Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nap time crafts: DIY wood frames for under $6

I was staring at the collage above my couch, which was mainly comprised of pictures of our two girls, and trying to think of how to incorporate our new little man into the mix. The more I looked at the wall,  the more it started to bother me. I was sick of it. I wanted to change it up and go simpler.

My SIL took close up shots of her 4 kids, printed them in black and white, and framed them in her family room. Just the look I wanted. 

First up: pictures. Photographing a self proclaimed 5-year-old princess was a piece of cake. A 22-month-old little firecracker proved to be a little challenging. But trying to get a smile out of a 2 1/2-month-old required patience. But I persevered and finally got a good shot. A few minutes of editing in Picasa and they were being printed at Costco.

I took to the web to find frames. I found one I liked that had a wainscot facade to it, but it wasn't quite right. While laying in bed, my mind started churning and I thought of how much cheaper it would be to make a frame...but that would be a pain...but what if it wasn't a traditional type of frame... Then it occurred to me -  a picture doesn't have to be behind glass.

I love the rustic look. I was trying to explain to DH what I was imagining, but I'm bad at explaining these things. So out came the graph paper to try to get what was in my head, drawn out on paper. This is what I came up with:

These measurements are for an 8x10 picture, but it could easily be adjusted for any size. 

I browsed Home Depot's website to figure out what I needed and made a cut list. (Details at the bottom.)

With my list and three kids in tow (taking all three kids out by myself is an extremely rare occurrence, but when I get excited to do something, not much can stop me,) I went to Home Depot. I decided to use furring strips because they are so cheap. But that also means that you might have to search to find some good pieces. I took advantage of their free cutting services and saved myself the frustration of trying to cut the wood myself at home with my jig saw.

When I got a chance later in the afternoon, I went to the garage to sand the wood. With wood as rough as furring strips, an electric sander is an absolute must in my book. I really can't imagine sanding by hand, but it could be done if you are far more patient than I am.

The weather is too cold to use spray paint, so I went with good old cheap acrylic.
I was going to do all of the frames white, but DH convinced me to do different colors because, as he says I'm "obsessed with white." It's true. It's just so crisp and clean! Our living room color scheme is blue and yellow, so the color choice was obvious.  

After the white base coat dried, I painted the second coat and impatiently waited for them to dry. I asked handy DH to show me the best way to assemble these, but it turned in to him doing all the work for me. No complaints here!
DH marked the wood and drilled pilot holes through the vertical pieces. He then screwed 1 1/4" wood screws into the holes, making sure that the horizontal piece was positioned in the correct place, which was 2" down from the top, and up from the bottom.
 We added a sawtooth hanger to the back. DH used the markings that made for the pilot holes as a guide to position the hanger.

Two of the three finished frames.
To attach the pictures to the frame, I simply used a clear push pin, but you could use mini clothes pins, double sided tape on the back. Whatever you want.

The finished product. I'm very happy. They're big enough to make a statement, yet they are simple. 

Shopping list and Cut list for ONE frame:
(1) 1"x4"x8' furring strip, cut into 22" pieces (you will end up with 4 and you will use all of them) $2.18
(1) 1"x3"x8' furring strip, cut into 14" pieces (you will end up with 6, but only need 2) $2.12
(1) sawtooth hanger under $1
(8) 1 1/4" wood screws under $.50

My little love

Our sweet boy is here and I am so head-over-heels in love with him. But adjusting to three kids has been so much harder than I ever anticipated. After 12 weeks of being in a fog, I started crafting again. It has helped me feel somewhat normal again. So, hopefully, I can revive this blog a bit.