Thursday, March 8, 2012

DIY frame

Artists are always looking for good looking affordable frames.  They are far and few in between.  I've had the same problem.  So I talked my husband into building them.  Then I  grain paint them.  
But some paintings need a very simple frame.  I came up with a new design that I knew would be faster to make, cheaper to make,  and fast for me to paint.  I thought I would share it for those that are looking for a frame solution.   And girls,  you can do these yourself with simple tools.  I don't design anything I can't do myself.  Also,  I forgot to take more photos, but these are so simple, you should be able to figure it out.
You'll need:
glue that dries clear Tacky glue works well
hammer that fits your  hand
3/4 to 1 inch nails  
hot glue in case you've got a gap
wood slats from Home Depot or Lowe's. slats are what they build lattice work with.  they come in wood or plastic.  get wood slats.  I tried the plastic - paint peeled off.  
sandpaper  fine grid

I'm not good at writing directions,  so be patient.  If I give you way too much info,  it's for the people that haven't tried this stuff before.  
You can cut the slats narrower if you have a table saw.  On this one we're going to use them the width they come in. The slats I buy are about 1/4 thick.  So you want to cut 4 the size of your frame plus a 1/4 inch.  If it's an 8 x 10 canvas that would be:
 2 - 8 1/4 inches long
2 - 10 1/4 inches long
The one I'm showing you is a 10 x 10  canvas so I cut 4 - 10 1/4 inch long slats.  

You can paint the slats before or after you nail them to the canvas.  They should only need a slight sanding.  For mine,  I sand first,  nail to the canvas,  then paint the frame.  Do what's comfortable and easier for you.  
The edge of the slat goes to the front edge of the canvas.  The extra 1/4 inch  in length should overlap on the end of that side.  Make sure the other end of the slat is flush/even with the end of the canvas.  hint: starting 2 nails by hammering them into the slat will help get your started.  Not all the way thru the slat,  just enough to hold the nail up straight.  Use a small amount of the clear Tacky Glue along the edge of the canvas.   To hold the slat straight while you're hammering, you could put a dot or two of hot glue,  quickly line up the slat and push it down hard.  That should hold it in position so you can hammer.   An extra set of hands, or a vise is a good thing. 
The above photo shows what it'll look like right side up.  You go to the next side,  adjust the slat the same way you did on the first one, hammer it in.  
If you have any rough edges,  sand them smooth.  Also, if you have a gap where your joint (the two ends) meets,  cheat and fill it with hot glue and smooth it with the hot tip of the glue gun.  Or you could use wood putty.  I never know where the wood putty  is,  so I use hot glue.  ;)  If it's a BIG gap, pull the slat off and recut or cut a new one.  The measurement is off.  You might need to put a dab of gesso over the glue so the paint will hold better.  

 On the back photo you can see where the slats are wider than the canvas.  These slats were cut narrow on a table saw.  I print a business card (plain paper) to attach to the back.
I use 2 eye screws and picture hanging wire on the canvas part,  about 2 to 3 inches from the
I hope I haven't confused you.  I hope you try making this for your art.  It's fun, fast, and cheap.
Any questions,  leave a comment,  and sign up to follow this post.  Almost forgot.  This is the frame that's on Sissy Ann,  the painting in my last post.  Click on the photos for a close up.
Have a great day!  ❤pj


Red W said...

I can do that... hehe! Cool idea... My hubs makes frames ~ ahem! for everyone else, if ya get the picture... LOL! If I want it now I gotta' do it myself sorta thing... I no mind, Now I can make my own.. hehe... Thx PJ :O)

PJ Hornberger said...

Red, did I write a book or what? LOL And I know what you mean....R use to make everything for someone else. Not anymore!

Michele said...

Great tutorial PJ. Without holding it my hands, I'm wondering if your measurements are off. Don't the top and bottom pieces sit inside the left and right pieces? Wouldn't that mean they don't need the extra 1/4 inch or am I missing something in my visualization?

Also, I wonder if the slats might be thin enough to use a box cutter? Several slices of course but might be an option for folks without power tools. :D

And, finally, from the gal who always tends to use four words where she could use two, I think your tute explained things very well. There's nothing worse than a great idea not well enough explained to actually duplicate.

PJ Hornberger said...

Michele, nope, I got the measurements right. But so did you. LOL You would be putting it together a different way, which tends to show any gap a lot more.

No, do not use a box cutter. Use a coping saw with lots of teeth per inch or a hack saw. Either one would be safer.

Thanks for all your help Michele! I had twice as many words here that I just deleted. LOL I'm going to get this right with your help! ❤pj