19 October 2012

Using A Towel To Mat Pictures

 Yesterday I spent some time changing out what was in a few frames in the living and dining room.

The photo on the bottom shelf got traded out for a different one- 
this one is adorable but it's been here since last fall and I wanted something new.

So I swapped it for this one taken over the summer of all of us at the beach.

Don't ask me why during the fall I'm trading the perfect fall photo for a summer one, but I love this picture of all of us. And since it's taken from such a forgiving distance, I'm actually okay with having a picture of myself in a bathing suit on our dining room shelves. 

And I like how the colors in the photo look with everything else on the shelves.
The one of the kids in the leaves was darling, but all the orange just didn't go with anything.

After this little switch I turned my attention to this wall:

I've had these antique maps framed for years, and I've been feeling the urge to switch them out for some family photos. 

I had a few more 4x6 size pictures that I took over the summer, and I wanted to use them in these frames. I wanted the smaller photos in the large frames because I think it looks a little less busy than when there's a full-sized photograph adding a lot of color to an already small and busy area. We have the console table on this wall, which has a big basket on either side; this spot is crowded by toys, and combine that with all the dark trim around the window and baseboards, and it just feels kind of cluttery over here. So I didn't want to add to that feeling with busy looking pictures. 
I've learned that in a little house you have to put so much more thought into details like that.

So anyway, back to the picture framing.

Just for fun, and to see how it would look, I tried a couple pictures using the maps as mats (try saying that out loud...I'm having a hard time just thinking it!)

I think this is a cool look! Not right for what I was wanting for this wall, but I love it.
I especially liked the map of Nevada paired with the picture of Rob and I since Las Vegas is where we met. 

Both these frames came with mats that have cutouts for (4) 4x6 pictures. 

I wanted to use the mats, but I did not want to use the cutouts. 

I decided I would find some paper or something to lay on top of the cutouts and then attach my photos over that.

And then in my search for good paper, I came across this:

It's a dishtowel I embroidered a few years ago but never used because being the amateur that I was with my sewing machine, I'd stuck the mickey in a very awkward spot. 

He's cute though, right?

As soon as I saw this towel I knew it'd make the perfect mat for my photos.
It's white, so it wouldn't add any extra "clutter" to my wall, but what it would add is amazing texture.

And cut in half, each side was the perfect size.

I left the fabric really uneven and rough at the edges so that it would look more interesting. 

Just look at that awesome texture!

I love how they look on the wall!

{Don't mind the Halloween decor at the top of the picture. We do get real cobwebs, but not this bad!}

Oh and just so you can see what I was talking about with how cluttered this wall looks, here's a shot from further back:

Honestly, this area makes me pretty crazy. There is just nowhere to put this stuff. The basket on the left holds toys- it's suppose to be all the toys that the kids can have downstairs. I've always had the rule that all the toys have to stay in the playroom except the amount that can fit into a large basket. But my twins are toddlers and you know how toddler toys are- BIG. Like those cars on the right side of the console table. If I keep them upstairs, they try to drive them down the stairs. So we keep them here. The big square basket on the other side of them holds blankets that won't fit in the little hall closet upstairs.  And with every room in our house having half a wall taken up by a radiator, it really limits where I can put things. Which is why there is so much stuff crowded against this one wall in our living room. 

Sorry to rant. These are just things you don't think about when you live in a larger, newer home, and so now I have a hard time with it sometimes. But I deal with it the best I can- like by putting extra thought into how I frame things. :)


  1. You are so resourceful Brooke! I love how instead of going out and buying something, you can find a way to make it work with things you already own. And I LOVE that pic of you guys on the beach, it looks so vintagey.

  2. Oh I can sympathize about the toddler toys. We have the same rule at our house, one basket and the rest stays in the playroom. But it seems like at the end of each week more toys are upstairs than down! :) Love the frames - I love using what you have!! :)

  3. Love the texture of the dish towel for picture mats. Very smart!

  4. Oooh!! I love the switch you made for the beach picture! There's just something about the composition of it that totally changes the mood of that bookshelf styling. I think it fits it's much better. As great as the fall picture was, I think that area calls for a little bit more of a subdued palette. Awesome job!

    Much Love,

    1. I completely agree!! I like how this one looks so much better; it just fits with everything else. Thank you!

  5. Your talent is unsurpassed, what a great idea to use the towel. Used what you have. The white and texture are perfect.
    We live out in country so many times when I'm in mood to change things I start shopping the house, my craft room, sewing room. With price of gas as it is I just don't run into town.
    The nearest town to us to shop for anything is about 6 miles away and has very limited shopping. I enjoy more trying to make do with things I already have, do you? To me it's the challenge to see what I can make of something different than it's original use. Sure saves on gas and our extravagant disposal income budget. (oh boy I almost choked on that one.)
    We're senior citizens on SS income.
    Enjoy your adorable family, happy life.

  6. Brooke, I like how you switched your pictures. I don't know why, but I never think to do that. Using fabric does add interesting detail I got to give it a try.