Wire Photo Holders

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This is a super-duper project for all levels of craft-ability, and easily adaptable for all sorts of occasions and themes. I made these ones for a Manitoba Canola Growers event and gave them a “global” theme, but you could do whatever strikes your fancy or suits your decor. How about a set of festive holders to display Christmas cards? Or tiny ones for place cards, buffet signs or price tags?

Supplies and Tools Needed:
wooden blocks (available at your local craft store OR make your own)
wood stain or paint
Mod Podge
patterned paper
wire
fine sandpaper
gluestick, thick marker or dowel (to wrap your wire around)
E-6000 glue (optional)
wire cutters
small round- or needle-nose pliers
drill with 1/16 bit

Step 1: Sand, then paint or stain your wooden blocks. I used a water-based, brush-on/wipe-off pickling stain in a neutral shade called “mushroom.”

Step 2: Cut or punch squares just slightly smaller than your blocks. Make sure to cut 5 per block, plus several extras to account for duds (squares with awkward designs or flaws.)

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Step 3: Working with one side at a time, brush on a coat of Mod Podge. Position a square of paper over the Mod Podge and press down lightly. (You have a few seconds to wiggle your paper into position.) Once the glue starts to set up, press the edges down firmly and smooth the surface of the paper. Repeat for all 4 sides. Using a small hand-punch, punch a hole in the center of the fifth square before applying it to the top of the block. Let dry.

Step 4: Brush each side with a light coat of Mod Podge. Optional: sand block lightly with fine sandpaper to distress edges of paper before coating with Mod Podge. Once first coat is dry, sand lightly, then apply a second coat of Mod Podge. Let dry.

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Step 5: Cut wire to length. (I found that 10″ was just about right to allow for the coil at the top, but you may want to go a little shorter. If you’re making a few to group together, it’s nice to vary the heights.)

Straighten out the wire. Using pliers, form a small loop at one end. Holding the looped end, wrap the wire around a gluestick or marker THREE times to form a tight coil, without crossing.

Using your pliers, give the wire a little twist at the looped end so it lays flat/follows the direction of the coil. Holding the coiled end, use your pliers to bend the tail of the wire to a 90° angle (where it meets the coil.)

Step 6: Using a very fine drill bit (1/16), drill a hole in the top of the block. Do not drill all the way to the bottom. If it wiggles too much or falls out easily, add a small dab of E-6000 glue before inserting.)

Step 7: Place a photo or card in the coil and enjoy your fabulous new desk or shelf accessory.

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