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A new frame of mind..

A new frame of mind..

Maria writes...

Our home, to me, is a museum of Rick's and my worlds together​.   His and my musical instruments are sprinkled here and there, remnants of "bee" things can be seen in any room, and other little hints at what he's been doing lately.  I also love being surrounded by all things Zentangle. It inspires me, warms me and I can revisit the wonderful memories (re: meditation) that they bestowed upon me. The latest "installation" in our museum is a new board on which to easily mount our latest works of art.


This frame formerly housed an old print that neither of us especially liked but loved the frame! So, I decided to replace the innards with something Zentangle-friendly.

I cut a piece of 1/2 inch (approx. 1.25 cm) thick foam board.   You can find such stuff online or at frame stores, or perhaps even in Michaels, frame department.  It's fairly easy to cut with an exacto knife, but the frame shop may also cut it for you. As is my habit, I use antique frames, you can get at yard sales or antique shops. Measure the dimension of the artwork that would go into it, or bring the frame with you when you buy the foam board. I choose a fabric that goes with the surroundings of the room, not necessarily matching exactly, but complimenting the mood. In this case, I chose a rose color that was in the next room (the kitchen). You can stretch the fabric on the foam board with double faced tape or common pins, inserting the pins through the fabric into the edges of the foam board. Stretch the fabric starting in the center of each side:  top to bottom. Then center to center from left to right. Then gradually on each side of the first pin, to each side of the left to right pins, until you get to the corners then fold them neatly, like a fitted sheet. Then trim off the excess from the back. You can fit it into the frame with 3/4 to 1 inch very thin nails nailing diagonally through the foam into the side of the frame. Hang promptly and prominently, then fill with love. Changing often, as time (and tangles) go by.

     I tend to assemble them all over the place, this way and that, but it looks equally beautiful if you prefer evenly measured spaces.

     Hope this project inspires you to present all your beautiful tiles for all to see and admire, for that's what they will do! You are an artist, after all . . .




  • i asked, how can i gift them without spending lots of money on frames etc

    carol on

  • About 20 year ago my neighbor pushed down his old farmhouse and I saved some old wooden stable windows. For years I haven´t had an idea of what to do with them. After seminar I restored them, fixed some really heavy card stock instead of glass and hang it up in my stairwell. Now I fill it with tiles, still lots of open space! Some tiles go in my sketchbooks, others get a “wam place” on the top of my stove (There must be a better word for that but google doesn´t say).

    Inge Frasch on

  • I, too, have collected old frames that I find beautiful even though they may be a little worn. I love the idea of tangling the missing bits of the frame and I love this way of keeping my tiles in view for awhile. Thank you.

    Leslie Hancock on

  • Such a lovely idea! Great to have them on display where they can be enjoyed.

    June Bailey on

  • Just Beautiful and yes it is inspiring, but I am not as talented as you both are. Thank you for all the beauty that your e-mails bring to me. I save almost everything.

    Joanne on

  • Love this idea! I am already thinking about where to find some old “loved” frames.

    Kim Kohler, CZT 16 on

  • What a great idea! I will definitely complete one for my studio. Thanks so much!

    Debbie Butterfield on

  • So happy to see a new post and a great way to display our tiny pieces of art. I tend to be rather shy about sharing my art, which means I don’t really get to enjoy it myself. A frame like this where I can change up the display with just a few straight pins might allow me to enjoy my own work and maybe even let others see a bit of it. Thanks so much.

    Claire Warrington on

  • Thank you for sharing. I tend to put my tiles in books and tuck those neatly on a shelf. I have the Zentangle mobile and others tiles here and there. I really like the freedom of your frame and it’s an artful way to share our created art!

    Cheri on

  • Beautiful! Since attending CZT30 and seeing the gorgeous displays, I have returned and dug out my tiles from their storage boxes and put them on walls, around door frames and in old picture frames. I get a Zenthrill every time I see them. In beautiful old frames like this one, even better…such a great idea. Axxx

    Annie on

  • I love it!!

    Mart De Cock on

  • Lovely Maria, you and Rick always inspire!
    I have my tiles propped up around my cottage and have a frame just like this….inspired by you last year. I love replacing the tiles as I do them and being able to look at them whenever I want. I find I get a continued sense of calm and enjoyment from them being there.
    It always seems a shame to think of them being shut away in a folder where they cannot shine and flounce, be seen and continue making magic. x

    Jo Quincey on

  • Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea. I also have a few frames that I truly like but outgrew the images that were displayed in them. I will keep this idea in mind.

    Evelyn Aveledo on

  • Hello Maria,

    What a fabulous idea !! This will be a constantly changing treasure !!!
    Miss all of you….Still feel the energy from our wonderful week…

    Sharon Jerkovic CZT31 on

  • So Glad to hear from you! It’s been so long since there has been a new message. I do wait for each one. Zentangle is important to my sanity.

    Jackie on

  • Love the way you tangled part of the frame!

    Jeanne on

  • How did you attach the tangled tiles?

    Tracie on

  • Love this easy, simple idea.

    Lianne on

  • What a great idea!

    Quwatha Valentine on

  • Clever how you filled the missing bits in the frame with tangles.

    Linda Genaw on

  • What a great idea! I have several antique frames at home which would be excellent to use this way. All of you at HQ are absolutely wonderful and inspiring people! Thanks!

    Mary (Mamie) Pennington on

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