Using Scraps


PFG, Picture Framing God
Nov 21, 2005
Carson City, Nevada
Another thread got me remembering the good-ol' days, when I had spare time and could do this, but does anyone make use of scraps on occasion? Matbd, glass, moulding, etc.?

Someone just talked about 1.5"-opening square mini frames with magnets on the back, tucked into a little jewel box as thank-you gifts.

I remember in my first shop, using out-of-date poster catalogues to make mini-art. Tiny little prints, matted, with glass and framed, all from scraps. With a magnet on the back...Refrigerator art kicked up a notch. Monet to Kandinsky! One year I made enough on these to buy glass for weeks!

And Christmas ornaments made from ornate mldg scraps, no opening, just the 4 sides, with a tiny gold-painted screw eye on top for the hanger.

And 3 1/2x5, 4x5 and 5x7 and 8x10 ready-to-go frame packages, with or without a frame, with mats to fit photos, uv glass, backing and wire.

And matboard pieces 16x20 and smaller for the do-it-yourselfer. Instead of throwing out or giving away, take an hour once in awhile and cut up your scraps into standard sizes. For example, say, $1.50 for each 11x14 piece adds up, and would've just been trash otherwise.

Someday, when I don't need any sleep and can find some "spare (HA!) time", I can do these again! Although the matbd pieces don't take long.And they're kinda fun too.

Other ideas?
I just finished replenishing my "Business Card holders" made from scrap moulding. 4 1/4" x 2 1/2" Scrap suede mat board glued on the bottom, four bumpons, $10 thank you very much.

Also, am about to try a "new" (for me) wrinkle ... 5" square mirrors with sawtooth hangers "for your cubicle." Also called "lipstick mirrors." $12; all from scrap.
What great ideas! I do cut down scrap mat and glass to standard sizes to sell in ready-made frames.

I love the idea of the mini-frame fridge magnets. I also am intrigued by the business card holder idea but can't quite picture how it's done. Can we get a fuller description? I'm going to go back to the Christmas ornament mention and see if I can puzzle that one out, too.

I did a DYI description of building business card holders and accessory boxes out of scrap moulding a few years ago but I don't remember if it was on the Grumble section or Tips of the Trade section. You can do a search on both and also the Grumble archives. The photos won't be there now but I can always post more if anyone is interested. I have built hundreds of these boxes along with shelves and sconces to match the framed art over a fireplace. (I used the same moulding for the shelves/sconces), lidded boxes, desk sets with business card holder and matching candy/pen/keyring/_________ (insert advertising goodie here) boxes.

They are alot of fun to do when framing slows down in those months that everyone is always trying to identify ahead of time but we all know they'll be here when they get here. There is also a very helpful book in the Decor library on this very sugject. It has basic ideas to get you started and gives you some idea of how to cut and what material to use.

I also like the idea of the little frame magnets and was thinking of expanding on that idea by framing my business cards in these with narrow moulding. Same purpose, same reasoning, "Thanks for your business, here is a small token of my appreciation. Keep this handy on your fridge in case you have questions".

Can't get a picture today, maybe tomorrow. But, it's really simple. Make a "frame" 4 1/4" x 2 1/2", Glue scrap suede matboard fuzzy side toward the rabbetonto the back of the frame. (this will serve as the bottom of the "business card holder") I "reverse bevel cut" the mat and cut it about 1/16" smaller than the outside demension of the "frame." Then put four bumpons in the corners of the back of the mat board. Put you LABEL in the middle of the back.

lay on table, put a couple of business cards in and collect $10 (or there abouts.)

hope that was clear?
I've made some business card holders, small frames, and a few pierced earring holders out of moulding scraps... Here are a few pictures:

small frames


Business card holder lined with suede mat scraps. The bottom is lined with a piece of suede mat and 4 bumpons (just like Cliff's), but I don't have a picture of that.


A pierced earring holder that I made for my daughter. I bought a cheap (Dollar Store) stand for her to keep the frame standing up on her bathroom vanity. The earrings just hang on regular window screening mesh.

I bought a book "Decorative Accessories Made from Moulding" last year that gives step-by-step instructions on how to make lots of different items from scrap moulding. I found it quite good.

Originally quoted by Framerguy:

I also like the idea of the little frame magnets and was thinking of expanding on that idea by framing my business cards in these with narrow moulding. Same purpose, same reasoning, "Thanks for your business, here is a small token of my appreciation. Keep this handy on your fridge in case you have questions".
Love that idea!
I recently started a mobile framing business and I find the majority of my customers so far really trust my judgement when it comes to design choices. I am contemplating and planning a "surprise framing" program where I would set a reasonable price for framing pieces (up to 16x20) and the customer will get whatever I do and I can use my scrap matting and moulding (including ready-made moulding I buy on clearance or at thrift stores/rummage sales). I have 3 categories and 2 size catagories from basic (double matting, UV clear glass, preservation mounting/fitting) up to Super Fabulous Framing (triple mat w/1 fabric, UV museum glass, preservation mounting/fitting) and the price points allow me to still make money and the customer to save money by accepting what I give them. I figure it is a good opportunity to be creative and show customers unique ways of doing things that they may not be able to picture if I tried to explain it. As long as it always get the WOW factor and they understand there are not returns/ could be a interesting program!
The tip of my thumb grew back nicely.

But I had to sell a lot minis to pay the ER bill.

Be carefull with the small stuff.
I have often thought about doing something just as you described. It seems like a win/win deal. The only potential pitfall I can see is if someone really just doesn't like the result for some reason (i.e. "I hate brown!"), you hate to have someone dissatisfied and constantly bugged when they see their frame hanging. Any re-do, however, would negate the financial incentive of this program.
That said, I've always thought this might be a neat way to "stretch out" design-wise without the need to explain everything upfront, which limits the ability to experiment as you go along. (Although sometimes I do make minor switches in colors/textures etc. if I think of something that would look even better than what we picked, but that didn't occur to me to show the cust. at the time. I bet we all do that.)
Sometime I'll get up the nerve to try an approach like this. (Maybe I'll tie it in with the start of our 30th year in business after Labor Day). In the meantime, keep us posted on the progress and response to yours.
:cool: Rick