CS Menu

An Expressive and Innovative Mixed Media Art Ezine for Paper Crafters, Collage and Assemblage Artists

Altering Recycled Slide Mounts

Altering Recycled Slide Mounts Tutorial

By Chris / CS Designs

In my letter from the editor on the front page of this issue, I mentioned that a friend gave me a bunch of old photo slide mounts she no longer wanted. 

Needless to say I was thrilled about the prospect of something totally new (at least for me) to play with and especially since I had never altered any kind of slide mounts before. 

There are places where you can purchase brand new slide mounts ready for altering with no fuss no muss, but I think part of the charm and enjoyment  of altering some of those I received,  was that I feel I saved them from the land fill, and impending doom.
Opening Recycled Slide Mounts:
Both the plastic and paper slide mounts presented their own unique problems. While the plastic ones came apart easily for me just by lifting the back off the front, parts of them had a tendency to break or rip especially in the back because they had been heat set and the plastic had meshed together in places.

 Because most of the damage was on the back side, it really should not present a problem for using them in future projects. The cardboard ones on the other hand were a bit trickier to take apart because all the edges had been glued down with no visible place to pry them apart.
Altering Slide Mounts

To separate the backs from the fronts and remove the film, I used my trusty scalpel which I have had for a kazillion years and use for everything. I love this tool because you can buy replacement blades, which are similar to those of an Exacto Knife only the scalple blades are much sharper and do not go dull as easily. I originally got my first scalple years ago when I use to draw and cut my own stenciles and know I would be lost without it. It is great for trimming, slicing and pealing and even for scraping little bits off things off of things where they don't belong.

Note: When using sharp tools one should always be careful, especially with their fingers.
When it came time to take the mounts apart so I could put artwork behind the windows, some of the paper slide mounts stayed attached at the top like new mounts, but many of them just broke  apart. At first I tried my best to be more careful and keep them intact, but after a while I realized it really didn't matter since most of the time, only one side would be visible in my work.  Being able to use both two halves of the mounts also gave me more to play with and I have lots left over for a later date.

To further prepare the mounts for artwork, I covered the front of each mount with some kind of patterned paper or cardstock. I then trimmed the cover papers close to the edges of the mounts and rounded the corners to match the original shape of the slide.

 For mounts that have square corners, it is easy to just fold over the excess paper to the back to give the edges a similar look and color to the top, but for rounded corners it is easier to just trim the extra off and it looks much neater. Because most all the slide mounts I used were paper with rounded edges, I made the white edges less glaring by applying a bit of pigment ink, or Sharpie marker to them. Metallic pens or even glitter would also work and even give them a bit of extra bling.

Once I had the front face of the slide mount covered, I turned it over so I could see and work on the back. To create the hole opening which would frame my main focal points, I cut two diagonal slits from the top corners to the bottom corners forming an X and the result was flaps which could be folded over. I folded back the flaps and glued them down to the back of the mount, which gave me a neat little opening when viewed from the front.

Besides using the recycled mounts I received to create art, I also trace around one of them to create more mounts. I used heavy weight cardstock and I found very little difference between the real mounts and the ones I made myself.  The slide mount on the left is the inside of a commercial one and the one on the right is one I made myself.  If you don't have an endless supply of Mounts but have at least one that you don't mind cutting open, this is a good way to create alot more quickly and have an endless supply on hand.

Thank you Phyllis, I had a blast playing with the slide mounts. :)

You will find more information on how to make your own Slide Mounts on the next page.


  1. How sweet of your friend to think of you. They are a brilliant item to alter...if a bit fiddle.....but that's part of the fun/ challenge. Annie :-)

  2. How creative, you always blow my mind at what you can do with nothing.
    Friends forever, Phyllis

  3. They look great and will be perfect for framing in future project, never thought to use slides! =)
    Hugs, Elenor

  4. I have a tonne of these things in a drawer somewhere, so now I guess I have to go and hunt them out as I realised when reading the above just how nice they could look on the front of a card, I could use them to frame my sentiments or even add little replica pics of my main pic! Wow, the creative juices are really flowing now, gonna have to do something soon, thanks ever so much for such a great article, really loved it.

  5. Never in a million years would I have thought of recycling these into an art project. What a creative idea! Since I just sliced myself this morning, I think perhaps I'll try making my own, though. LOL you are certainly an inspiration! xxD

  6. Very good idea, will go and have look round and see if I can come up with a clever idea


Thank you for stopping bye and for taking the time to leave me a comment. :) Chris / CS Designs