Not so long ago, fashionable clothes bore all sorts of pretty buckles. When the garments wore out or passed out of style, frugal housewives saved the buckles for reuse. Made from abalone, wood, metal, or Bakelite, they still abound -- if not in your sewing box, then certainly at flea markets. And now that buckles are less in demand as smart dressmaker details, they are free, with slight modification, to take on a new role as miniature picture frames. Gather these curios on a bureau, or display them as refrigerator magnets.
Tools and Materials
Photo or photocopy of image
Dremel rotary tool
#409 cutoff wheel
#932 grinding stone
Archival double-sided tape or glue
Adhesive magnetic sheeting
1. Use buckle that has a sizable opening, and choose a graphically bold image, such as a close-up portrait. Make a photocopy of the photo, reducing it to fit, if necessary.
2. Remove the buckle's center bar using a Dremel rotary tool fitted with a #409 cutoff wheel. On a low setting, cut a section from the middle of the center bar, leaving about 1/4 inch at each end to prevent chipping. Carefully abrade the rest of the bar with a #932 grinding stone. You may use vise grips padded with cloth to hold it steady.
3. Trace the outside of the buckle onto card stock. Cut out the shape; this forms the backing. Attach the photocopy to the backing with archival double-sided tape or archival glue. Glue the front edges of the photocopy to the buckle, and weigh it down with a few books. Let dry for at least eight hours. To magnetize frames, cut several strips from adhesive magnetic sheeting, and affix them to the backing.