SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, November 28, 2011

Wire Photo and Card Holders | Family Economics

By Cathe

I recently designed a craft to teach at a conference that held several tiny collages using simple wire holder forms. This is similar to those found attached to various decorative bases in the frame section at most stores. They are very simple to make and can be done with many different types of wire. The wire I use for standard 4-by-6 inch photos or small artist trading cards is around 18-gauge and can be easily found at the hardware store. You can make tinier ones with much finer wire for displaying tiny things like postage stamps.

Here is a simple way to create the wire holders:use the form to wrap the wire


•    Wire
•    Cylinder form, such as a wooden rod or spoon handle
•    Wire cutters
•    Round nose pillars
•    Base (see directions below)


1.    For a photo holder, create a base by cutting a piece of wire about 12 inches long.

curl the beginning end into a loop2.    Holding the cylinder form in one hand, hold the wire perpendicularly against the form with your thumb.

3.    Using the other hand, wrap the wire around the form twice and close together.

4.    Bend the remaining wire back at a 90 degree angle.

5.    Slide wire from form. With your round nose pliers, curl the beginning end back on itself in the form of a small loop.

6.    Tuck the long end of the wire into a form and slide a picture or other thin object in between the wire circles.

7.    I tucked a wire holder with a childhood photo of my mom into a little vintage egg cup filled with floral foam, beads and trim.

Other form ideas for displaying photos or cards:

•    Vintage teacup with floral foam and moss
•    Several wire holders inside the holes of a salt or sugar shaker filled with sand or glitter
•    Fruit as brunch place settings with name cards and photos in wire holders
•    Vases and plants (Create longer stemmed wire holders for tucking into them)

choose a unique base

Do you have more ideas for wire holder bases? I’d love to hear some of your ideas!

12 Comments so far

Post a comment

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, Jen G, Vancouver, BC, Canada wrote

Thank you, what a great idea. How do you keep the photos from curling over time?

On Friday, December 2, 2011, Andrea by the sea, Merimbula Australia wrote

Thanks for this, I am going out to make a few and can't wait to use some old cups for the bases

On Wednesday, November 30, 2011, gayle p - sag harbor, ny wrote

very cute and clever - off to the hardware store for wire! these will make great gifts!

On Tuesday, November 29, 2011, Kate blue wrote

I'm a bit confused over the directions (it's me,not you) but am gonna play with it and add some beads too!

On Tuesday, November 29, 2011, Elizabeth from California wrote

Adorable as always! Such a great way to highlight a special photo. xoxo

On Tuesday, November 29, 2011, Elaine Allen wrote

Hi Cathe - Great tutorial, thank you. I think these would be a great way to showcase those special Christmas or Birthday cards you receive.

On Tuesday, November 29, 2011, Lucy wrote

What a cute idea. You never cease to amaze me, Cathe. I'm going to use this idea for our Christmas dinner. Thanks!

On Monday, November 28, 2011, Ida wrote


On Monday, November 28, 2011, laurie - aka Magie Ethel wrote

Totally making these!

On Monday, November 28, 2011, Kit wrote

use salt and pepper shakers...they have holes to put the wires in. :-D

On Monday, November 28, 2011, martina wrote

You could also use a flower frog for the base. I have a ceramic toad that is a flower frog and will be using it to make the photo holder stand. Another base could be a wooden weaving bobbin, you could put four or five wire holders in the center and it weighs enough it won't tip.

On Monday, November 28, 2011, Carol S-U - Eureka CA wrote

This is great!! I see them everywhere and you've got me thinking about all of the holiday cards that will arrive soon... Tim to figure out what to use as a base and get crafting - THANKS!


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