We had two outdated oak entertainment centers. I knew I could do something with them! I took off the doors and this is how I use the center in my office. However, I still had the doors and didn’t want to throw them out. They usually have heavy glass in them with some sort of design and are pretty. This door has a beveled border.
I had photos and letters from my mom and dad that had been sitting in a box for years. I really didn’t know much about my mom and dad when they were young, so it was fun reading the letters to see how their lives were when I was a little girl. My dad was in the military so he was gone most of our younger years. I only knew the parents that I had when I was older. I decided that the door would be a perfect way to share the memories that I had and for my kids to see.
I could have left the door the way it was. It was a pretty varnished oak finish, like most of the centers are made. However, when I removed the handle it left a large hole. So I could either fill it full of wood putty and have it look a little different that the rest, or beat it up and make it look distressed. That sounded way more fun!
I removed the glass and stored it safely away, then sanded the finish off of the frame. Then I just started having fun. I started filing away sharp edges AND making the wood look more worn. I always use large bolts to make swirly marks that look like fossils or something old.
Then I had the hole to deal with. I filed on the edges to make it less perfect, nailed other holes around it, added more wear, and created another one on the other side of the frame. I think it ended up looking like an old worm hole, or at least like it was supposed to be there.
I don’t have a perfect way to stain. I started with a dark walnut and rubbed that on the entire frame. I left it on for about 10 minutes before wiping off. Next came ebony black with I like because it makes all the distress come alive. I had to apply it about 4 times leaving it on longer each time. I concentrated on the holes and marks that I had made.
I bought a mat at Michaels with a 50% off coupon, of course! I didn’t want the photos right behind the glass, so I cut it to overlap the back of the frame, with the glass sitting in the cut out of the frame. This allowed about a 1/2″ space between the photos and the glass. That is enough space if I wanted to add something 3-D in there like a necklace, charm, medals, or something like that.
I had copies made of the photos, so I could keep the originals. I used double sided tape tabs and taped everything down. I only needed to put a tab on the corners of the each piece. Make sure to arrange everything how you want it before securing.
After everything was secure, I cleaned the glass well and put it in and secured with glazierpoints. Then centered the mat on the back of the frame and taped around the edges. Tim screwed on D rings and wrapped some wire that we had already.
I love the result! I have pictures and letters and other mementos from my mom and dad for everyone to see. I already had stain, so the total cost was $8 for copies of the photographs and $10 for the mat and hardware. It is large – 35″ x 18″ and cost $18.
I have another door that has divided panes and I am going to put a piece of an old quilt behind it. Use your imagine! It’s like a picture frame with beautiful glass.