stick the circle on the heart, and repeat, adding the subsequent circles close together, so if has a very dense “petal-like” texture.
4. I added the red border, but you could just keep it all one color, or try multiple colors!
5. To hang, I used some ribbon – just made a loop over the frame and hot glued it to the back of the heart. Easy!
6. To hang the frame, same idea – I just glued the ends of some ribbon to the top corners of the frame, and voila! You have a brand new Valentine’s decoration, for FREE!

Do you like?

Here is Rochelle’s version:

I used the same cardboard base as Marissa, but cut out a heart from the center. Then I cut 1- inch wide strips from three different fabrics; a white muslin, a red and white gingham, and red cotton jersey from an old T-shirt (I ♥ recycling!). I tied the strips in tight knots around the border, 3 in a row of the same color, then alternating colors. Lastly, I trimmed all the strips to be the same length. I can’t decide if I like it more with the knots in the back or in the front. I kinda like both ways!

Here’s with the knots in the back…

And this is what it looks like with the knots in the front.

Super easy, and since we used what we already had on hand, we didn’t spend a dime! Now that’s what I call a sweet deal!

Memento Pin Boxes

Here’s another of my half-finished projects that I finished recently.  It seems like we pick up little knick-knacks here and there over the years, and while some of them just end up in the garbage or are given away, others are precious reminders of achievements or events that were important in our lives.  We tend to collect pins as mementos of our travels and accomplishments, but our pins were stored rolled up in a towel, inside of a box- not a great way to keep the memories alive!

I randomly got this shadow box at the dollar store a while back, and I realized that this would work well for my pins to go in, if I could find a way to add something to the back that they could be pinned to.

My husband had a lot more pins though, so I counted my lucky stars when I found this larger shadow box on sale at Michael’s.

I pulled the backs out and measured them.  At this point, I lost steam and let them sit for a few weeks (not recommended).

I came back to it, re-measured, and pulled out some fancy fabric and some batting, and cut squares.

I just sewed the batting and the fabric together, and pinned my pins in.  Then I hot glued the top of the fabric to the top of the cardboard frame back.  It popped right in to the frame, and I decided I liked it standing on my desk shelf rather than hanging it on the wall.

At this point, I lost steam again, plus I couldn’t find my husband’s pins, so I let his frame sit under the futon in the office for 3 months (also not recommended).  A couple weeks ago, I serendipitously found the pins, so I was motivated to go digging under the futon to find the parts of the frame and put it together.  Alas, I could not find the back, until after 20 minutes of searching led me to the depths of the closet, where I found the frame back wedged between the wall and the storage bins.  Whew- disaster averted!  Ten minutes and one hot-glue-burned finger later, it was finished, and I proudly hung it on the wall.


Photo frame makeover

Over the past couple of years, I have accumulated a number of random mismatching picture frames, and I never know where to put them. Even worse, I can’t bring myself to get rid of them, because I KNOW I can use them somehow…and if I get rid of them, I know that I will regret it the next day when I finally come up with a brilliant idea for them…so they have just sat in stacks collecting dust. The other problem is that we only have so many shelves that can accommodate all the picture frames we have. We currently live in an apartment with a landlord who is very picky – she charges us $3 per hole we put in the wall, and so we haven’t been too motivated to hang up many pictures since we have been here. If you are anything like me and have the problems of mismatching picture frames, and/or strict landlords here are a couple of solutions!

Problem #1: Mismatching Picture Frames
Solution: SPRAY PAINT (semigloss). It is magical. Here is why – you can take a whole stack of mismatching picture frames, and spray paint them (I used black), and then all of the sudden, you have a really cool looking collection of frames that match each other!

Problem #2: Hanging pictures puts holes in the wall, which costs $$$
Solution: GROSGRAIN RIBBON. I used black so that it would match my picture frames, but you could really use any contrasting color if you wanted some added flair.
I took four of my frames and spaced them out evenly next to each other, to make a 2×2 cluster. Then I cut two pieces of 1″thick grosgrain ribbon at appropriate lengths to keep the spacing even between the frames. I hot glued the ends of the ribbons to the bottoms and the tops of the frames. Now, you only have to make 2 holes in the wall instead of 4!

Here is my finished product! I kind of like it! :)

On a spray paint mission

I have been working on updating my “master suite” for a few months, a little at a time.  I am fairly pleased with the progress, but there is still a lot for me to do to have it exactly the way I want it.  In an effort to make the decor in my master bedroom & bathroom more cohesive (i.e. not be horribly mismatched) I took a few things that were already in place and gave them a new color.  Amazing how changing just color on a few key items can give a room a much more polished look.

This glass vase used to match the color scheme in my bedroom, but after I upgraded the bedding and added curtains, it just didn’t fit in (kind of a Junior High kind of a situation, if ya know what I mean).  

The solution was easy enough; several (and by several I actually mean like 8 or 9!) coats of Rust-oleum’s “Canyon Black” did the trick.

I used Krylon’s “Leather Brown” spray paint on these icky brassy frames in the bathroom.  I love how they now match the brown of the towels and shower curtain.

I learned a thing or two from painting the frames.  This may come as a surprise, but it is not a good idea to set the thing you want to paint on a plastic bag, outdoors on a windy day.  I was able to repair most of the damage, but there is a reason I didn’t zoom in too closely.  Not the result I was hoping for, but still better than the brassiness from before.

This was a very cute and functional basket (also sentimental) but very clashy.  I used the same brown paint to make it match and switched out the green ribbon for perfectly matching red grosgrain ribbon (from the Dollar Tree, amazingly enough!).

Sigh.  The perfect finishing touches for my bathroom (the room I have made the most progress on).  I told my husband this morning that our master bathroom might currently be my favorite room in the house. 

I guess I will get back to working more on my bedroom, since that’s a more practical place to hang out than the bathroom. Ha. 

Vintage picture frame and oil painting

How to make this awesome oil painting picture:

1. Download and install paint.net (it’s free – just do a google search for paint.net)
2. Open it once it’s installed. (Don’t worry about all the stuff that’s cluttered around and don’t be intimidated – this is a very easy process.)

3. Click file then click open from the drop down menu.
4. Open then select the image you would like to turn into an oil painting.

– Now it should look roughly like this with your picture inserted (don’t mind the kissy picture…)

5. Now click effects at the top. Select artistic from the drop down menu then oil painting to the right.

6. A new box that says oil painting will come onto the screen. It has 2 bars that say brush size and courseness. Now is the part where you experiment to get it how you like it! Bigger brush size and more courseness will make the “painting” more abstract.

Some tips:
– If at any time you decide you don’t like the way it has turned out you can click the cancel button and start over.
-If you click ok and decide you don’t like it you can click edit then undo at the top or just push cntrl and z at the same time. This is how ours looked at the end (you can’t see much of a difference from a computer screen unless you look at the picture more closely).

7. Lastly, save it by clicking file then save as. You know the drill: choose a name and location for the picture and then click save. When it asks how much quality you would like – choose 100% and click okay.

You now have your nice photo-turned-oil painting! How easy is that!?

This is how the “oil painting” looked after we edited it in paint.net:

Now for the frame!

The “Vintage” look of the frame is actually quite easy to achieve! All you need to do after you have spray painted your frame (and let it dry), is whip out some of that good ol’ nail polish remover, apply it to a cotton ball, and rub lightly around the frame. You will get a faded, almost antique, vintage look, that matches the rustic oil painting perfectly!

You’ll have to forgive the photography…but hopefully you have an idea of how this works!

Like this shelf? Check out how we made it here.

I am linking to……

The Girl Creative