Fit to Frame

by Marlene Alexander

Are you one of those who have a drawer full of favorite cards from your kids or spouse? Wouldn't it be nice if you could bring some of these special remembrances out into the light again? Here's an idea using dollar store frames that has the double benefit of allowing you to save your memories while adding artwork to any room in the house.

First decide which cards would be appropriate for framing. Cards with no writing on the front and simple designs work best, as in the example to the right. This photographic print card looks classy in a 5" x 7" shadow box frame.

All you have to do is tape the card to the insert inside and replace the backing. The wooden picture easel is $1, as is the frame, which can also stand on its own.

You probably have a variety of cards that reflect your affinity with a certain animal or object. If so, you can hang these together on a wall to make an attractive grouping.

For odd-shaped cards, use an 8" x 10" or larger frame. Here, we're using a clip frame. Choose a piece of colored card stock scrapbook paper that coordinates with the card to be framed and trim it to fit the frame. Then simply center the card on the paper, securing it with a piece of tape and frame as usual.

Many greeting cards will go easily into a regular 5" x 7" frame, as with our third example, although you may sometimes have to trim the edges of cards in order for them to fit properly. An alternative would be to use a larger frame and use a picture mat to center your greeting card. When doing a grouping of favorite cards, it's best to use the same color of frame for each one, although the frames you choose can be of different styles and sizes.

Scenic vacation photos can also be an inexpensive alternative to artwork and with digital photography, it has never been easier to create high quality 8 1/2" x 11" pictures. Or how about using some of those scenic postcards you've collected over the years? My Mom bought packages of black and white photographs many years ago while on a trip to Western Canada. In order to make use of these 3" x 4 1/2" prints, we created a collage using a dollar store frame and some white cardstock, cut to fit an 8"x10" frame. Center the pictures in the middle using tape. Then outline each picture using black ribbon to coordinate with the frame. The ribbon is secured with small pieces of tape. You can use glue, but be careful not to glue the ribbon directly onto the picture, as this will damage it.

This frame cost $2 and the scrapbook ribbon came in a package of five small spools of coordinating colors for $1.

Use these easy ideas to help fill any empty wall space you may have. It's fun, frugal and may inspire conversation, as well.

Marlene Alexander is a writer living in Ontario, Canada. For more on dollar store shopping, visit her website at

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