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Unique Frames Give Images Extra Pop

By Arthur H. Bleich—

Frames are fantastic for making your images stand out, but rather than going for traditional plain ones, here are some unusual options (and the stories behind them) to make your pictures shine. We’ve even obtained some special deals just for Red River Paper blog readers should you be interested in purchasing some of them.


Ross and Kristen Hunter live in Edinburgh, Scotland and have always been attuned to things creative. While choosing a frame for a picture of their beloved dog who’d passed on, Kristen recalls, “We wanted something Scottish and very unique, but nothing seemed to be quite right.”

Then, on a visit to a local salvage yard one day, they had an “aha” moment. “Suddenly there it was, an old and unloved whisky barrel,” Kristen remembers. Distilleries abound in Scotland and the barrels in which whisky is aged eventually get to the point where they can no longer impart their unique flavor to the spirits and have to be discarded.

The Hunters set up shop and were soon making a variety of frames from parts of the venerable barrels, some of which were more than 60 years old. The frames are beautiful pieces of Scottish history; each comes with its own origin archival number so you can check out where it came from. The one I have comes from a William Grant & Sons distillery built on the Clyde Coast of Scotland in 1963.

As Whisky Frames grew, more options were added. You can order monogrammed rivets, family tartan background material, even commemorative laser engraving. The standard background material is certified Harris Tweed from Scotland’s Outer Hebrides Islands.

Kristen says, “Ross and I love to design and solve problems together and daily we strive to make Whisky Frames better. It’s simply the best to hear all the stories from our customers on how we helped create a special gift for someone they love.”


In 1991 Graham Bergh was biking to his recycling job in Portland, Oregon, when he got a flat tire. “I took out the inner tube,” he recalls, “and wondered ‘what happens to all the bike parts that get thrown away?’” So he began dumpster diving and tinkering with product ideas in his spare time and, with the encouragement of friends, launched Resource Revival in 1994.

Today, 3,000 pounds of used parts from 150 shops in 17 states roll in monthly to his workshop in Mosier, Oregon. Most of it is recycled into gadgets and gift items, among which is a lovely Victorian-style picture frame made from former bicycle chains.

“Our workshop,” he says, “is located near one of America’s largest hydroelectric dams, so the bulk of our power comes from renewable energy. But we radically reduce our demand in a variety of easy and cost-effective ways, from using high-efficiency fluorescent lighting and heat pumps in our occupied workspaces, to storing the recycled materials we collect in an unheated warehouse.”

Images in the 5 x7-inch frame can be displayed on flat surfaces vertically or horizontally or hung on a wall. The frame arrives in recycled packaging that includes glass to protect the photograph, instead of plastic. The chain from which it is made is pre-cleaned with non-harmful solvents. Graham says his products not only look good, but they are built to last for generations.

“By crafting durable products from recycled materials,” he explains, “our hope is to provide meaningful alternatives to imported junk, and to inspire others to do the same.” His bicycle chain picture frames are testaments to that.


Daniel Yadgard wanted a new and versatile way to display and easily re-arrange groups of images without requiring a myriad of nail holes in walls. He’d gotten hooked on instant photography and ended up with scads of prints and no way to display them. Magnaframe was the answer.

After debuting the multi-frame product at the Museum of Modern Art in 2017, he was off and running, developing different sizes to accommodate various picture dimensions. The concept is simple and easy to execute. Only two screws are required to attach the back plate of the master frame to the wall and, because it has built in levels, it’s a piece of cake. Super strong Neodymium magnets allow pictures to be shifted around at will. They can also be changed in less than five seconds without using tools.


The frames come in black or white and in various package sizes, can be easily reconfigured, and several sets can be used to cover any expanse of wall space. Your images will not be covered with glass or acrylic which is why they’re so easy to change, but not to worry, with current day inks used with Red River papers, they’ll look vibrant and last for years.

”We post pictures daily on the web,” says Yadgard, “and we collect our ‘likes’ and our ‘comments’ and then it’s gone. How often do we actually go back to look at these pictures again?” He says it’s time to start gathering your favorites and getting them up on the wall so they can be enjoyed every day.



Whisky Frames

10% off plus flat rate shipping of $12 (for up to four frames) to anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada. Use code RedRiver 10. Offer good through 03/30/20.

Resource Revival

Minimum order is usually $200 (with free shipping) but mention Red River in the comments section when checking out and get 3-5×7 frames for $72 and free shipping to anywhere in the continental US. Offer good through 12/31/19.


Use code REDRIVER for 15% discount and free shipping. Offer good through 12/31/19.

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Original Publication Date: October 17, 2019

Article Last updated: October 17, 2019

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