Living with Art: Making Your Own Photo Holder

After last week’s rather complex project, I decided to keep things very simple this week.  Do you know what costs a lot of money?  Photo holders.  Do you know what you can easily make?  Photo holders.  Do you know what photo holders can display?  Art.   Also photos.  Badda bing, badda boom.

To make your own photo holder, you need:

  • 16-gauge copper wire
  • Jewelry pliers with a wire cutter (or a separate wire-cutting tool)
  • Epoxy clay
  • A base
  • A drill (may or may not be necessary, depending on your base)
00 Clay and Cutters
If you do any kind of assemblage work, you should own this stuff.  I have to order more, because I have almost gone through these tubs.  I am perpetually amazed at the uses I find for it.
01 Materials
That thing on the right is my “base.” It used to be the top of a brass pineapple. Your base could be anything: a metal bowl you can turn upside down, a small wooden box, an empty Altoids tin, whatever you’ve got.  If your object doesn’t have a convenient hole in the middle, be sure you’ve chosen an object you can easily drill through (i.e. maybe not the door to a bank safe).

To make your photo holder, you need to

  1. Drill a hole in the center of your base.
  2. Cut several pieces of wire of varying lengths.  How many?  It depends on how big your base is and the size of the items you want to display.  If you’re displaying “inchies,” cut 7-11.  If you’re displaying postcards, cut 2-3.  If you’re displaying ATCs, 5-7 will do nicely – again, depending on the size of your base.
  3. Using your jewelry pliers, shape one end of each wire so that it will hold the item you want to display.  You can make a circular spiral, a rectangular spiral, a little heart – whatever you have the skill and inclination to make.  Set the wires aside.
  4. If you are going to decorate your base in any elaborate way, you should do so now; otherwise, you can do the decorating last.  It’s up to you.
  5. Take a pinch of epoxy clay from each container and mash the two parts together, over and over, until you get a uniform color.  Insert the first couple of wires in your hole.  Bend the ends, then use a piece of the combined clay to hold the wire in place (i.e. use the clay to smoosh the wire up against the top or lid of your base, almost like you’re holding the wire in place with chewing gum).  Repeat until all wires are in the positions you want.
  6. Let the clay dry according to package instructions, then decorate your base as desired.
  7. Display your awesome stuff.  Rawr.

02 Cutting Wire

03 Shaping Wire

04 Glob of Clay
Just like gum, except not
05 Ready to Dry
Ready to dry
06 With ATCs
Awesome Farscape ATCs by Sarah Trumpp, Caroline Monaco, and Mellanie Collins

And now, after about 20 minutes of working time and two hours of drying time, I have a cool display for part of my Farscape collection, which has been hidden away for far too long.  If you’re wondering what I did to the bottom, that’s just alcohol ink.  If you’re wondering what Farscape is, I have one word for you, my friend:  Netflix.