Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rustic Handmade Picture Frame

I love to try to recreate cool picture frames that I see in stores.  I saw a picture frame similar to this one in a store called Urban Cottage in a shopping area called Scarborough Faire in Duck, NC.  I thought it would be a great way to display some pictures of my babies!  This picture frame looks unique and classy, and no one will ever guess you made it yourself!  It reminds me of the unique upscale types of items that you would get from a specialty store.

Here's How to Make the Frame:

Step 1: Get Two Boards, Paint, then Distress

Make sure that your boards are cut to the same length and width.  The boards that I used are 16 1/2" long, 5 1/2" wide, and 1 1/2" deep.  This size works well when using two 5x7 pictures. The boards that I used are actually from a shelf that was removed. I try to use scraps that I have laying around to save a buck.  :)  They were stained a dark color and have dents and look a little rough, but I think that is what gives them a rustic, country look.  I slapped a coat of white gloss paint (the same one used on the baseboards in my house) on the boards to even out the color.  Then I heavily distressed them using an orbital sander.  You can notice the distressing in the picture above.

Step 2: Connect the Two Boards Using Brackets and Attach Hanging Fixture

In order to complete this step you will need to have two flat brackets and one picture hanging hook. Flip the boards over so that you are looking at the back side. Lay the two brackets on the board in the proper position (behind the two pictures you will be putting on the front) and trace a line around them. Also, trace around the picture hanging hook. Make sure that the hook is centered and that the top of it is about 1" from the top of the board. 
Using a circular hole bit on a cordless drill, drill the wood so that the brackets and the hanging hook will be flush with the boards.    This is especially important if you want the picture to hang flat on the wall.  Drill an area that is slightly larger than the area that you traced.  If you are using thinner boards than the one that I used (1 1/2") you might not be able to sink the hook far enough to make the frame hang flush against the wall, which is okay.
Next, you will need to screw the brackets and the hook into the wood.  Before you do that position the boards so that there is a slight gap between them.  You can even out the space by inserting something like a thin coaster into the gap, as shown above.
Once attached the two boards should look similar to the picture above from the front.

Step 3: Prepare Two Background Boards

Cut two thin pieces of particle board to a size that is slightly larger than your pictures.  This type of wood can be purchased at a craft store, like Michaels.  The pictures I used are 5x7 so the background boards are 5 3/4" x 7 3/4".  They are about 3/16" thick   Paint the boards a color that will look good in your house and compliment the pictures nicely.  I chose to paint my boards dark brown.

Step 4:  Get Two Pieces of Glass

The two pieces of glass should be the same size as your background boards prepared in step 3.  You can have the glass cut at a local glass shop for just a couple of dollars.

Step 5:  Attach Mounting Brackets

Lay the two attached boards face up.  Lay the background boards and glass in the proper spot on the boards.  (Note - you might need to bend the curved part of the mounting bracket so that the glass and background board will have enough room to slide in the mounting bracket.  To do this cover the bracket with a cloth then bend carefully with a needle nose pliers.)  Then slide the four mounting brackets (pictured above) on the boards behind the background boards and glass.  Be sure to center the brackets from the top to the bottom of the boards.  Carefully remove the background boards and glass without moving the mounting brackets.  Trace around the mounting brackets with a pencil.  Using a chisel, notch out an area where the rectangular portion of the mounting bracket will sit.  This allows the mounting bracket to sink down into the boards so that the background boards will sit level.  After chiseling the first area, screw the mounting bracket into the boards.  Before chiseling again, re-measure to make sure that the position of the 2nd mounting bracket is still at the same spot.  Repeat this process to attach all four mounting brackets.     

Step 6: Assemble the Frame

The last step is to put it all together.  Double stick tape the pictures onto the background boards then lay the glass on top.  Carefully slide the assembled backgrounds and pictures into the mounting brackets.  Hang the frame on the wall and admire your hard work and fantastic creation!