An easy way to build a large frame from moulding!
I had a busy week last week.
I was watching my friend’s 5 year old daughter while they went to Hawaii. She and my daughter are BFFs so it was a non-stop party! But in addition to her, I was also watching my adorable 16 month old niece while my SIL & BIL went to Bali. You heard me….BALI!! Who goes to Bali, right? So cute Ally was here for 10 days and she left yesterday. I should feel nothing but relief but I miss that little girl. She was my buddy and her thighs and upper arms were so squishy I could hardly stand it! She tolerated all my kisses too, which I appreciated.
So I thought I’d soothe myself today by posting about something we did while we were out visiting Ally’s house over Spring Break.
Shelly (Ally’s mom/my SIL) wanted a new GIANT family portrait for her mantle and so we got to work. From snapping the photo to custom framing it and having it up on the mantle it was under 72 hours and around $50. Here’s how it all went down.
6pm Thursday: Rolled into town. Shelly & fam were all dressed and ready for their family picture to be taken. We went out on her front step and I took less than 30 shots. We wanted this to be as painless and as least traumatizing to the kids as possible. Luckily I got a couple good shots as the kids were the perfect models! We decided on this one:
(what did I tell you about Ally? You can’t see her upper arms or thighs here but seriously… squi-shy and yummy)
10am Friday: Upload and order this photo from Costco as a 20×30 on poster board. I hope hope hope you have seen this option at Costco! I love their poster board prints! Great quality and price. You upload your image then to the right you’ll see “CREATE GIFTS.” Click on that and then click on “ENLARGEMENTS & POSTER BOARDS.” The prices are $9.99 for 11×14, $14.99 for 16×20 and $24.99 for 20×30. You cannot beat that. And the best part? Done in a couple of hours!
2pm Friday: Pick up 20×30 family portrait from Costco (and maybe a pizza or two to feed all the kids that night), sit and stare at it and marvel at the technology which made it all possible.
5pm Friday: Head to Lowe’s to get some moulding for the frame. Laugh when the old-school elderly man who works there asks “Does your husband have a power drill?” and resist the urge to go all feminist on his hiney. Pick up four L-brackets and some liquid nails if you don’t already have them.
1am Saturday (Friday night): Assemble frame. Yes, it’s 1am but this is how Shelly & I roll when we get together.
Items Needed: (some links are affiliate links for your shopping convenience, click here for full disclosure)
- Enough moulding to go around whatever size image you are framing (we got nice chunky 5″ baseboard moulding)
- liquid nails
- Right Angle Brackets and screws (no longer than the thickness of your moulding!)
- paintable wood filler or caulk
1) Cut moulding at 45 degree angles to fit around image. This takes brain power to figure out which way to cut it to make sure the inside edge is always where it needs to be but I believe in you. Shelly had a power saw but I’ve done it using a $15 miter box and some elbow grease before…it’s not hard!
2) Lay out moulding on flat surface to make sure it all goes together like you want it.
3) Glue pieces together with liquid nails (or I’m sure regular wood glue would do the trick too).
4) Figure out where you want your brackets and drill small pilot holes where the screws will go. This is especially important with MDF type moulding to prevent splitting. Fasten the brackets on with the screws (make sure screws are not longer than your moulding is thick!).
5) After attaching all four corners, flip frame over and fill in the gaps with wood filler. I really love this Elmer’s stuff. It comes in all colors, is paintable, sandable and, above all, manageable. No big caulking guns to wrestle with or anything. I dip my finger in water to smooth out the filler and make a nice surface.
2am Saturday morning: Get “second wind” and paint frame. Shelly had some left over paint from her living room she wanted to use. It’s called Kentucky Haze and it’s a Benjamin Moore color. Gorgeous.
Allow to dry overnight (or in our case, whatever is left of the night).
10am Saturday morning: Glaze!! My favorite activity ever!
I mix a small amount of dark stain into some of the Valspar mixing glaze and the slop it on the frame (that’s the most fun part).
I then took paper towels and began wiping it off. I think of it as the opposite of sanding off the raised areas to highlight them. Glazing settles down in and highlights the crevices.
Noon on Saturday: After the glaze has dried, duct tape the photo onto the back of the frame (who is looking there anyway?), place the finished product on the mantle and step back to admire. Fight back the tears of joy & accomplishment.
20×30 photo….framed with 5″ moulding all the way around = a nice 30×40 high impact piece starring the people you love the most.
Here is another angle (with the kids totally not appreciating all our hard work) for you to get a sense of the scale.
I plan to make many more of these in the future. It’s not that hard to build a large frame exactly how you want it! How much would a store bought frame at this size be anyway? I shudder at the thought.
Pin the image below for when you want to build a large frame for yourself! You’ll love the result!