One thing I wasn't prepared for in my adult life is just how much frames cost. especially custom ones. When I started redoing my living room last summer I knew I wanted to do some large scale art behind the sofa. I had contemplated a gallery wall, but since I was already doing something of that nature in my hallway, I decided I wanted to make a simpler statement here. I originally thought travel posters, wine labels, I couldn't decide. Finally it came to me- maps! These maps have meaning to us (we've traveled to and loved each of these cities), and I'm happy with the overall result. However getting three custom 24x36 frames for an affordable price proved to be impossible, so... I made some myself! Here's how to make the frames and get your art printed...
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Believe it or not, no power tools are required for this (thought you could use a mitre saw if you wanted.
You will need:
Frames (I purchased these ones at Michaels, I waited for a sale and they were buy one get one free). Each frame ended up costing me $18.
Decorative Molding- I got mine at Lowes, they have so many to choose from, I needed one 8' stick for each frame at $7 each. I did see this flexible molding on Amazon and while I haven't tried it, I bet it would be great for this project (and you wouldn't need a mitre box).
Rub N' Buff- I also purchased at Michaels, but you can get it on Amazon. I believe I used Antique Gold (though I prefer European Gold)
To start I used Rub N' Buff on the frames because they were black (I purposefully bought the black instead of the white frames because I wanted an antiqued look and thought the black would help, but you could do either. You could also spray paint, I just happened to have Rub N' Buff. I let the frames dry fully before moving on to the next step. I did try the frames with just the Rub N' Buff and no molding, and while I liked them, I thought the space needed something more.
To add the molding, I used a mitre box that I had from another project, if you don't have one, they are totally worth the investment. You can get one for around $14-$20 and you can use them to cut molding and small wood projects.
I measured the horizontal and vertical lengths I would need for the frame and cut the pieces with a 45 degree angle on each end. I decided to place the molding on the interior of the frame, but play around with what looks best to you. In the future I may add even more molding to the outer edge.
I attached the molding with liquid nails, and used painters tape and some books to keep the molding in place until it dried.
Finally, I used the Rub N' Buff to make the molding match the frame, again you could spray paint.
To get the art, I purchased the digital art from Etsy and then got it printed as a 24x36 poster at Walgreens. The key was to wait for a sale. I waited until it was 50% off and I paid $15 for each print. (I used to use the Staples blueprint trick but they no longer do that at my Staples). All in all I was really impressed with the quality of the posters and I even got them same day. I think for the holidays I will get some other fun images printed and swap them in and out.
All in total the frames cost me around $25 each to make and with the art ($15 each) it was under $50 for the whole look. I like this project because you can customize the frames and get as elaborate as you wish.
Let me know if you try it!