The 12 Retrofabulous Crafts of Christmas: Instant Ancester Victorian Style Frame

Instant Ancestors Beaded Frame Copyright Margot Potter 2005

You will be SHOCKED to hear that I collect old black and white Victorian era photographs.

I know, right?!(Or IKR as my super texty kid says)

I love pondering on the people in the pictures, wondering where life took them. Fascinating stuff, that.

I would also like to state for the record that if they made those shoes in my size, I'd be all over them like glitter on a glue stick.

This project was published in a magazine a few years back. The idea is to buy a cheap metal filigree frame at a discount store, they have tons of these at Target, TJ Maxx or Home Goods. Then you use 20-24 gauge Artistic Wire (soft copper based wire works best for this) to attach SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystals and pearls and swags of chain. I grasp the wire ends, wrap and twist them tightly, cut off excess and tuck the tails under with chain nose pliers. If you can't find this style of crystal chain, any gun metal or aged brass chain will work, just add a few dangling crystals to give it some sparkle. If you have some actual old pics of your ancestors, use those! If not, make up a good story about your new ancestor to go with the gift.

My Great Grandfather was a well known Philadelphia area photographer who specialized in hand tinted photos. His work is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Unfortunately, I only have one of his pictures and it is not hand tinted. So I just took a pic from my ephemera collection, scanned and colored with cotton swabs and powdered pigments. The colors here are honestly a bit too heavy handed, I find eye shadows work well to give a more subtle look.

This project should take about an hour, so if you're looking for a last minute you go! 


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