4 Clever DIY Framing Techniques for Artists

By Mana Fine Arts in Art Business Advice > General Art Advice

Most of us have more photos, art and keepsakes lying around than we could ever display at one time (much of which we probably created ourselves!)

But instead of letting your favorites collect dust in the closet because you don’t want to spend money on frames, why not adopt a DIY approach and make some frames of your own?

It won’t take too much time, AND you’ll be able to decorate your living space with all of your beautiful photos and art. Check out the following Do-it-Yourself framing techniques from around the web:

1. The frameless acrylic frame

Acrylic frames are a gorgeous, modern way to display your flat artwork and photographs. The good news is, if you want to make your own DIY acrylic frame, you can—and it doesn’t even have to cost a lot!

For the full tutorial, check out Jana Bek’s post over at the Home Depot blog. She lists the materials you’ll need (mainly two sheets of acrylic and a few frame bolts, plus some basic tools and objects you’ll probably have around the house) and gives step-by-step instructions with photos.

Here’s a corner shot of Jana’s newly framed artwork. Pretty sharp, right?


If you can measure and cut (and don’t mind heating a metal stake in your gas stove—yes, really, just go check out the original blog post, it’ll make sense) you can make this yourself!

2. The two-stick frame

Did you see that Kickstarter project a while back which combined the simplicity of a few pieces of wood with the power of magnets? The result was a beautiful, minimalist frame that holds your artwork at the top and bottom. . . and that’s it!


The project was successfully funded, and you can now buy the real thing here, but if you’d rather DIY your own frame like that, it’s not too hard.

In fact, Dabney Frake over at Apartment Therapy has written up a great tutorial which makes it even easier. Basically she took two pieces of flat, long pieces of wood, drilled a few shallow holes along the length of them, and glued some strong magnets inside the holes so that they’re flush with the wood.


Once the magnets are in place, the strips of wood stick together from the magnetic force, and you can put your photo, prints, or other flat artwork inside of it for a quick, simple framing solution!

If you’re looking to frame on a budget, definitely check out Dabney’s full tutorial for the rest of the steps.

3. The “re-furbished with yarn” frame

Who would have thought that yarn could help create a picture frame? AND, you don’t even have to do any knitting to build it.

Just begin with a basic wood frame (you can get an old beat-up one if you want) and wrap yarn along the base and sides. Be sure to choose yarn colors that will complement the artwork you plan to frame, and then either cover or paint the old frame corners that are still visible.

Or, just leave them as-is for a bit of charm, like in this amazing example from Tracy at violetpaperwings.blogspot.com:


It kind of makes your imagination run wild at all the possibilities, doesn’t it?

4. The “vintage paned window” frame

If you’ve been on Pinterest AT ALL, you’ve probably seen what can be done with a rustic yet gorgeous old window and some photos or small pieces of artwork.

If you haven’t, go take a look. Then, check out flea markets, garage sales and salvage yards for vintage windows that just might make a perfect picture frame.

Multi-paned windows especially make great frames for several pictures at once. And, you can leave the window in its current condition (if you like that vintage charm) or sand and repaint it in a color that suits your photos.

Not sure how to attach your artwork to the old window panes? Lindsey at a dollop of my life has the solution right here.

Have fun with these DIY framing options, and get some of that art up on your walls!

This guest post was submitted by Mana Fine Arts, a provider of fine art services including framing, crating, storage, transportation and fine art management. For more information, please visit their website.


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