Frame Collage

Above our sofa – the focal point of our apartment, basically – we had two prints: an artsy map of Austin, and a print I love by a Brazilian printmaker, José Miguel. They are both odd measurements, so we just pinched them together between some wood pieces. But something was lacking.

Then, of course, I discovered and fell in love with, and their frame collages inspired me to do my own.

I started by searching the apartment (this took about 30 seconds) for other frames I had that 1. had something in it I wasn’t crazy about, and 2. I could repurpose.

I took them all outside and spray painted them white to match some other frames I had bought at good old Target. (I kind of liked the look they left behind on the paper bags. If we had a larger place, I probably would have hung them up on their own as a piece of art.)


I then went on the search for art, and discovered I had more art I thought I did. One discovery is that if you have hardbound books with the jackets still on, remove the jackets and you may be able to frame the jacket itself … or the book underneath might itself be a work of art, like Kevin Henkes’ Old Bear I picked up at a Half Price Books a while back. This is what was underneath:

Kevin Henkes

Or like the book jacket off of my personal favorite, The Giving Tree.

The Giving Tree

Or a nice birthday card, like this one:

Happy Birthday

Other unexpected art came from some vintage Spanish vocabulary cards I got for $1 apiece at Uncommon Objects (due to which, Austinites, we are thankful they were not $300. Uncommon Objects, we love you. Why don’t you love us back?) I framed some of them in semi-phrases…

Spanish Vocab Zoom Out    Spanish Vocab Zoom In

paired another one, la mitad, (the half) with one amazingly enthusiastic earring I bought while studying abroad in Rio (because I had lost the other), and put another one, el par, (the pair) with a pair of creatures Daniel and I had put on our Christmas tree a year ago, as you can see in my Recycled Christmas post.

La mitad    El par

Even a 3D object, like my grandmother’s trivet (I just had to look up that word) I realized could be art!

Gma Jessie

Anyway, Sherry and Peter have a great tip for arranging and hanging a frame collage. But I was impatient and had not paper to follow the instructions, so I just laid them out on our bed (the only flat surface big enough in our apartment) until I had the arrangement I wanted.


I think just used my tape measure and level to hang the pictures one by one, starting from the center and working my way out. The before and after  pictures are pretty fun to look at!


BEFORE: sans art


AFTER: collage complete!

And if you’re wondering who illustrated this amazing postcard my wonderful friend Alyssa sent me …

Eric Carle

It was Eric Carle. (Yes, children’s literature is a theme. It would be for you, too, if it was your job to be obsessed with children’s books.)

And if you’re wondering who is so awesome that they would MAKE and WEAR a piñata costume for Halloween, then send out a card printed with a picture of herself with a heart for Valentines Day to her friends …


her name is Carter. And yes, she is as awesome as she looks.

And if you’re wondering what I’m doing with policemen in Mexico, I’ll tell you some time.


And that is our frame collage! It makes our space so cozy when we walk in the door! I love it.

frame collage from door


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