D.I.Y. OR BUY: ACRYLIC FLOAT FRAME

March 20, 2017 in DIY Tutorials

Hopefully you all caught our entryway reveal on Thursday!  If not, you can check it out here. We also did our first Facebook live (eek!) and did the drawing for the boom bowl giveaway, Fayola was our winner! Congrats!

Today I am sharing a picture frame DIY that is affordable, easy, AND looks like a million bucks. If you aren’t the DIY type but thought “dang, gurl that frame is cute” then you can purchase them here in the DESIGNSHOP! (that is the BUY part of DIY or BUY!) Otherwise, read on on how to build your own!

I found the tutorial for this DIY on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess. You can check out Elsie’s tutorial here. I pretty much stuck to the same directions but learned a few helpful hacks along the way. Overall, the project took me around 30 minutes.

Supplies
  • Sheet of Acrylic (depending on how large your photo is you will want to add 4 inches to the length and width of your print. 16×20 print = 20×24 sheet of acrylic, if you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s they can cut it down for you – be sure to keep the scrap piece of acrylic! We used the cheapest/thinnest available and thought they turned out great)
  • Float Frame Mounting Hardware (spray painted gold)
  • Screws for mounting the frame (the screw will drop into the hollow end of the hardware so make sure the screw head is bigger than the hollow end’s hole)
  • Drill
  • 5/16 Drill Bit (if you are using the mounting hardware linked above)
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Gold or Brass Spray Paint
  • Glue Dots
  • Scrap Piece of Wood
  • Photo/Print (Mine is 16×20, I got this one at Walmart but would recommend Sam’s Club)
  • Fabric Cutting Mat (optional but makes the project 100x easier!)

First, spray paint your hardware if you haven’t already – make sure you give it at least an hour to dry.

Start by laying the print 2″ inside of the fabric mat. I used double sided scotch tape (when you loop it around your finger) to tape the print to the mat so it wouldn’t move when I laid the acrylic down -this will save you a ton of time – just be sure it won’t hurt your print!

Place the glue dots on the top corners of your print (photo 3) – these are permanent so be sure you don’t mind doing this to your print/picture. I used 4 glue dots in the corners and 2 additional glue dots on the center of the long sides since the print was fairly long (16×20).

Peel off the plastic wrap from the back side of the acrylic and carefully place the acrylic on top of the picture so it lines up with the outer edge of the mat (below, photos 1 & 2). The glue dots really stick so double and triple check to make sure it is lined up correctly.

Once you have the print glued to the acrylic, carefully peel the scotch tape out from between the fabric cutting board and the print. Move each of the 4 corners of the acrylic sheet to the edge of the cutting board and mark with a pencil 1″ inch from each edge (above, photo 3). This will place the mounting hardware in the exact center from the print and the corner of the acrylic.

If you purchased the mounting hardware from the supply list then the 5/16 drill bit is an exact fit.

You are now going to drill the holes in the acrylic. This next step seems super complicated but it really isn’t! I wanted to be really detailed so if you run into any of the problems I had you would know what I did. I drilled 8 perfect holes in a row so I’m practically a professional! HA! Start by peeling back just the corners of the plastic wrap on the front of the acrylic sheet and slide the scrap wood under the corner of the acrylic. I would highly suggest practicing 3-4 times on the scrap piece of acrylic. I went for it the first time and cracked and splintered the corner of my sheet and had to go buy another sheet AND another print – practice makes perfect and saves you some $$$! I went way to fast and pushed down way to hard. There’s no harm in going slow and slowly applying more pressure as you go!

The best system I figured out when drilling the holes is to apply slight pressure (some but not a lot) and any time you feel a catch or hear a cracking noise to stop and go in reverse and start over. It will be a little time consuming (maybe 2-3 minutes per hole) but is worth it. Once you get to the point where the tip of drill bit hits the scrap wood reverse the drill bit out (see first photo below).

Use your flat head screwdriver to carefully chip away at the edges of the hole until the hole is close to the full size of the drill bit. (Photos 2 & 3, above) Once your hole looks like the last photo go back with the drill bit and slowly clean up the edges. The edges will need to be completely clean for the mounting hardware bolt to screw in.

Once you have all four holes you can screw the mounting hardware and you are ready to hang! Given the nature and transparency of the frame you will want to make sure you can get it as level as possible!

And that’s it! The entire project took me 30 minutes to complete once I had all my supplies and tools gathered. The photos don’t even do it a little justice – these things look FANCY!

Side note: On the last picture you can see my broken first trial one peeking out in the bottom right corner! Ha!

If you just read through that post and thought, I am not handy but I NEED that frame, then head on over to the DESIGNSHOP to purchase them before they are all gone! If you are looking for a specific sized frame for a print other than 16×20 then shoot me an email and I can price one out for you!

Happy Monday!

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