DIY Frame for Large Art

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Boy oh boy has it been a struggle to try and get to you guys lately!  I have so much to share and just haven’t been able to get the stars to align.  You may have noticed a few weeks back that my site had gone down.  What a nightmare.  I made countless phone calls to my host, domain, etc. and they were finally able to get it back up and running.  My apologies to anyone who was trying to get to the site and was unable to!  Once that was behind me, I was able to get on and share with you guys our new living room couch.  By the way, we are still so in love with our decision.  A few days later our Mac’s hard drive died.  Que another meltdown.  WHY?????!!!!!  Thank God my husband is on top of it and had everything backed up.  Another week without the computer, but now we’re finally up and running again.  I have so much to share with you guys so stay tuned!

Ok, so the first thing I want to share with you is the new, massive art I have recently added to our kitchen nook.  You may recall I used to have a large floor mirror here.  Jess from Vol25 recently came out with new larger sizes for her art prints.  I’ve always been drawn to her Feather Patterns No. 4, and this was a great spot to try out the large 40×50 size.  Isn’t it pretty?!  I just love her work so much.  The large scale is just amazing!

The thing with large art is that you need a large frame.  And frames are so expensive!!!  Especially when you need something this large.  So, a DIY frame was in order.  I did make some mistakes along the way, which I will share with you, but this still only cost me $20-30 to put together.  Not bad for a massive wood frame!

What you need:

There are a few different tools you can use to do this so I’ll list some alternatives if you don’t have the same tools I used.

  • Wood 1×2’s for the frame
  • Miter saw (You can also use a miter box and hand saw)
  • Four small metal flat braces with screws
  • Four 1.5″ wood screws
  • Electric screw driver/drill with screw driver bit and small drill bit for predrilling
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint and brush
  • Brown hardboard (around $8 for a large 4×8 ft. piece at Lowes.  Have them cut it down to size for you!)
  • spray adhesive (I used Scotch Super 77 Multi-purpose Adhesive)
  • Pneumatic stapler (You can also use a hammer and small finishing nails)
  • D-ring picture hangers or hanging hardware of choice
  • Canvas art print

How to do it:

Step One

Cut down the wood 1×2’s for your frame.  For a clean look you’ll want to have 45 degree cuts on the corners, and you’ll need the frame to be slightly larger than your art print.  My art was 40×50 so the outside length of my wood pieces were cut to 41×51.  A miter saw will make quick work of this, but if you don’t have access to one, a miter box and hand saw will do the same thing.  Gently sand any rough edges.

Step Two

Lay the cut pieces in position on a flat surface.  Attach the flat braces to each of the four corners.  TIP:  Place yours closer to the outside corner than I did.  That way you don’t run into them when adding your backer board later on.

Step Three

To keep the frame corners nice and tight, pre-drill and then add an 1.5″ wood screw to each corner.  I placed mine at the very top of the frame and at the very bottom so they wouldn’t be visible from the side.  Cover with wood putty and sand smooth once dried.

Step Four

Paint!  I used Sherwin-Williams Tricorn black for this frame.  It’s the same black I used on Sam’s Jenny Lind bed.

Step Five

Your hardboard backer should be cut down to the size of your art print.  The folks at Lowes cut it down for me for free.  Lay it down flat outside and make sure there aren’t any pieces of debris on top.  The hardboard has a shiny smooth side and a more textured side.  I had the shiny smooth side facing up.  Spray it down generously with the spray adhesive.  You don’t want pools of adhesive, but you do want to make sure it’s fully coated.

Step Six

Gentry unroll your art print over top.  Use a clean white cloth to smooth it down, pressing out any bubbles.  Turn it upside down on a clean surface and weigh it down with a few heavy books or other objects to ensure it adheres well while drying.

Side note:  You see those little tears all along the edge of the art?  Here’s where I made a mistake when first doing this.  Initially I thought I would be able to just staple the canvas art onto the back of the frame without the art being glued to a piece of backer board.  I know, it sounds ridiculous now, but at the time I really thought it could work.  Of course, I couldn’t get it pulled tight enough and it was a rippled mess when I was done.  I had to pull the art away from the staples and start over by glueing it to the backer board.  Anywho, thought I would share my failed attempt incase anyone thought about trying the same thing 😉 

Step Seven

Using a pneumatic stapler ,or finishing nails and a hammer, attach the backer board and art to the frame from the backside.  If you’re using a pneumatic stapler, make sure you’re wearing those sexy safety glasses!

Step Eight

Attach your hanging hardware of choice.  I went with a D-ring picture hanger near the top of each side.

Step Nine

Hang and enjoy!!


Feather art print 40×50 (comes in multiple sizes) // Frame paint is Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black // Spray adhesive // Pneumatic stapler // Refinished table tutorial // Chairs // Pendant // White bowl // Bamboo shades // Sheets as drapes // Striped rug

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  1. cassie bustamante Avatar

    it looks so good and i think the frame makes a big difference…. takes the art up a notch!

    1. Shelley | Crazy Wonderful Avatar

      Originally I thought about doing a large DIY floating acrylic frame, but it would have been more than I wanted to spend with the number of stand offs I would have had to buy. I actually prefer the contrast of this black frame though, so it all worked out well in the end!

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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