Daguerreotype Velvet Frames

Last Spring, my family enjoyed a visit to the Wilsonโ€™s Creek National Battlefield Museum in Springfield, Missouri. I could not take enough photos of the dozens of framed Civil War daguerreotypes in the cases, which was no easy task as flash photography was not allowed.The photographic technique in itself is quite interesting, but I was very interested in the framework as well.They were small, folded leather-bound cases gilded with golden foil-like matting and velvet embossings (or debossing, technically) opposite the image.
This beautiful craft of yesteryear was what spurred me into action on this previous post of embossing velvet {LINK}.All the while, I knew I wanted to find the perfect rubber stamp to create my own velvet embossing to frame. So for months I kept on the lookout for a large, ornate stamp, which I eventually found at a flea market, to use with store bought velvet. I also added a center stamp from one I had in my collection.Here is an online tutorial on embossing velvet: {LINK}I found a frame that was similar to the style of the antique daguerreotypes at the Goodwill for $1. Another good day at the flea, I discovered a beautiful leather framed daguerreotype for only $20, in such great condition with beautiful golden velvet, would normally run close to $100, itโ€™s shown in the last photo as well as in the image at the beginning of this post.
I scanned a photo of my great grandfather and touched up the image just a bit.

Replacing the frame glass to only the photo side, this is my enlarged version of an embossed framed daguerreotype.

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29 Responses to Daguerreotype Velvet Frames

  1. #1 - chicroses says:

    Very clever again!! I have a few of those daguerreotypes. Did you notice while looking at these that some have a dot of gold on maybe jewelry.I have a couple that have dots of gold..on necklace or pocket watch. Another fun project..thanks again. Sally

  2. #2 - Cathe Holden says:

    YES, chicroses! My little one has all of her jewelry done in gold. It's so amazing the quality and detail! Thanks for pointing that out.

  3. #3 - The Redhead Riter says:

    Very nice. Really snazzes up that old pic too!

  4. #4 - Lissie says:

    How gorgeous! You are so clever! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. #5 - nomadcraftsetc says:

    Awesome! What a great inspiration! Great work!

  6. #6 - SharDon Exclusives says:

    WOW! What a clever idea! I must try this. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  7. #7 - Christie Cottage says:


    I actually have some velvet in a big bag of destash from my friend. I can try this! I have a huge cool stamp to use already!


    My blog has another Monday of craft show tips for getting the biggest "Bang from your Buck!"


  8. #8 - Honey Pickles says:

    I just came across your blog. I love it! Your ideas are clever and very inspirational.

  9. #9 - Anonymous says:

    What lovely work you have done! All your projects are fabulous and it is so generous of you to share them with everyone.
    I'm sure you could do something wonderful with embossed metal to frame your pictures. Ten Second Studio online has some fun looking supplies
    And what about a family portrait taken at one of those Old West type places with the old clothes? haha
    Your grandpa is cute!
    Thanks again for all the tutorials.
    judy b.

  10. #10 - homespun1 says:

    Thank you for sharing this information using velvet and stamps. I've had some velvet laying around that will be useful for this project!

  11. #11 - Valerianas Studio says:

    Daguerrotypes are so beautiful, thank you for sharing these great images! Your project is very cool and creative.

  12. #12 - the undomesticated wife says:

    You rock. Seriously, what a clever translation!!

  13. #13 - thedoodlegirl says:

    Oh my wow! This is so cool! I am amazed at your creativity.

  14. #14 - mitziscollectibles says:

    Cathe, that is one of the most creative projects I've ever seen! I would have never thought to try to reproduce daguerreotypes. I might have to try this some time. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. #15 - Laryssa Herbert says:

    You did a beautiful job!

  16. #16 - twitchy fingers says:

    That is such a lovely way to remember your grandfather – and so beautifully constructed!

  17. #17 - Katie says:

    A lovely keepsake, I've seen tutes for stamping on velvet before but always wondered why the heck would I want to. What would I use it for, just goes to show how creative you are Cathe.

  18. #18 - Crafterella says:

    Wow, another great project. How big is the stamp you used, it looks huge, I don't think I've ever seen on that big. I wonder if a homemade stamp would work to emboss velvet (easy carve blocks) or if the image would be blurry/ill defined.

  19. #19 - Cathe Holden says:

    Hi Crafterella- I don't have it in front of me right now, but I'd say it's about 4" x 6". As far as hand carved, my only concern would be the material your stamp is made from could melt. I tried using those clear stamps, they melted. I've only had luck with traditional rubber, but I've never tried a hand carved one, let me know if you try!

  20. #20 - Splendid Little Stars says:

    Your project turned out beautifully! Thanks for sharing!

  21. #21 - My name is PJ. says:

    I guess I'm too old for you to adopt me. ๐Ÿ™

    What I'd like to do, instead, is have you pack up a 'Mary Poppins' bag of craft making goodness and come visit me for a month, maybe six. The accommodations are comfy and the food is great! I'll pay for your airfare. How's that sound?

  22. #22 - Elise says:

    Hello, I had to leave you a note to say what a heavenly blog you have here ! Such interesting and creative posts, and I love your pictures as well. Perfect ! Thank you for sharing them and best wishes.. have a good week

  23. #23 - Kim says:

    You are such a cleaver and resourceful girl that I just love reading your blog and discovering what you are up to. Thank you for sharing.

  24. #24 - Lyanna says:

    Oh my, that is beautiful! I always wondered what those were called.

  25. #25 - Lorelei says:

    cool! we have a few of these daguerreotypes in the art collection at the museum where I work!

  26. #26 - The Stapelia Company says:

    This whole tutorial is amazing. I love old daguerrotypes and this is a way to make new photos look old. Your craft how-tos are great. I appreciate them and I'm an artist not a crafter. Great work.

  27. #27 - Carmen says:

    This is just gorgeous. Just found your blog today via the Craftgossip
    blog and am so glad I did. What a wealth of inspiration. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you also for the Singer decals in the post above – they are simply beautiful.

  28. #28 - Tina Pfeiffer says:

    Daguerreotype was such a lovely but intensive process. I made some digital dagos using Photoshop and the layers palette in a photography class, it was fun. Your project looks great. ๐Ÿ™‚

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