$1 DIY Chunky Wood Frames

Ever since I began painting pictures several years ago, I've had a lot of artwork floating around my house.  I painted a number of pieces on canvas that was pre-wrapped on wood frames.  While I do like the unframed look of those pieces, I was ready for a change.  Plus I really do think a frame adds some depth to artwork, don't you?

I decided to make some super simple frames from pieces of trim I had and from some 1x2 strapping that is dirt cheap.  I started with some leftover door stop trim.  To get the size right, I took the painting I wanted to frame out to the shop with me and held the trim up against each side of the painting to make my cut marks.  I mitered the edges with a 45 degree angle, then dry fit the pieces before painting them.




See how chunky the wood is?  Is the exact same depth as the wood frame that the painting canvas is wrapped over.

Because I already had the piece wrapped on wood, I just nailed the new wood frame directly onto the sides of the painting.   Don't you think the painting looks better now?


Then I made another frame the same way for a smaller painting, only I didn't paint the wood. I rubbed some paste wax over the top to protect the wood and left it natural.


That worked so well, I decided to try out a wider frame by using 1x2 strapping.  I used the same method of measuring and dry-fitting but this frame is too wide to nail directly through the sides.  I glued and nailed the corners together and once the glue dried, I stapled the new frame to the painting from the back.


But after I finished, I didn't think the natural wood showed off the painting that well...  I used one of my artist's brushes and carefully added some pale blue paint to the wood frame.  Then I took a damp paper towel and wiped the paint off again.  I like the distressed paint look with the primitive look of the painting.


So I repeated the process with another piece.


Hmmmm that blue is a bit too much.   Let's try a more weather beaten look...


Or this


Which do you like best?

Another frame that worked out well for me was this welcome sign that I made from bead board and screen molding. I didn't miter the corners, these are simple butt joints and the frame is glued to the bead board with a hot glue gun.  This would be another option for an easy frame, glue the wood onto bristle board or thin veneer and it's an even easier DIY!


Cheap & easy - gotta love it when a project comes together so well!

Cheers!



26 comments:

  1. Nice job!!! The frame adds importance to the work. And isn't it funny how the color of the frame can alter the mood of the painting?? Your art work is very nice!! cleo...xoxo

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    1. Thank you Cleo. It is amazing to see how different a piece looks in different frames and frame colours. Happy Wednesday! xox

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  2. Girl, you are The Go To Gal for DYI, I swear.

    You need to document your favorites and write a book and get it published, I mean it.

    I love those frames - esp the beach one, just wow!!!!!

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  3. I love the picture of the tree!!!
    the last frame of the image of the lighthouse is the best.
    they are beautiful in their simplicity!

    ps. kisses from Poland:*

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    1. Thank you so much! I love that painting too... :)

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  4. I saw similar frames this summer with photography pieces that I love. The artist makes his own frames too and I just adored the contrast of these earthy wood frames with the photographic landscapes. Yours are beautiful Anne. I have been wanting to do something similar as well due to cost of frames but seeing this has convinced me. Thank you.

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  5. i love what you do anne and i love what you did to these awesome paintings xx

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  6. These are great alternatives to pricey frames. I like the different looks you can achieve with the different finishes (and I like the last of the 3 pics of the lighthouse the best). I agree, framing finishes off a painting so nicely. Love that welcome sign ... what a great idea! Wendy x

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  7. I think the frame compliments your paintings really nicely. And I like that they are simple enough not to distract from the art. Well done!

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  8. Love these frames especially the aged one and blue one. Your artwork looks fab

    Cindy

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  9. They look awesome! How nice that you didn't have to pay big bucks for a store bought frame too!

    Tania

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  10. I can't believe you can miter corners too! Is there anything you can't do?

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  11. I love them all. I looked at that tree painting, though, and in my mind I saw it with distressed black paint on it. Same with the lighthouse picture. I like the distressed look but also like a bit of contrast. =)

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  12. You are so talented, Anne! Your chunky wood frames are all the perfect additional to your beautiful artwork.

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  13. Very clever Anne and I love the finishes you gave the frames! Your paintings are all so pretty!

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  14. Traditional framing is so pricy! I like your DIY alternative. The lighthouse frame in the middle is my fav.

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  15. Oh and I so need a frame for my picture you did! Thank you! Now stop posting pictures of cute little sailboats to tempt me! LOL!

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  16. You have a great eye for framing, Anne. Isn't it amazing how a frame changes a painting? I really noticed it in photos 5 and 6. Love that! ~ Nancy

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  17. Love the look of all of them. For the lighthouse pic, I do like #3 the best. This thrifty framing technique would come in handy for framing signs and plenty of other artwork, too. Handy and clever, Anne, thank you!!

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  18. What a creative, economical way to frame your lovely portraits! The tree is my favorite. Thanks for linking up with us at Best of the Nest!

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  19. Great frames...I really love the last piece you showed.

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  20. Love the frames and the beautiful paintings! Would it be possible to see the backs of the frames? Thank You!

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    1. Thank you for the compliment! The backs look identical to the fronts except they're not painted or stained. I just nailed them directly to the paintings. You could also use a piece of bristol board cut to the exact size of the frame to hold the painting in place. Just glue or tack it to the frame instead of nailing directly into the paintings. :)

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