Some guys have wives that let them put whatever they want on the walls. Unfortunately, most of us must resign the designing of our walls to our “better half”. After all, game boxes and movie cases aren’t exactly Rembrandt. As such, many gaming fanatics like myself must hide our boxes away in drawers, closets or worse.
Fortunately, the guys at Connected Frames, LLC. figured out a solution; turn your boxes into art that even your wife will have to admit looks cool.
I first heard about these Game Frames over at Monroeworld.com’s forums (where all great conversations begin – and even more of them end – if that’s even possible). I mentioned them on my Passenger Seat Radio show, and the good folks over at Connected Frames sent some product right over for me to look at.
(If you aren’t a reader, jump to my video at the bottom).
Unpacking the Box
The product comes in two configurations: a DVD case frame (suitable for DVD, Xbox 360, PS2 and pretty much any other case that is of a standard DVD size – blu ray discs fit with an adapter) and a music case frame (CD and Nintendo DS/DSi game cases).
They are sold in packs of four and include all the hardware required to hang them. Forget about tools; all you need is a level (or a keen eye) to hang the first one – and thanks to the unique clip together design, the rest of them click into place already aligned.
Included in each four pack you’ll get a little bag complete with 16 rubber nubs, 8 black Velcro squares, 8 white opposing Velcro circles and 8 blue opposing Velcro circles. In the DVD case frames, you’ll also get 4 little brackets (more on those in a minute).
An included two sided instruction sheet tells you just what to do – and fortunately for me, it isn’t brain surgery.
Putting the Frame Together
Each frame requires you insert four nubs into the top and bottom inside edges of the frames. These are what actually hold the case in place. If you’re making a frame for a blu ray case, you’ll snap in a small bracket and put the nubs on that. Flip the frame over and put two of the black Velcro squares on the designated location on the backside.
Depending on the surface (smooth or textured) you plan to hang the frame on, stick the white or blue opposing Velcro patches on the black squares. They have peel off backs that you will actually attach to the wall.
Creating a Layout
Once you have your frames prepped, you can start to create your masterpiece. The manufacturer says you can do it on the wall as you hang them (and you can), but being picky, I decided to go ahead and experiment and get familiar with the product on the floor first.
As soon as I got comfortable with the clipping system (very ingenious – with so many configuration possibilities) I was ready to hang them.
Hanging the Frames
The trick is hanging the first frame nice and level. Some people can “eyeball” this, but I know for a fact, I cannot. Fortunately, I have a level. Peel the backs off the round Velcro patches and firmly push the level frame against the wall. If you make a mistake, gently and slowly pull the frame off the wall and reposition it. It didn’t peel any paint off when I repositioned my first one and you can tell these things are going to stay on the wall.
When the first one is hung proper, you can begin the process of laying out the rest of them. Having them laid out on the floor first gave me a good idea how I wanted them to be on the wall, so I was able to move pretty fast. Once they are all hanging, you’re ready to put the game/dvd/whatever boxes into the frames. The entire process is fun and creative. I had a great time.
- Do the layout on the floor or a table first. It will give you a much better idea where each clip will go as you hang the frames. It is also easier to change your mind on the table than on the wall.
- Stage ALL the frames on the wall (after the first one) using a temporary method – like thumbtacks. I used this method after I was about halfway through my project and I wish I had done it from the beginning. The clips almost hold them in place for you, but trust me on this – use a few thumbtacks.
- As you place each frame, preload the clips for the NEXT frame(s). I know that seems like a no-brainer, but you tend to forget in your excitement.
- While you CAN open the cases while on the wall, certain cases don’t like to open (or close) very well once hung. I recommend you take the media OUT of the cases and store them in an easier to access container. I happen to have extra cases all over the place – so I scanned the covers in B&W, put them in extra cases and put them back on the shelf with the media inside.
Aside from a great creative product at a good price (the frames are only $1.99 each) the company is based right here in the good ol’ USA and they assure me that all of the product is manufactured right here (Colorado to be precise). My contact also tells me that the final assembly of the product (the little baggies and the shrink wrap of the product) is done by a company called Foothills Gateway – which is a workshop for people with mental and physical challenges. Wow – that’s just icing on the cake!
It’s interesting the difference between quality made American products and the cheap Chinese plastic we’ve been enduring for years. These frames are solid, well-manufactured plastic – you never feel like you’re going to break or snap the plastic. There weren’t any “plastic burrs” or what we call “plastic turds” hanging off the edges.
The Velcro is ACTUALLY Velcro – not “hoop and hook” knock offs. The little things make all the difference – trust me, you’ll notice the difference.
This little frames are an inexpensive, stylish way to make use of artwork you just have laying around anyway. Not just for nerds like me, but imagine taking all your kids’ Go Diego Go, Yo Gabba Gabba and Toy Story cases and decorating their rooms with their own movies (that’s actually my next project). The ubiquitous nature of DVD cases makes it easy to find a use for this product – and anyone can do this – even people like me that have their asses kicked by IKEA furniture assembly. Believe me, those of you with particular spouses MIGHT even let you adorn the walls with your stuff thanks to Game Frames.
Thanks to the low cost, there is almost no risk involved. Get a couple of packs – take an afternoon and play. Chances are you’ll be making another order quickly because these things are going to be like plastic crack around my house.