Most people are fond of frames - there's something so magical about them. It serves as decoration, as a form of art and it can set the tone for a whole room if it has the right painting. But maybe you're not into traditional paintings so much or you don’t want to invest in them because they're too expensive for the moment. Here are some creative alternatives of things you can frame other than paintings that match your personality, your talent, and your budget!
Many thrift shops or craft stores sell this simple frame to keep your books framed easily, whether it's your favorite collection, a special edition or just a book you’re very jealous about and don’t want anyone touching. It’s simple, cheap and effective. But there are many other ways you can do this if you get creative.
If you're a book fan, you know the sight of them always brightens up the day. With this simple wood and rubber band set up, you can frame your favorite books for show and regularly switch them up, depending on how your mood is. In fact, you can even use this as a shelf to keep the ones you’re currently reading.
Or, if you’re looking for something a little more practical that you can use everyday, you can literally frame your shelfs. All you need is a simple wooden box to fit the frame, and voila - an ever-changing framed shelf.
But let’s say you don't like books at all, then you can always use a book as a frame for something else. It looks better than it sounds, and you can frame anything from photographs to tapestry - all you need to do is carve the pages out and try to avoid the tears. Buy a copy, just in case!
Wedding Guest List
Now, here's a cute way to remember that most special day: ask your guests to sign a small piece of paper (you can shape them like a heart, a star, a flower... be creative!) and later, just frame all of them in a shadow box. Optionally, you can just have something to write on that’s the size of your frame and let your guests go crazy with it (there’s no guarantee it will look good though, so let’s hope you have some talented friends and relatives).
Creating flowers out of cloth and beads is easy and cheap, you can probably do it with leftover scrap you find at home - and it looks incredibly elegant. Try out different colors and textures to match your frame, or try imitating a real flower’s color and shape - and we all know there’s a LOT to get inspired from.
Some people say nature itself is an art form, and I say this is a perfect parallel to justify framing a real leaf. Here you have an example of a palm tree leaf framed between glass - it's cheap and easy to make, you just need a little patience. If you don't like how it looks when the leaf turns yellow, just replace it with a new one, perhaps, of another kind. It's the perfect visual if you want something that looks clean and calm.
However, if you like the grungy look of dry leafs, you can easily frame whichever you find and don't even worry about ever changing it. It looks even better if you decorate the rest of the room with darker colors and antiques.
Kids are known to draw crazy landscapes and bizarre color combinations, which debatably still classify as art, even if they don't know it. To prove that, you can frame some of their creations on their bedroom walls, making them feel like a true artist and encourage them to keep drawing. Who knows, maybe a true visual artist rises from this!
Handwritten letters (or Recipes)
Transforming a blank piece of paper into a memorable letter is already magical in it of itself, but you can go even further and turn these letters into something that looks right out of a History Museum. To preserve the original, scan it (enlarge it, if you want to) and put it on a simple frame to make it forever stand out as a part of who you are. That first letter you got from a loved one, the first words your child clumsy wrote down, or just a letter from a dear friend - anything that makes you feel sentimental.
A much more practical (but still romantic) alternative is framing old handwritten recipes from your grandmother in the kitchen - it's easy to make, looks charming and it's very useful.
Remember all those shells you collected at the beach and totally didn't do anything with? A simple arrangement and a frame is all you need. Maybe nature isn’t an art form, but it sure is easy to make into one. Also, a great idea for frequent travellers is to collect some from different beaches and make a new frame for each one.
Travelers love getting souvenirs, so instead of using your hard earned cash to buy something everyone already has, use your leftover bills and/or coins to create something truly valuable (more than the coins already).
You can personalize a cheap shadow box with a small opening (like a piggy bank) and use it to deposit every ticket you buy. This is specially interesting as you can see the frame changing as months (or even years) go by, until you have completely filled it. It’s great if you don’t like looking at the same thing all the time, and it’s fun!
You don't have to master origami to compose a kid friendly three dimensional frame. There are millions of newbie-friendly tutorials out there, and even the simpler ones look great for children's bedrooms or waiting rooms. Alternatively, they’re all easy enough to make that it serves as a great activity to let children do and take home.