FreeToughened glass desk top cover and photo display

Posted in Gardening/household tips, household/gardening tips, how to features on March 23rd, 2015 by John Coxon

DSC_7608My home office desk is actually a simple seven foot length of kitchen worktop resting on a cuupboard at either end. Although I make photo frames I have noticed that glass , cut to size, seems to have greatly increased  in price since I last made frames.  I have a pile of loose family photos and  such a shame to hide them in albums. I made a desktop  feature of them at hardly any cost.

Toughened glass is often used for table tops or to keep table cloths clean and easy to wipe over but the stuff is really expensive to source if you need it cut to size  at a basic £40 a square metre  and , for example, if you want rounded corners that will cost £10 a corner.

Happily I made use  of reclaimed pieces of toughened glass,  two  glass shelves from a TV video stand that someone had dumped on waste ground and just the size for my desk top , each about two feet long and 15 inches wide and so saved a packet ! ( You could, as an alternative, try second hand and charity shops who may sell furniture that features toughened glass tops and shelves.)




At first I simply slipped a range of photos under the glass but that wasn’t very satisfactory so needed them mounted. To do this I simply used an offcut of a spare roll of blown vinyll wall paper, put it on my desk face down and cut around the glass using a scalpel to get the exact size.

surgical scalpel

( I use a medical scapel with a number of spare blades as my crafting essential ( blades aren’t  expensive at all ) all bought on line as I do a lot of craft work and the scalpel is the best & sharpest thing going and I simply dispose of each blade iff it blunts. A  scalpel with its surgical quality sharpness  is ideal for cutting out  stencils, paper and thin card precisiely and I also do some elementary fine carving with  them. The cork I use to hold the scalpel when not in use – the blade pushed into it – so easy to cut yourself so best kep it safe.

Once the backing paper was cut out I made my choice of photos ( and  few interesting business cards of suppliers, I use regularly in my photography business, to fill small gaps) and used double sided tape to keep them in position as I arranged them in a mosaic covering all of the paper.


For further ideas  of easy things  to make for your home why not follow me over on Facebook here  John Coxon Facebook


Make a novel photo frame from a photo of your house!

Posted in Gardening/household tips, household/gardening tips, how to features on March 23rd, 2015 by John Coxon

Here is a simple idea where you can make a unique simple photo frame- all you need is a photo of the front elevation of your home. Here I did a print out off a photo of our little house and printed it out on plain A4 paper.


Next I used some double sided tape too keep the template in place on a piece of  5mm ply wood.



I drew over the main lines using a biro tip which made an impression on the ply surface and then went over these lines with a pencil to make  them clearer. I used a hand held fretsaw to cut out the outline of our house and to cut out the window apertures.

To cut out the windows  you need to drill a small hole within the drawn frame, feed the fretsaw blade through the hole and re attach the balde to the saw and then you can cut around the aperture line. Release one end of the blade when you have  completed the cut.

Use  a flat file wrapped in glasspaper  to sand out the aperture edges so they look straight and square.

I used dowel lengths glued in place for the roof guttering and single rain down pipe.  I cut out and glued small pieces of wood to glue under the windows to make the sills. These add ons give a 3D effect.  ( I know I need to tidy up my hand painting around the windows but this project still needs a  little more painting, for example the door in chocolate brown.


I selected a shot of our dog actually caught looking out the window , scaled it down and printed it off as a photo. I found a shot of myself and my life partner , again scaled it, printed it off to go behind the bedroom window. If you use glossy photo paper there is no need to glaze  from behind or use clear thin plastic. I painted the window frames  and sills the colours they actually are on our house.  I have yet to decide how to render the red brick walls.



For more ideas on original  things to make by hand  why not check out my Facebook here  John Coxon


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