We’ve showed you how to make a lot of nifty gadgets in our DIY Photography Hacks series, so naturally, with Christmas just weeks away, we thought we’d extend the DIY ethos to the festive season and suggest a simple – yet classy – DIY Christmas hack you can use when stumped for gifts for photographers, friends and family this year.
Trawling round the shops the week before Christmas looking for something more meaningful than socks or soap for your friends and relatives can really take all of the fun out of the festive season. It’s hard to find the perfect gift for anyone (particularly when choosing gifts for photographers), let alone those close to you. Luckily, there’s an easy alternative for a DIY Christmas gift that guarantees a more personal touch – framing photos from your archive.
There are some really beautiful ways to turn your photos into gifts, and you can choose a special photo for each person, creating unique presents that are a pleasure to give as well as to receive. One of the more popular DIY Christmas gifts a photographer can give is a simple framed photo of one of their favourite images from their portfolio.
We’ve made your DIY Christmas venture easy for you with a step-by-step guide to framing photos in six easy to follow steps. Getting a perfectly framed photo isn’t as hard as you think – with the right tools and a bit of practice it’s easy to learn how to resize a photograph, choose the right frame to match it and cut a mount board border to fit.
What you need for framing photos
If you’re not sure what colour frame to choose, it’s best to play safe and pick a neutral colour and simple style. We used a custom A2 black wood mahogany frame costing £30.72 from framing store www.picturelizard.co.uk. Ikea stocks a big selection, too, or if you are good at DIY you could even try making your own.
This thick card is used to create a border around artwork inside the frame, and is available in lots of different colours, thicknesses and sizes. We used a cream precut A2 piece of board, again from www.picturelizard.co.uk costing £6.13.
Picture framing tape
This acid-free tape (around £4) will protect your prints in the frame from discolouration over time. A great tip is to tape your print in place at the top of the frame only, so that it hangs flat.
Logan bevel cutter
This ruler and bevel cutter set (www.logangraphic.com) allows you to align the ruler with the straight line you’re cutting, then slot the bevel cutter onto its rim and cut away from you for a perfect 45° straight cut.
Available from craft shops in different sizes, this spongy blue board is ideal for protecting your work surface from the bevel cutter. If you haven’t got a cutting board, some very thick cardboard will do at a pinch.
Enlarged photo print
Print your chosen photo in a larger size yourself or get a photography service to do it for you. Make sure your enlarged print is significantly smaller than your frame, or you’ll lose the edges of your shot when you add a mount board border.
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