DIY Idea: Upcycler Turns Old 35mm Slides Into Colorful Curtains


Got a couple of boxes of old transparencies and a bare window? Then designer/upcycler Scott Sherwood has come up with a great idea that will put those slides to functional, creative and colorful use.

Behold the curtains Sherwood created from a collection of more than a thousand slides, a striking creation that serves practical purposes — privacy and shade, a way to enjoy old images — with some surprising aesthetic bonuses, such as the colorful patterns the curtains refract onto walls.




This, however, is no blow-and-go “push the slide into the vinyl sleeve” job. Each slide is housed in a standard white plastic mount, drilled with holes to accept eight tiny metal rings to connect it to its neighbors, creating a structure similar to chain mail.

Sherwood was also careful to segregate slides by dominate color so as to produce consistent patterns. Pink is at the top, and the slides modulate down according to the color spectrum — red, orange, yellow, green, blue and finally purple at the bottom. It took four months for Sherwood to create the curtains from slides he obtained from various amateur photographers.

For DIY planning purposes, note that it took 1,152 mounted slides and close to 7,000 metal rings to create a curtain 6 feet wide and 5 feet, 7 inches tall; so if you’re going to give this a shot, know that it’ll take some serious work to do it right.

(via Recyclart via Laughing Squid)

Image credits: Photographs by Scott Sherwood and used by permission.

  • Alan Klughammer

    Cool Idea. Once I have finished scanning my 10,000 slides, I may try this… :)

  • DLCade

    Be sure to send us a photo of the final product once you do! We’d love to see it :)

  • Jake

    Might also be an interesting idea to try with negative film strips. Connect them to each other side by side through the sprocket holes, and weigh them down a little at the bottom. Wouldn’t be as colorful as these, but they would look cool anyway and besides, I’ve never shot slide film.

  • David Liang

    I gotta admit I really want to do that. I know all my friends will slap their foreheads but I want it none the less.

  • Stan B.

    Ummm… aren’t those gonna fade like real (REAL!) fast in direct sunlight!?!?

  • wickerprints

    That was also the first thing that I thought of when I read the title. Almost all slides are not intended to be exposed to light for long periods of time. Sunlight will degrade the dyes extremely, extremely fast. There will be nothing left of the original colors after only a few weeks of direct exposure.

  • Stan B.

    Hell, they’ll fade even when kept in the proverbial shoebox! Those are gonna hold their color about as long as it took him to make it.

  • patrick siemer

    These were hanging in my apartment for a month before Scott sold them.
    He would only let me hang them after installing UV protective film on the glass windows. It is the same type of film you can put on car windows. It was about $50 to to buy the film. It worked just fine. He sold them to a happy buyer. He will do commissions if you are a deep-pocketed non-DIY type.

  • Greg Downing

    My wife did this, they are beautiful but they fade to blue quick! All the color is gone now but they still look nice.