Life Preserver Picture Frame (Camp Craft #2)

In thinking about the kinds of crafts I wanted to do for camp, I really wanted to come up with crafts that would serve a function, other than just looking cute. Remember our theme was “GO NAVY” (Gospel Oriented Noble and Valiant Youth), nautical/military. When I first conceived the idea of a picture frame that would look like a life preserver, I was afraid it would be out of the budget question. Fortunately, we have an incredible man in our church who pretty much has a full wood-working, metal, and printing shop, and the skills to use them all (plus more). Anyway, he donated the wood and foam and cut the frames for us! To keep costs down, and for an authentic look, he cut circles out of MDF for the back and circles out of a thin sheet of Styrofoam to go on top. He glued them together and sanded the edges of the foam so they would be rounded. (He also cut the word stencils for me!)

life preserver frame
At camp, we painted the frames on the first day and let them dry overnight. Our magic white paint? Watered down joint compound. It sealed the little holes in the foam. But it did take a full 24 to set up completely, depending on how thick the paint was applied.
The following rotation, we attached the nylon rope with colorful electricians tape. (We had previously cut the lengths of rope and melted the ends together). Then we stenciled the Go Navy 2009 on front. The girls had a little bit of a hard time with the less is more concept with stencil paint. By orienting the frame this way, the top length of rope can serve as a hanger for the frame.
Bro. Lund (who did all the other work on this project) was camp photographer, too, and took and printed pictures of the girls to put in their frames.


Because of his generous donations, this project was very inexpensive. I did underestimate the amount of rope and tape we would need however. The red and white rope was found as a clothesline at the dollar store. The other colors were purchased at home improvement stores.
Just one more camp craft TBB (to be blogged) next week!
Happy weekend!

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  1. What a great craft! Goes with the theme perfectly!

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