DIY: Making Memory Frames

Personally, I’m a big fan of wall art – photos, prints, knitted wall hangings and even big pom-pom flowers made out of tissue paper (who am I kidding, they’re the best!). Recently I’ve noticed an increase in glass hanging frames on the high street (someone has to notice these things…) and discovered the cutest idea for displaying smaller mementos – a special thanks to Pinterest, which will always be my main source of inspiration.

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A few weeks ago, on a quiet Sunday afternoon (which are the best kind of Sunday afternoons), I found myself completely absorbed by arranging a little pile of mementos into several clear glass, hanging frames. Perhaps not as DIY as DIY can get, but it was still a thoughtful process of creating a (hanging) memory of important or interesting things.

I enjoyed that afternoon a ridiculous amount (considering I was on my own in my bedroom) so thought I would share my sources and ideas about creating memory frames – because they really are nice to look at, and I’m sure they’re somewhat more original than hanging a “Good Vibes Only” printable in their place (although I have just moved the Good Vibes elsewhere).

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What to Use

For my two hanging frames I used a rather large pile of collected mementos (which I’ll get onto) as well as some funky tissue paper, a range of washi tape, double-sided tape and a good pair of scissors. I would recommend MT Tape – good quality and very pretty with a wide range of colours and patterns – I got mine from the cutest online stationery shop, Fox & Star. Paperchase often have a great range of single sheet wrapping paper and tissue paper, which can work great as a background for your frames.

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The frames themselves were reasonably priced from Marks & Spencer, costing £12.50 (8×10) and £9.50 (5×7) – they do come in a silver or antique brass finish (I went for the latter), as well as a chain for hanging (many I’ve seen have rope or string). There are almost identical frames in/on Oliver Bonas, Urban Outfitters, Amazon, eBay – basically everywhere (though some are much more expensive than others). I’m very happy with the quality of my frames from M&S, and would highly recommend them.

Back to mementos; I’ve always kept a box of little leaflets or paper goods from certain events that remind me of certain things. If you don’t keep a similar box of memories, firstly, start doing it, it’s the best thing to look through, and secondly have a think about the kind of things you want to display. I found that smaller things work best as you can rejig them almost endlessly. I used a range of things, such as:

  • Train Tickets
  • Plane Tickets
  • Wristbands
  • Concert Tickets
  • Movie Tickets
  • Mini Menus from restaurants
  • Postcards
  • Business Cards (pretty ones – most likely from a burger place…)
  • Stickers
  • Meaningful Cards (the design or the message inside)
  • Polaroid pictures from my Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
  • Instagram or Facebook pictures printed out

What to Do

Once you’ve got a nice collection of things simply have a play around! Try arranging things symmetrically and in line with each other, then try the complete opposite and see which you like best. Every so often step back and view your idea from a few metres back – when I did this I (eventually) realised I was trying to cram too much in and learnt to be strict with myself, since a minimal look often wins.

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I also used Washi tape on the corners of things, or to add a pop of colour behind something, and on a couple of frames I lined the entire background with cute dinosaur tissue paper (which reminds me of loads of special times itself). I’ve seen people use dried flowers, confetti (which is on my to-do list) and textured material too – it’s really your own free reign as to what you want to hang on your wall.

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Before sticking everything down with double sided tape, blu-tack things into place and hang it up for a while – this will just give you an idea of how it will look, and prevents you ripping something special after you’ve stuck it down (I’m telling you this from experience…).

 

My favourite thing about these frames is how unique they can be to you, and how you can swap things out and add in fresh mementos. I really enjoyed collecting all the bits and bobs and spending hours (or possibly days…) arranging them again and again… after all the hard work I do mindfully stop and gaze at them now and again (so it’s all worth it).

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Would you try out designing some memory frames for your own walls? If you have already I’d love to see them! Tweet me a picture, or better yet show me on Instagram! (I really love Instagram).

Thanks for reading!