Create DIY

DIY wedding reception photo frames

November 5, 2014

DIY wedding reception photo frameOur cocktail hour started early, at 3:30pm, to keep the distance between the ceremony and the reception as short as possible (I told you – I hate that Catholic Gap). The cocktail hour would be exactly that – one hour long, before opening up the doors and giving guests about 30 minutes to finish their drinks and walk into the main ballroom.

Even though there were delicious appetizers – bacon wrapped dates, lollipop lamb chops, assorted quiche, veggies and dip, and cheese and crackers – and an open bar, I also wanted to give guests something to look at.

I’ve seen photo boards before, during cocktails or receptions. Usually they are glued onto foam board, leaning against a wall. Well, I didn’t like that. I like the photos! But the foam board read tacky to me.

I got the idea to make these frames somewhere on Pinterest. A few Pinners had different ways of making them for rooms in their homes. Well, I didn’t want that. I just needed a one time deal, not the complicated DIY. So this is how I did it.

First, I went to a secondhand store and purchased about 5 frames, with the price ranging from $2-$15 a piece. I was looking for wooden frames with interesting or intricate details, to nod to the ornate environment of the ballroom. I then went to Menards (or Home Depot) and purchased a few colors of spray paint to go with the range of light blue/mint green color of our wedding.

Next, I took out the ugly photos that came along with the frames. If I weren’t rushing to get the project done before the wedding, I would’ve (and should’ve) stopped to take a picture of how ugly they were. Seriously, when was a faded picture of a forest every a good idea?

After completely clearing them of any pictures, I cleaned up the frame, took out the glass (which we either cleaned or recycled) and hung them up in our garage to spray paint. Of course, I made my dad spray paint since I can never seem to get an even coating.

DIY wedding reception photo frameAfter all the frames were completely dry, I took some hemp (you can choose whatever durable twine you want, but hemp was incorporated into other elements of our wedding, so it fit best) and strung it through those staples on the back of frames that usually hold the glass in place. For the frames that didn’t have staples–either they fell out or weren’t parallel to each other–we replaced them ourselves, using a staple gun and being careful not to staple too close to the frame (to give room to thread the twine and tie it in a knot). You could also just tie a knot with the twine and staple the part right after that to the frame. But for us, the latter was easier.

We created most frames like that, except for one, where we cleaned up the glass, replaced it and used a staple gun (again) to hold the glass in place without any other backing. I then purchased a white marker from Michaels that allowed you to paint on glass (it’s usually meant for writing on car windows). It made it easy to erase when I messed up, but held in place after I finally got the type right.

DIY wedding reception photo frameAside from this frame, which was for the name tents and to let people know they could choose their own seat, I divided the other frames up to allow for one frame to feature Ryan growing up, one frame to showcase my baby pictures and one frame to share pictures of us as a couple. I hung the pictures using little wooden clothespins in white, natural and sparkly white, found at Michaels. Awesome thing about these clips? They didn’t ruin the photos.

DIY wedding reception photo frameThe fourth frame (AKA the first picture in this post) was dedicated to many deceased members of our family — members who were supposed to be there; too young to pass away and very close to our families. We had The Pfister place a candle by the photos, our florist put an extra bouquet by them (leftover from the ceremony) and I wrote a little saying, so that everyone knew they were in our thoughts and prayers.

DIY wedding reception photo frameFor the most part, the frames turned out well! I placed a little glue on each knot to help hold it in place, which I highly recommend. I also recommend bringing a little extra tape and glue in case, in transit, something shifts.

I really like that they were rustic like I wanted, but blended into the environment of The Pfister because of the wood. Plus, they didn’t damage the photos. Major bonus!

What do you think? Would you do this for your Big Day?


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