TUTORIAL: How to Make Cheap Homemade Picture Frames

October 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

Have a bunch of poster prints or pieces of art packed away in storage because you can’t afford to get them framed? I feel your pain, and figured out how to fix the problem. In this post I will show you how to make cheap homemade picture frames for your home!

I had seven pictures I wanted to frame. The largest was nearly 40 inches long and would have cost me, at the cheapest, $60 for a thin 1″ metal frame plus glass and shipping costs from a “cheap” online custom frame shop. Ridiculous, right? So, here we go.

There’s two options here for your frames.
1) Thrift stores
2) Home Improvement stores

THRIFT STORES
The custom frame idea started a few weeks ago when I headed to my local Goodwill to look for some shirts. I came across this awesome Gustav Klimt print in a really ugly gold frame but just had to get it.

gustav klimt

My husband had some black spray paint lying around so I figured I’d just change the color. Easy peasy.

valspar black spray paint

I put down some large roll kraft paper I found on Amazon Prime. You can get it in stores like Lowes and Home Depot as well. I tucked it underneath the frame so I wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of taking out the print and glass.

kraft paperspray paint frame
Voila. Finished frame up on the wall. finished homemade frames
The two small ones on the right are homemade. I show you how to do these in the next section!

HOME IMPROVEMENT STORES

The second option is making a frame totally from scratch. You’ll need wood pieces, a miter box and hand saw, nails and a hammer, wood joiners, D hooks, frame wire, flat push-pins, wire nails (skinny nails about 1-1.5″ long), and matte board. It’s a little bit of an investment, but it will save you HUGE in the long run if you have more than one frame to do.

I went to Lowe’s and came across these crown molding strips. They were fairly cheap, averaging $4-5 dollars for a 92″ piece.

crown molding
Here’s your miter box. You’re going to cut your wood pieces at 45 degree angles so they fit together in a square.
miter box
Here’s where I ran into a problem. When trying to get the pieces to stick together I tried Liquid Nail (a heavy caulk) and super glue. Both fell apart. You’re going to want to hold two pieces together and hammer a wire nail from the outside side of the frame into both pieces. The spray paint will cover up the nail, so don’t worry about the way it looks.

On the back you’re going to hammer in the wood joiners on the corners of the frame to hold the pieces together even better. You can find them at some Home Depots. Screw in two D hooks and loop the wire through. Spray paint the frame. Then cut your matte board down to size. You may need to tape your print to it to keep it flat. Put the picture in the frame and nail some flat push-pins into the wood. I found those at a Binders Artist Supply store. They’re bendable so that you can get the picture out if you need to.frame back
In process!
homemade frames
Finished!
homemade framehomemade framehomemade frame
And that was it. Pretty simple, really.

 

Hope this helps all you thrifty crafters out there!

Fair Rabbit
www.FairRabbit.com

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