How to Build an Heirloom Fabric Photo Cube

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Photo by Jennifer Casa
Design your own photo box with your favorite fabric.

Vintage Made Modern: Transforming Timeworn Textiles into Treasured Heirlooms (Roost Books, 2014), by Jennifer Casa, is a great read for anyone looking to repurpose old heirlooms. Casa shares many new ideas with modern twists. Find this project in “Kitchen Linens.”

When I was a child, my family had a clear acrylic photo cube sitting on the coffee table; it had different funny pictures of family members slipped inside. I searched unsuccessfully to find a similar one, and eventually decided to make it myself. This handmade variation is a terrific project that highlights five of your favorite photos and infuses treasured linens into your home decor as well. Change out the photos as often as you like, and keep the others stored inside the cube to look through now and again.

Finished Measurements

4″ × 4″ × 4″

What You Need

• Vintage linens (such as cocktail napkins)

• Balsa wood: (1 piece) 16″ × 4″ × 36″

• Craft knife

• A small paintbrush

• Wax paper

• Decoupage medium (such as Mod Podge)

• Hot-glue gun

• Five photos sized 3″ × 3″ (Instagram-type photos would be great for this!)

• Tape

How to Make

1. Use a craft knife to cut the balsa wood into 4″ squares. (Even though you will only need five for this project, make a few extra just in case the thin wood splits.)

2. Place a piece of wax paper on your work surface to protect it from the adhesive.

3. Paint a thin layer of decoupage medium onto one side of a balsa wood square. Place a piece of your fabric directly on top of the wood, and smooth out any bub­bles with your hand. Paint another thin layer of decoupage medium directly on top of the fabric to seal it to the wood. Set aside and allow to dry while you con­tinue to decoupage the rest of the squares with your fabrics. Cut off any excess fabric when completely dry.

4. Use a craft knife to cut out a 2″ square in the center of each piece. Then apply another top coat of decoupage medium to seal the fabric to the balsa wood.

5. Run a thin line of hot glue along one edge of a square to adhere it to an edge of another square at a 90-degree angle. Working one edge at a time, continue to adhere the squares together in the form of a cube (leaving one side of the cube open).

6. Tape your photos inside the frames with right sides facing out.

More from Vintage Made Modern: Transforming Timeworn Textiles into Treasured Heirlooms:

No-Sew Cutter Quilt Wreath

Cute Pot Holder Zipper Pouch

Handmade Patchwork Steering Wheel Cover

From Vintage Made Modern: Transforming Timeworn Textiles into Treasured Heirlooms by Jennifer Casa, © 2014 by Jennifer Casa. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boulder, CO. www.roostbooks.com