Hi and welcome to a new full fledged (i at least hope so) tutorial to hack together a fast-switch picture frame, our so-called “KanojoFrame”. As i must admit the idea is not fully genuinely ours, we designed and built it with the moo-frame from the excellent business-card supplier moo.com: Moo Mosaic-Frame.
The idea is to have a frame thats front glass plate is dismount- and mountable in the glimpse of a eye thus allowing to change the contents without too much of a hassle. The other aspect is that the whole content of the frame is made up of a mosaic of mini-pictures framed by small but thick cardboard frames. You can then use cardboard spacer to lay the small framed image-“cards” (moo.com are half business cards, ours are roughly creditcard-size) out in every way you want to create a nice compilation of the works displayed!
The frame itself is quite flat, 6mm without glass, rougly 8.5mm with the glass front attached. The glass it held by a couple of strong rare-earth magnets and sits very tight, so no worries about falling glass. The inner frame can hold around 7*3(=21) of our cardboard-mini-frames, but … see for yourself! And if you feel like it, make one yourself….
As for the materials we have used it’s actually quite simple. The most exotic thing you would need to also built a frame is (if you want it nice n woody) veneer although it could be substituted for something else and equally nice (later more on that).
Here a small list of what you would need (the frame itself, not the “mini frames”):
a angle-saw or angled saw guide (i used something like this: gehrungssäge but other things like a regular wood saw and this: sägeblock would work too)
HDF plates / “bars” to your liking (depends on what inner and outer dimensions you want) and one large “backplate” (details will get clearer with pictures below)
regular wood glue, a flat iron (for veneering)
veneer (or alternatives, see below)
a old brush for applying the glue to veneer/hdf
some linseed oil and/or beeswax-glaze
some wood drills (depending on the size of your magnets)
rare earth disc-shaped magnets (we used 12x4mm and 10x3mm)
2 component (epoxy) glue
Some glass, harvest it from the cheapest picture frames you can get or – even better – old windows. Ask the nearest glazier, whatever comes in handy.
A glass cutter – good hardmetal (tungsten carbide) wheeled cutter is recommended as they really really yield nice results with minimal “learning-cost” (read: glass plates you’ve ruined)
some ~2-3mm thick homogenious (non-crinkeled) cardboard
(optional: spraymount glue)
regular 80g plain paper
some metal frame hangers
I hope that list didn’t scar you off. But some of the things can be left out while others are “standard equipment” – at least more or less…
Okay, now onto the making! First we’re gonna make the frames for the roughly creditcard sized pictures out of ~2-3mm thick cardboard which is plated with plain paper to beautify it a little…
And here is that little point where you could do something other than veneering. You could – for example – sand the surface of the HDF up to 220Grit and paint it using acrylic paint. First prime using acrylic primer two times, then sand again using 400grit, then paint two or three times in whatever colour you want. You can also get creative and glue colourful napkins on it, glue paper on it and paint on it, you choose, get creative!
I have learend the veneering technique shown here from Nordic-Audio – it’s described nicely and even has a video attached, so if you don’t speak german either try the google-translation or just watch the video (which should be explainatory enough). This is also the reason why i haven’t documented and described the veneering tech in detail – this guy’s better at it! 🙂
By the way – the cards displayed here are traded on a german self-painted-card-trading-system called “Kakao-Karten“. The miniframes fit the formats there nicely and whenever you get a landscape-oriented one you can use the spacers and place it anywhere in the frame. If you’re a little less lazy you can fit many many more pictures in it, at all orientations and placements you want!
But it could also be used to display regular large images such as photo printouts or painted or printed pictures. It comes in handy whenever you need a frame with a thick “outer frame” thats contents can be changed easily and often…
I hope you liked this tutorial and idea and will build your own frame using some ideas shown here. Also – as always – if you want exact measures or tips on anything, just mail in or leave a comment. You’ll always be welcome!