My family loves to go out four wheeling, camping and hiking. Every once in awhile we stumble across a rattle snake and if we have time and resources we usually hunt the snake to eat later. (Don’t worry, we are legally hunting them!) Oh, and I cook the best snake. I’ll have to post the recipe the next time we get one.
We save the snakeskin as well, so far other family members haven taken home the skins and rattles, but this time because I skinned and gutted the snake I was the one to keep the snakeskin and rattle. I had the snakeskin pinned up to dry for the past six months and finally got around to making something with it. I couldn’t believe how paper-y and thin the snakeskin was after it had dried.
Easy Way to Dry Snakeskin: I didn’t have the right tanning materials, so I just sprayed olive oil onto the cardboard where the snakeskin was going and used thumb tacks to pin the snakeskin to the cardboard. I made sure that I stretched the skin out flat as I pinned it in place. I then sprayed more olive oil onto the skin itself and let it dry. It would probably have been dry after a few weeks but I was too lazy (and lacking ideas) to do anything with it then.
DIY Picture Frame: For the picture frame I used foam board and cut out a frame shape with a box knife. The cuts were fairly clean and easy with a straight-edge. They would have looked much nicer if my two year old wasn’t right there trying to ‘help’ the entire time. For the backing of the frame I used cardstock and just glued it on, and also attached the ribbon and the stand with glue. When I find a picture I love it will be glued in as well. Picture frames are usually hung on the wall or out of the way on a shelf so there is really no need for them to be too heavy duty.
Picture Frame Decoration: Decorating the picture frame was the fun part. I decorated it before I glued the back on. First I cut out the pieces of snakeskin and laid them out how I planned to place them. They cut very easily with a box knife, scissors or most any cutting tools would have worked just fine because of how thin the snakeskin was.
Next the snakeskin needed to be glued down. I painted mod podge to the back of the snakeskin and to the foam picture frame and used that to glue all of the snakeskin down.
Lastly I pulled out the hot glue gun to glue down the rattle to the front of the picture frame and to add raffia to the sides to hide the foam board and add a little flair to the frame.
That’s all it took! My snakeskin frame was finished in a short period of time if you don’t count the drying time and the time it took me to try to chase off my little one from getting into my work space.
Check out these other Arizona-y Posts!
Toddler Outings in Arizona
The Unofficial Guide to Arizona Cacti
Arizona Valentine’s Day Cards
We went to Vegas a little while ago and got this really neat spray paint-painting done for us. They wanted to sell us a mat for it for $15 I told my husband heck no, they would be cheaper at Micheal’s, especially with a coupon. We went and were going to get a custom frame and holy expensive! I don’t think I’ll ever be doing that, let alone for a $30 piece of art. We got a cheaper frame and I realized I could make my own mat for less than a dollar, especially since we don’t have to worry about things being acid free because it’s not a picture.
Every time I go to the dollar store I try to take note of what is there in case I need it later on. Last time I was there I noticed they had poster board. I went back and got a piece of the black and it was only fifty cents, awesome!
Take the fake picture that comes with the frame and set it on your poster board and cut out around it. Put double sided tape on the back of your art and lay it in the middle of the poster board. Put it in the frame and hang! So cheap any easy, right? This could be done if you had a printed picture as well, but I would make sure that the poster board and tape was acid free.
Many people have done this project, and if not, you need to try it. It was easy and it’s useful.
Mine were both made from what I had around the house, left overs from other projects. The first one I did I used a wooden picture frame that had held a mirror (used on the wanted poster). It was from the dollar tree. I put cardboard inside the frame to back it since I had taken the mirror out.
First you want to find fabric, batting and ribbon. The fabric needs to be a few inches bigger than your frame on each side. The batting should be the same. I didn’t have batting, so I used stuffing. It came out a bit more lumpy, I like to think of it as cloud-like. The ribbon is tricky, measure your frame diagonally (I got 17 inches), add 2-3 inches (20). Multiply that by 4 (80).
Lay down your fabric and then your batting. Fold around the edges of your frame and staple them down. I used a staple gun, but a normal stapler can work also. Make sure you pull the fabric tight.
Next you will cut your ribbon. Of your total length, cut it in half. Then cut one of the halves into a quarter of the original length. Now you have a half piece, and two quarter pieces. Take one of the quarters and staple the edge onto the corner of the back of your frame.
Pull the ribbon across the front of the frame (over your fabric and batting) and staple the other side to the back of the frame. Make sure that the ribbon is laying flat. Do the same thing from the other two corners.
Next take the half piece of ribbon and staple it on the back between the two side corners. Pull the ribbon across the front of the frame to the middle of the top of the frame and staple it on the back. Fold the ribbon to go over the front of the frame and pull to the next side and staple it on the back. Fold it over, and pull it to the bottom middle of the frame. Staple and fold again. Pull it over back to the original side of the frame and staple it next to the other end of the ribbon. Confusing? The first picture is of the finished back of the first sample and the pictures below that are of my second sample. The thinner black ribbon is the first two quarters you stapled on, and the thicker brown ribbon is the single half-piece of ribbon.
That was all that I did on the first sample, I liked it just the way it was, I pinned on a cute flower and cute pin for whatever I wanted to hang on it later. The second sample I added a little more. I used pins to hold down the ribbons a bit tighter and for some cuter looks. On the backside after I pushed the pin though the cardboard I bent them and put a piece of duct tape to hold them down better. (If its on the back who cares what it looks like 🙂 I also stapled a loop of ribbon at the top to use when I went to hang it up. There are all sorts of variations you can do for this idea, just be creative and use what you have! You can find the first sample on etsy.com. Thanks for reading!
We saw this idea at a trading post near the Grand Canyon and it was a super cute idea. I may be a little biased but I think mine looks much better, it’s a little less trading-posty/cheesy. I made it for our cowboy themed spare bedroom, but since then it has turned into a nursery.
Cardstock (or stencils)
1. If the plywood isn’t cut to the size you want, have it cut at the store or cut it at home. I had my husband do it, he’s the best!
2. Use a few browns to paint it like wood. I had a few helpers and we all just swiped brown up and down in random places until it was covered.
3. Make stencils for the words using cardstock or thin cardboard (think: cereal box). Make sure that you don’t cut out the negative spaces. If you don’t want to make stencils, they can be found in home improvement stores and craft stores.
4. Using a sponge brush or a stenciling brush and dab paint onto the stencils. For more on stenciling check out this post here on how I stenciled charger plates.
5. After all the paint is dry, glue your mirror onto the plywood using tacky glue or some sort of super glue.
6. Using hot glue, put the leather cord around the edges of the mirror.
7. Finally, add a frame back and hang on the wall.
That’s all folks! I loved mine, but we decided against having a cowboy room in the house once we did the nursery so my sign was sold for way too little at a yard sale. Hopefully it is well loved and that the one you make will be well loved too!
I created this wall hanging for our apartment to make it look a little more homey. The frame itself was a bit hideous in the beginning, but I had found it at Goodwill for a decent price.
First, I mod poodged scrapbook paper to the frame.
Next I painted the extra cardboard in the frame black.
The gray and flowers paper you see is just plain white cardstock that I laid out and painted by hand. In the swirls are me and my husband’s names. After painting all the flowers, leaves and swirls I used a silver paint and a stiff bristly brush to lightly texture over everything. These papers were then glued to the cardboard backing.
Next the ribbon was glued to the backing, and the bow tied afterwards.
I made my own stencils from cardstock so that they would last longer than one use. I still have them in a folder. I stenciled “Love” onto the same scrapbook paper used for the frame, and backed them with brown paper. These were then glued on.
The cardboard was then put into the frame, carefully so that the bow would look good and not crushed funny. It was the only thing that hung on the wall in our first apartment, and still hangs on the wall in our home.