DIY Photo Collage

Nine or so months ago, I purchased six wooden picture frames from Goodwill for $6. At the time, I was planning to make a wall collage for my dorm room, so I sanded and spray painted the six frames. Since then, I have moved home (for good) and after doing so, I realized that the colors of the frames did not match my room at home. My room at school was turquoise, grey, and yellow whereas my room at home is grey, navy, orange, and red. So I decided to revamp my picture frames but to also double the amount of frames that I had. To do this, I went to Goodwill and picked up 6 more frames which cost me $12. I already had my Africa pictures in 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 prints, so those didn’t cost me anything at the time of the project. My next task was to pick out paint. For Christmas, Nathan ordered me a beautiful tapestry from India. My dad and I aren’t allowed to paint our apartment walls and I can’t stand bright white walls, so I had been eyeing a colorful tapestry for months. This is the one Nathan got me: IMG_4157The main background of the tapestry is navy blue, with orange, burnt red, and an deep turquoise green. I didn’t really have anything to go with the tapestry at the time, but I also received a down comforter with a grey cover for Christmas (which I paired with a coral like orange pair of sheets) and it surprisingly matches well. I had these colors in mind when I went to pick out spray paint, but because I was feeling particularly lazy that day, instead of driving to Eugene for spray paint, I drove to Junction City where my color selection was limited. I found a burnt orange that I really liked and also picked up a navy blue just incase (I had grey at home already). The spray paint totaled $8 and I eventually ended up returning the navy, so only $4! After getting home, I realized that some of the frames were already a bright yellow, but I really wanted a dark mustard yellow, so I mixed some yellow acrylic with the burnt orange spray paint and hand painted three of my frames. The rest, I sanded down and then used either grey, burnt orange, or paprika (which I found in Nathan’s shop. By the way, Robin, if you’re reading this, I totally owe you a half a can of Paprika! HA!). The whole process actually went super fast, probably because while I painted, Nathan sanded, so the entire thing took less than an hour. I laid out some butcher paper and boxes, sprayed the frames with two or so coats of paint, waited for them to dry, and then inserted my pictures!

Now, there is an issue with buying frames at Goodwill and the issue is that most of them do not have hanging hooks on the back. I learned this the first time that I picked up frames and attempted a craft. Luckily, there are really awesome command hooks that are made just for picture hanging. The command hooks have interlocking velcro, where one sticks to the wall, one stick the the picture, and then the two connect with velcro. I decided since only 2 of my 12 frames had hanging claws, to pick up two packs of the command hooks. Command hooks are rather spendy, but I think that they are totally worth it, so for two packs, I spent $12. Each pack of the command hooks comes with 12, but I used 2 each, cutting them in half to attach to each side of the frame, so I had 12 in total to use instead of 24.

The total price for my frames, paint, and hooks was $28 (not including the frames and spray paint that I already had along with the prints).

As Type A as I am and as much as I like clean, precise lines, I wanted my collage to be fun, so I just went for it when I hung the pictures. I started with the picture that I liked the most as my focal point, and then played around rearranging and holding up the different frames until I found what I liked the best and which colors/frames worked the best by one another!

So really it just comes down to these simple steps:

1. Buy your frames

2. Sand & paint

3. Attach hooks or command strips

4. Add pictures

5. Arrange & hang

I had so much fun doing this and it really adds color to my white walls! So, you’re probably wondering what the heck these picture frames that I have been raving about look like. Well, here is my wall collage:


I have so many pictures from Africa, that I had a really hard time choosing which to frame, but these are a few of my favorites. I also framed my sponsor child info because I am constantly losing it and at the top left, I framed a piece of chalkboard paper that I used a white crayon on 🙂

IMG_4153   IMG_4156

The black and white photo of the children is in the burnt orange, the giraffe photo is in the paprika, the yellow is my homemade yellow, and then of course grey 🙂

This DIY is so simple, quick, and relatively cheap!


Summer DIY

Did you know that if you go to the mall to try and buy a pair of shorts for summer, you could spend anywhere from $25-50?!?! Let me tell you, I had no clue or I wouldn’t have gone to the mall. Maybe I just didn’t realize how much shorts cost because my mom always bought them for me or because I had been SO poor this year that I hadn’t gone on a shopping spree in nine months, but DANG, shorts are spendy. I wasn’t about to drop bones on shorts, which I can only wear for maybe three months of summer in oregon, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do because at the time of my trip to the mall, it was 75 degrees out in the middle of April and I really needed some shorts. Then I had a lightbulb moment and decided to make my own shorts! A few days after this idea came to me, my friend Megan & I went thrifting to find old mom jeans that we could turn into shorts. Sadly, I only found one pair that worked and they were already shorts, so I planned to just cut them and sew on cute pockets, but after getting back to my dorm, I found a pair of coral skinny jeans that I hardly ever wear and a pair of high waisted yellow Forever 21 shorts that I think I’ve worn a few times, so I added those to my pile of DIY shorts.

The ugly, long, mom-shorts that I picked up at St.Vincent Depaul were $4. I had a pair of Old Navy skinny jeans that I have had for 3 years that I have worn maybe three times, and a pair of Forever 21 shorts that I have worn a few times. So I only spent $4 on pants.

Then Megan and I took a trip to Jo-Anne Fabrics and I spent $10 on two different fabrics and two different types of lace. I haven’t had a ton of time to work on my shorts since finishing school and moving home, but I have been able to get two pairs done and I’m pretty satisfied.

The ugly mom ones turned out pretty good for a first attempt and they just need to be cut shorter, although I kinda dig the long length:


Next I worked on my coral skinny jeans. I cut most of the leg off, cutting at an angle so that the inside of the leg was longer than the outside. I plan to roll and cuff the bottoms of the legs. Then I created two mint floral pockets, then sewed on the lace to the mint fabric and attached the pocket as one! I also sewed on the mint floral fabric to the inside of the pockets and then distressed the pockets using an X-Acto knife:


To distress any pair of jeans, you just make horizontal cuts using a knife or box cutter, then you will see little blue or colored vertical strings in the cuts, you just pull those out with tweezers, leaving the white or colored horizontal (it was really hard with colored jeans because both the vertical and horizontal strings were pink, but in jeans, the vertical are blue and the horizontal are white). Then, you’ll have distressed patches on your jeans! Super easy!

My last pair of shorts are light yellow high waisted jean shorts with frayed legs and I can’t exactly decide what to do. I may sew on colored pineapple fabric to the pockets or just distress the shorts, but either way, I have had a ton of fun getting to make a few pairs of shorts for summer.

& the best part is, I spent less than $15 to make 3 pairs of shorts, which you definitely cannot do when buying shorts at the mall!

If you’re interested in making your own shorts, you just need:

-Shorts or old jeans

-Fabric Scissors

-Thread & Needle


-Fabric quarters

-X-Acto Knife & Tweezers

Super easy and fun DIY for summer!