Shanty Photo Art

So with 7 days to go I finished my LAST Christmas gift today… WOOHOO:)!  I am usually so last minute and find myself at Walgreen’s on Christmas Eve picking up at least 2 that I forgot but this year I finally had my act together.  All of the siblings draw names for Christmas and I picked my youngest sister.  Her request this year was framed pics of my kids… easy enough.  But… I wanted to “shanty” it up a bit.  Here is what I did…
I started by getting my supplies.  I found some super shanty 4X6, 5X7, and 8X10 frames at the Dollar Tree.
And… a super cute but much in need of a makeover large frame.
I started by giving all of my pieces a few good coats of our favorite… Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Canyon Black.
While that was drying I started on the next step.  I originally planned on covering the cardboard with burlap but this frame had a plastic piece rather than glass so I just decided to cover it instead.  I sprayed the plastic with spray adhesive.
I then cut the extras off and left a couple inches to work with.
My hot glue gun came to town at this point.  I was done in almost no time!  I started by gluing my extras to the opposite side of the plastic.
When I was done it looked like this…
I then put the covered plastic back into the now black frame and it looked a bit like this…
Awww… Already soooo much better don’t you think:)!
The next step was to arrange and glue all my frames and my applique.  I eyeballed them and placed them where I wanted them and then used the hot glue again to attach each frame to the burlap.
And when I was finished it looked like this…
Almost finished…  My final step was to add my little clippies.  I found these at Walmart at around $1 for 2… woohoo again:)
I used my hot glue again to attach a clip to the center of each frame.
Now for my favorite part… the adding of the kiddos!  I printed out some b&w’s at Walmart and clipped them up.  I LOVE how it turned out! I wanted to give her something that she could easily change out and maybe someday put pics of her own kids… hint, hint Leash;)  I also love the mix of the burlap, metal and fancy black.  It just makes me smile.  Now… I must make myself give it up:)  That is the hardest part!  So guys… What do you think??


  1. Betty on April 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Brilliant! I did this using a huge bulletin board that never really used as a bulletin board. I LOVE IT! Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  2. Aimee Ryzman on March 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I am almost finished with mine! It looks wonderful! Thanks for the great idea! My huge frame is perfect a whopping 38″ by 26″. Found it at Goodwill with an awful print inside for $7.99. It is going to look amazing over our bed.

  3. Margo on March 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    An absolutely awesome project.
    Makes me want to run right out to the dollar store.
    I am so in love with your blogsite.
    Keep the projects coming!!
    Have a Blessed Day.

  4. AmyP. on January 9, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    This is just adorable! What a GREAT gift idea! Your projects never cease to amaze.

  5. [email protected] on January 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Beautiful! You really did a great job.

  6. [email protected] on December 31, 2009 at 6:11 am

    This is so pretty! I love the black and burlap. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  7. Toni on December 27, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Has to be the BEST creative Idea for photo display that I've come across this year!! Thanks for all the details, step-by-step tutorial! I'm marking you a new favorite blog!

  8. KolentynePoppy on December 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Creative genius! Now I can do something spectacular with the pile of frames I have in the basement!!!!!

    (don't have a real blog yet….so I consider myself a "really creative follower")

    Happy Holidays
    Kolein – New York

  9. Heidi on December 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm


    I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I have been looking around here for a great frame for awhile. I just found a great one a couple weeks ago, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. It has a temporary fix for Christmas, but it isn't what I had hoped for. I can't wait for the Christmas decorations to come down and to set this up for our family room!

    Does the hot glue gun hold the clips enough to change out the photos? I was kind of surprised you didn't use the Gorilla epoxy.



  10. Bonnie on December 22, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I really love this idea. I like the 3D feel, the black and burlap, the b&w photos – the whole thing looks so tailored and original. Great job – mind if I borrow 🙂

  11. Angie @ The Shabby Chic Cottage on December 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Great job!! What a great gift!

  12. Suzanne on December 21, 2009 at 2:37 am

    That is just FABULOUS!! I love love love it!! Thanks for the step-by-step. Merry Christmas!!

  13. jennibell on December 21, 2009 at 2:22 am

    This was a FANTASTIC project. I'm sure your sister will *love* it 🙂

  14. Prairiedog on December 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Shanty Sisters, I just came across your blog, there are so many out there. Wanted to comment on your shanty to chic projects. You do come up with some great items. Your philosophy is like mine, if it stays in the garage (attic, storage room, basement) long enough, an idea will bring it in and it will get used for a special project. Thanks for all the great ideas. Karen

  15. [email protected] of Five on December 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Love how this turned out! My favorite part is how easy it is to change out the photos… it's nice to be able to keep it updated without a lot of hassle! I'll have to bookmark this one for sure!

  16. Misty on December 20, 2009 at 5:49 am


  17. {Mullins} on December 20, 2009 at 5:15 am

    if she doesn't love it, i know someone who will…{hint*hint ME!} let me know if you need my shipping address…HAHA! 😉

  18. Flagstaff Odds 'N Ends on December 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Do you have a rule "No blog peeking until after Christmas"?
    I have not unloaded any gifts because I know the person I made it for will see it on my blog:)

    I love the idea!

  19. Susie from Bienvenue on December 19, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    I am lovin' this great idea of yours….oh so cute! Thanks for sharing!

  20. jaimeparis on December 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    That is fabulous;such a great idea! I love it!!!
    Holiday hugs, Erika

  21. Gretchen on December 19, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Awesome idea! And, just too cute!

  22. Shanty 2 Chic on December 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Hey Girls! Thanks so much for your sweet comment…For those of you that asked… the large picture frame is 37" x 28". And… my sister has been told not to read the blog until after Christmas;)!

  23. mom2domgigi on December 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Like you need any more "Love It's" but add mine. I so love your "I don't need my hubby to do things for me attitude" My dad is a self employed Dairy farmer and my mom and I can fix or do almost any kind of home improvement that we set our mind too, just because we had to. My DH is constantly amazed by my just go get the screwdriver or hammer attitude. Love your blog and have been super inspired!!!!

  24. Julie on December 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I just love your frame!!! It is amazing. In fact, you do amazing work!! Love your blog. Don't stop. Wish your family a very
    Merry Christmas!!

  25. Julie on December 19, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    you girls rock! i just found you and I am so excited for all the projects that will be going on around my house – after christmas of course!

  26. Funky Junk Interiors on December 19, 2009 at 5:39 am

    ULTRA clever!! Love all the smallest of details. The clips are a super cool idea.

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!

    FJ Donna

  27. Angie on December 19, 2009 at 4:09 am

    All your projects are awesome, but I think this one is my favorite so far! Love it and will definitely be making myself one or 2 or 3…

  28. Maresa on December 19, 2009 at 3:59 am

    love this. Will have to try and do this. What size is your big frame that all the others are in? Merry Christmas.

  29. Staci K. on December 19, 2009 at 2:31 am

    I am soooo copying this!! I love it! I'm kicking myself now for not picking up the big old frame I saw at the thrift store today…wonder if it will still be there tomorrow…

  30. Amanda on December 18, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    holy toledo! I am sooo bookmarking this for a future project! LOVELY JUST LOVELY!!

  31. tonya on December 18, 2009 at 10:28 pm


  32. Heidi and Tye on December 18, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I didn't even notice the clips in the first photo, until I scrolled down through the tutorial. I think it looks good with our without the clips. I'm surprised you didn't sand a little around the edges though. But it looks super cute! The receiver will love it!

  33. on December 18, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I am so going to do this! Absolutely love it – thanks so much for sharing!

  34. TheFancyFritter on December 18, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Oh MY goodness! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me!! I LOVE this!! How gorgeous!

  35. Jennie on December 18, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Here's my repeat of words….CUTE,CUTE,CUTE! I'm making one I have the perfect spot!

  36. Stephanie on December 18, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I love this! I am working on collecting frames to do a collage on my wall, but I might try something similar to this instead. You are filled with great ideas!!!

  37. Cottage Dreamers on December 18, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    What a good idea! I'll have to save this so I can do it later! Thanks for sharing!

  38. Ruth on December 18, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I love it. It looks absolutely gorgeous. What a wonderful idea. I can't wait to get started on one.


  39. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions on December 18, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    This is great, Whitney! I love this! What a great project if you have some extra frames around, too.

  40. Crafts and Deals on December 18, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I just came across your blog the other day and I LOVE all your unique ideas!! Thanks for such great tutorials!

  41. alexismcdade on December 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I am totally in love with your blog!! What size is the big frame that all your frames are in?

  42. bec4 on December 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Wow–wonderful! love the black and burlap.

  43. Taija on December 18, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    This is so icredibly adorable! I love it!!! You come up with the BEST ideas!! AMAZING!

  44. Kim on December 18, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    This is one of my favorites! I am SO going to do this. Love it!! Thanks.

  45. Amanda on December 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    I think you're a creative genius, that's what I think. Thanks for the idea.

  46. Gonna Be His Mrs. on December 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I am IN LOVE! I will definitely make one of these…WOW! I just hope it comes out as good as yours did.

  47. scotsdotter on December 18, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    This is such a great idea! I have a large space to cover, but always have trouble hanging multiple frames together nicely… this fixes that!

  48. Sunshine on December 18, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE project this!!!

  49. Jen on December 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    One word: Awesomeness!

  50. kristen on December 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I love-love this idea!! You girls are awesome. What are the dimensions of the big frame that you used?

  51. Kim's Treasures on December 18, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Love it!

  52. Debilou~Mississippi Mama on December 18, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    What a great idea,, and something you cant go out and buy in the store is always so much better. She'll love it.

  53. Cha Cha on December 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I love this idea. I am going to do this in my bedroom. MERRY CHRISTMAS

  54. [email protected] and Cheese on December 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    This is incredibly cute and well done! Pottery Barn is going to copy you on this one!

  55. The Toll House Cookie on December 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Fantastic idea!!!

  56. Nancy @ Live love laugh on December 18, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Love this! I would not have thought of the clips! I am always sticking pictures up -poking out of the china cabinet, fridge, other frames-so this way I can change them up! Thanks!

  57. Our Life :) on December 18, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I am soooo in love with this project, I can't wait to try it out for myself! 🙂

  58. [email protected] on December 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    What do I think ? I think you are brilliant and your kids are adorable !

  59. duchess on December 18, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    That turned out great – I'm sure she'll love it. I just hope she doesn't read your blog.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  60. Patti on December 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Love this idea…especially the "clips" so the photos can be changed out so easily. Happy Holidays

  61. KirkKrew on December 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    So cute!!! Hopefully she doesn't read the blog! 😉

  62. Julie on December 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    This could be my favorite shanty to chic! I l-o-v-e it!! This is on my to-do list after the holidays!

  63. Bonita on December 18, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Your creativity astounds me! She is going to love it! Gorgeous!

  64. Cami on December 18, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Perfect! Know I know what to do with a gorgeous, but in need of help, frame I just got…thank you for sharing this fabulous idea!

  65. HouseMama on December 18, 2009 at 6:33 am

    O.M.Gosh – it is beautiful! She is going to just l.o.v.e. it.

  66. design_aholic on December 18, 2009 at 5:58 am

    ok Whitney, this is going in my file now too!!! I.LOVE.LOVE.LOVE.THIS. 🙂 I wouldn't give it up either!

  67. Rachelle on December 18, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Well, consider this in my idea file now! I LOVE it. LOVE LOVE LOVE.




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