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A snapshot in a handcrafted frame makes a nice gift for a family member or friend. If you attach a magnet to the back, this frame is light enough to display on your refrigerator.

  • Gather some small thin decorative materials. Here I have some self-adhesive black dots and some colored rings. Other materials could be buttons, sequins or jewels, or small flat charms.
  • You’ll also need a rectangle of self-adhesive foam, larger than the picture you want to frame.
  • The most fun material you’ll need is gold transfer foil. This scrap comes from a book printer; it is how they imprint gold titles on books. It comes in several shades of gold and you might want to find two variations.
  • Peel the release paper from the sheet of foam. Make sure the foam stays sticky-side up on your work table!
  • Note that the release paper has a dull papery side (pictured on the left)
  • and a slick shiny side (pictured on the right.
<———If you have a picture
If you don’t have a picture–––>
  • If you have a picture you want to frame, then place it onto the sticky surface of your frame.
  • If you are planning to give your frame to someone who will be able to insert their own picture, then cut the release paper to the size of a picture. Place the release paper with the slick shiny side down on the sticky surface. Your friend will be able to peel the release paper off and replace it with a snapshot of choice.
  • Apply your decorative bits and pieces to the sticky frame around your picture.
  • A more advanced technique is to apply small pieces of release paper around the frame, then apply the foil. Finally, remove the release paper and stick your decorations to the exposed adhesive surface.
    pictures below
Look carefully at the transfer foil.
Notice that one side is pretty and shiny.
The other side is dull.
Place small pieces of the transfer foil, dull side down, shiny side up all around the exposed adhesive surface. Overlap so the entire surface is covered.
Press (and rub) the transfer foil firmly so that the color transfers. You can see the circles I used looking embossed! Remove the pieces of transfer foil. There will be clear cellophane where the gold was transferred to the frame. The frame will no longer be sticky.
Here are pictures of a more advanced technique where I used circles of release paper to keep some of the frame sticky. You can see the silver rings are stuck because the black areas are still sticky. Then I used pink transfer foil to fill them in.
Put a magnet on the back, and your picture is ready to display on a file cabinet or refrigerator.