How happy does this fun little DIY project make me? SO happy. It’s the little things! By now you guys know that so many of the DIY decor projects here on this blog are born from trying to find a creative, stylish and affordable way to recreate an expensive item I’ve had my eye on. To hack it, if you will! And let me tell you, sometimes hackin’ ain’t easy. Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out how to properly craft a DIY solution that gives me the quality of end result I’m looking for and that makes it easily replicable and affordable for all of you guys, no matter your level of craftiness. Which is exactly how today’s fun little DIY project went down, keep scrolling for the tutorial to make DIY wood floating frames!
DIY Wood Floating Frames Tutorial:
I’d been searching for what seems like an eternity for the perfect floating wood frames to house new art for our living room. The only problem? I had no idea how expensive a seemingly simple little thing like a floating frame could be. I mean come on! I felt like there had to be a way to hack this thing, but naturally it wasn’t as easy or straightforward as I thought. When I researched all of the ways the brave souls who had come to this floating frame crossroads before me had hacked it, it felt like none of the approaches I’d come across would give me quite the result I was looking for. I wanted my DIY floating frames to be wood, they had to be somewhat large, the method of securing the art to the glass had to be sturdy enough to last for a long time, but not so permanent that it would damage said art or the frame should I want to swap things around down the line… like I often do. After all of that, whatever approach I came up with had to be relatively inexpensive, or at least less expensive than the alternative of buying pre-fabbed floating frames at your average decor store or on Amazon. And I needed 3 of them, so that was asking a lot. Needless to say, it took me a lot of contemplation, inspiration and trial and error to flesh this out and make these DIY wood floating frames great!
As for the art I used, I’d become attached to the idea of using this space in the living room to pay homage to the charming little citrus grove that we reside in here in the Arcadia neighborhood in Phoenix, and immediately fell in love with these coordinating prints from Clementine Kids when I serendipitously stumbled upon them on Insta! They have tons of coordinating mix and match options, but I used this print, this print and this print. And yes, they’re totally meant for a kid’s room or nursery, but they’re so much fun and you guys know I’m all about co-opting decor finds meant for the kiddos for adult purposes. They get all the good stuff! I also waited until they were having a 20% off sale over Labor Day to scoop them up, which was a huge win.
And because wood frames and glass can just be plain expensive in general, I waited until Michael’s was having a 50% off sale on all of their frames to make my move, which made this project so much more affordable. What would have been about $100 in materials on that front ended up being $50, but for three large, high quality frames with glass is awesome in my opinion. If you’re not as picky about the frame style you could definitely find cheaper frames to try us for this project that already come with glass, or use super cheap, mismatched antique or thrift store frames for a more found look. I’ve long loved this unfinished wood frame from Michael’s, but didn’t have the right use for it until now, so as soon as I started to get my plan together for this project I knew exactly what frame I wanted to use and knew that I wanted to leave them unfinished because I loved the tone of the wood. For a cheap glass solution, I just used this under-$10, super handy glass and backing kit from Michael’s, which I’d only use the glass from since I wouldn’t need the backing. So it only ended up being about $15 total for all of the glass when all was said and done, which was great!
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that as you can probably surmise, there are a million ways you can modify and customize your DIY wood floating frames to fit your needs. Instead of leaving these frames unfinished, you can paint or stain them, or you can use a more permanent adhesive to secure your art to the glass like permanent mounting tape or even super glue if you’re feeling brave, etc. The method below simply allows me to keep costs low and allowed me some flexibility down the line should I feel the urge to switch out the art!
Supplies for your DIY Wood Floating Frames:
Unfinished 16” x 20” Open Back Wood Frame
Clear Removable Mounting Squares (Or use the permanent mounting squares if you’re never planning to remove print from glass)
Ruler or Tape Measure
3 Small 10 lb. Sawtooth Hangers
Prints of Choice (I used this print, this print and this print from Clementine Kids)
How To: Easy DIY Wood Floating Frames
- Since hammering is involved and glass is fragile, the first thing I did was attach my sawtooth hooks to the back of my wood frames. I simply measured the width of the top of my frames and marked my center point with a tiny dot. Then I lined the center of my sawtooth hooks up with the dot and used the tiny nails provided to secure them to the frame.
Tip: If you, like me, are inexperienced at working with tiny nails, I learned a little an awesome little trick for saving your fingers and your sanity thanks to YouTube and this delightful gentleman. Simply poke the nail through a piece of styrofoam or a tiny piece of paper, and use it to hold your nail upright when you hammer. You’ll hold the edge of the styrofoam or paper, and once you’ve gotten your nail hammered into place a bit, simply rip the styrofoam or paper away from the nail.
- Place tiny dots of your superglue along the back of your frame where your glass will sit. Make sure to keep the dots pretty small to avoid the glue spreading out where you could see it on the front of the glass. But keep the dots close enough together and frequent enough to ensure your glass is completely secured to your frame.
Tip: If your dots end up spreading too much, making it so that you can see the glue on the glass along the frame’s edge when you look at the front of the frame, have no fear! Just use a cotton ball with acetone-based nail polish remover on it to rub that glue off of the glass. It will leave streaks behind on your glass, but you can just clean that up with some glass cleaner.
- Drop your glass into the back of your frame very gently. You want to drop it into place rather than having to slide it around so your glue dots don’t spread. Once you’ve dropped it into place let your frame sit for 15 minutes or so to give the glue time to dry thoroughly.
- Once your glue is dry, measure the center of you print on the backside. Place a tiny dot on the back of your print to mark your center point (I totally used a pen because it was close by, but I recommend using a pencil so your mark doesn’t bleed through to the front of your print).
- Now measure the center of your glass by placing a small mark at the center of the top and side of the back of your frame. Then you can place your print onto your glass and use a tape measure or another straight edge to line the dot at the center of the back of your print up with the dot at the top and side of your frames. Once you line those marks up, your print is centered in your frame and you’re ready to secure it to the glass!
- Once your print is centered and in the desired position in your frame, secure it to the glass using your mounting squares. I recommend clear mounting squares to keep them as inconspicuous as possible. If you want the squares to be sturdy, but not permanent (meaning they won’t ruin your art prints), then use removable mounting squares. If you want them to be even sturdier and are Ok with permanence, use the permanent mounting squares. To keep them as inconspicuous as I could, I attached one square to each corner of my prints, only allowing a small, even portion of the square to hang over the edge of the print and stick to the glass. I also attached a square to the middle of each side of the print using that same overhang method. I’m probably doing a terrible job of explaining that properly, so refer to the photo below to see what I’m talking about!
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