I am pretty dang excited about this photo collage decoration I finished last night! My mantel has been bare, pretty much all summer, and I have been itching to put something up there. The problem was deciding WHAT to do. Isn’t that always the problem? So, I thought about it all summer and did nothing. Life got a little bit busy this summer (as I am sure you can tell from a lack of posting) which made it hard to focus on anything, let alone a craft project. I knew that I would have some free time yesterday, so I spent the week dreaming about what I would want to make, and this is what I came up with.
It was so easy to make! Like, you will be surprised at how easy it was. You can definitely make one too! Here’s how I did it:
- 1/2 ” MDF cut to be 4 feet long and 15 inches tall (this thing is HUGE). The MDF pieces come in sheets that are 2 ft X 4 ft. I had the Home Depot fellas cut it for me before I left the store.
- Paint-I used Martha Stewart’s metallic paint in a bronze color. I found it at Home Depot in the paint department. I also used regular white acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby.
- Pictures- You will need two 4X6 photos, two 5X7 photos, and one 8X10 photo to complete this project.
- Foam core
Begin by painting your entire board white. I gave it two coats for the best coverage. I recommend NOT using spray paint for this part. MDF will suck the spray paint into the board instead of sitting on top of the board. It will take a ton of time and use a ton of paint. Just use acrylic paint and you will be much more pleased with the results. Once the white is dry, put down some painters tape for the stripes. I used the wide tape because I didn’t want my stripes to be too busy in the background. Use the metallic paint (or whatever second color you would like) and paint the spaces between the paint.
The board is ready now, so grab your vinyl and head over to your Cricut Explore for the next part. I went through the design space library looking specifically for fun frames that I could use together. I didn’t want to have a uniform look, but that is just personal preference. You are definitely allowed to do it however you want! Once I had the frames picked out, I changed the sizes to match what I wanted for my photo collage board. Once the sizes were in place, I simply cut the frames out and removed all the vinyl I didn’t need.
Putting them on the board, I first placed the middle frame in the middle of the board. The board was 49″ long (just over 4 feet) so the middle of the frame should be sitting at 24.5″. From there, I did the frames on one side and then the other. Make sure to center the frames horizontally on the board so that you don’t have some sitting really low and some up high.
Once the frames are in place, you are ready to attach the pictures. I wanted a really finished look that is still changeable so that I can switch out pictures easily. I decided to use some foam core and attach the pictures to it using scrapbook photo squares (not the permanent squares). After I attached the pictures to the board, I used an xacto knife to cut around the photos so that the board was exactly the same size as they were.
This last part was definitely the most gratifying. Putting the pictures on the board and seeing it all come together, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. The pictures I used are some that I took of my girls that are some of my favorites. The ones in white are from April when I couldn’t have asked for better lighting and my girls were dancing around my parent’s yard carefree and happy. The pics of the girls wearing crowns are from a week and a half ago at my brother’s wedding. They looked so sweet and innocent in their wedding attire and these pics are just perfect for their personalities.
I am in LOVE with the way it all looks on my mantel! Seriously, I can’t help but smile every time I look at it. Which has been a lot in the last 24 hours. I hung it by adding hardware to the back (the little bracket with the two nails) and putting one on each side to help support the weight. Then I just used nails in the wall and ta-da. Done!
This project was inspired by a new challenge issued by Cricut, called Design Star. Every month, I will be bringing you a project in the hopes that I am the winner! The theme that our team decided to go with for this month is 5 since we were team five. I thought it was appropriate to have five photos on my board to represent that. Be sure to watch for all of the fun projects from all of the teams.
To go along with the fun, Cricut is giving away one cricut EVERY DAY until the end of July!! All you have to do is upload a photo of ANY project you’ve made (it doesn’t have to be made with a Cricut!) and tag#cricut and #imadeit on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you tag me in your post as well (@just_b_friends on Twitter and Instagram) then they’ll know you found out about the contest here and let me know too. It would be so cool to see one of you win!
More projects from Cricut Team 5: