Pastel Aesthetic Photo Frames From Whiskey Tin Lids

4 Materials
1 Day

I am all for the Danish Pastel look but please, can we not be a bit more original about it? Enough of the bubble candles and squiggle mirrors, make something more unique and less store bought!

It may come as a shock to some but the truth is, not everyone loves white Modern Farmhouse. Teenagers may be wearing mom-jeans again but they sure as heck don’t decorate their rooms with shiplap and distressed pallet signs saying ‘family’ or ‘gather’. That’s just the way it is, every trend has a reaction and one reaction to white Farmhouse is Danish Pastel or Avant Basic.

That said, the style artefacts of this style aren't mindblowingly original or diverse either. Nary an online shop that doesn’t sell the exact same candles - the bubble, the twist and the fluted. I am convinced that all the candle moulds in the world come from the same factory. Pair the bubble candle with daisy or checkerboard pattern, add squiggles and you have stock Pastel Core. Yawn!

At least transfer the idea of squiggles to something new: picture stands instead of picture frames, for instance. Which brings me to the project at hand. I had a bunch of fancy scotch tin lids left (to see what I made with the actual tins, visit my Instagram account linked above), perfect for little frames. And yes, we will do squiggles but not in the hackneyed way.

The front of the lid forms a perfect frame. The back has a raised middle part. This acts as a guide of how large the artwork can be.

Trace the picture surface

Since the lids have differing shapes and sizes, you need to trace the shape of the picture surface of each one. Do this by flipping the lid over and making a rubbing of the center's outline. To do this, stick a piece of paper over the back of the lid with tape and then use a soft pencil to rub the outline onto the paper.

Take off the paper and cut out the shape. You now have a master to use for cutting out the picture. Do this for all the shapes.

Each lid should have it's own master shape that fits nicely into the flat area in the front, leaving a frame.

Paint the lids

Whilst painting, mind the little rolled lip on the very edge, I found that using too much spray paint at once leads to an inconsistent bleed. Spray lightly or tidy any bleed up with a toothpick or earbud. If you were using chalk paint and brush, you would have more control but ultimately chalk paint scratches off more easily.

Find some pictures

Whilst waiting for the paint to dry, print or draw out some pictures. Use the cut-outs as masters to size the pictures. Mine were a lot smaller than I thought and I had to resize them. Cut out the picture shapes.

Stick the pictures to the acetate

Spray a piece of acetate as well as the actual picture faces with contact adhesive. Wait as per the tin’s instruction and then lay the pictures face down onto the acetate.

Wait for everything to dry and then cut out the shapes.

Stick the pictures onto the frames with craft glue.

Make the stands

The stands are made from foam perm rollers stuck and bent to act as sculptural rests. I left the plastic ends on but they should be stuck down or removed entirely.

Bend ‘ em

Bend the rollers (use two or three if you like) to shape stands that cradle the frames. Ensure that there is enough support at the back and that they don’t topple. Use a glue gun to stick sections together.

Paint ‘em

Paint them with a plastic friendly paint. I used spray paint but you could use chalk paint. Shape them before you paint though because some paints will crack when the foam is compressed. However, some paint that didn't crack remained tacky even 24 hours after painting, so experiment with different paints first.

Now place the frames onto the stands (remembering which side is up is a challenge) and you are insta(nataneously) a girl boss!

Aren't they happy and cute? Note the standard trident candle, just in case you still can't see this is supposed to be Danish Pastel.

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3 of 4 comments
  • Beth Moore Beth Moore on Mar 20, 2022

    Cute! You could also put a tiny picture of your child(ren) in one or two of them.

  • GeorgiaBulldogsFan GeorgiaBulldogsFan on Mar 28, 2022

    Hi Thea. Another creative project and keeping things out of landfills! The pastels remind me of Easter egg colors. Great job.

    • Thea Thea on Mar 28, 2022

      Thats exactly what my daughter said about the colours.😄