In my home, we have a perfect example of what a frame can be. …And the art in it changes constantly.
I know what you are saying. Ellen, that’s huge. It’s clumsy for me to hang. It’s got to be expensive.
It’s not. It’s an illusion.
And it surrounds a chalkboard, so the inside image is constantly recreated.
Everyone who comes in my home looks at this and says, “I would love to do that? Where do you find a frame that size?”
Then I give the secret away and they want to run home and do it. So here is how…
First, measure the space in which you want to hang this frame. Now I want you to take 20” off your horizontal measurement, but keep the vertical measurement as is.
Go to your local Hardware store. Be sure there is a lumber department. There will usually be a talkative young guy working in that department so how intimidating could that be ;)
Ask him to take you to the plywood that is 1” thick. Ask him to cut you 2 pieces of EACH of the 2 measurements you have and to make them 10” wide. (I did forget to mention that if either of your measurements is longer than 8 feet long, this gets a bit more complicated, but that is usually not the case.) Take your cut pieces AND take the extra scraps. You may want those for future frames. There’s one last item to pick up, some of these picture frame hooks. Be sure you have at least 8. (And a staple gun WITH staples if you don’t have one)
Next step, go to your fabric store and pick out some burlap. There are some luscious colors to choose from. I kept mine natural for two reasons. It goes with my distressed chairs. And I add and take away accents throughout the year to match the seasons. Do what works best for your needs. Also, be sure it is at least 60” wide. 60” is pretty standard. Purchase the same length as your longest board PLUS another 2 yards. Also, pick out some accent colors and twine or ribbon. Be sure to check the remnant bin for scraps. There are usually some good finds in there when you only need small pieces.
Once you are home, fold your fabric in half-length ways and cut straight down the middle. Repeat that with the two new pieces you have just cut. You now have 4 long strips. Lay your boards down on your strips one at a time; and cut to the length of each board with about 4 inches extra fabric at EACH END of the board. You will have some extra at the end for the embellishments. Now wrap each of the long pieces about an inch over the top and pop in a staple every few inches. Starting at the middles of each side, and working out a few inches at a time will let you see that you are wrapping evenly so you don’t pull so much that you are short on the opposite side. Wrap the corners like a present.
Now to take your embellishment materials and wrap at will. Twist some. Tie some. Use the staple gun to keep things in place in the back (or hide one inside a twist in the front.)
Last step, you will remember that I had you take 20 inches off of your horizontal measurement. For this reason, we will be hanging our 2 vertical pieces outside of the edges or our horizontal pieces. To make this work, put 2 hooks in each piece of wood. The top and bottom wood pieces have the hooks arranged across from each other. The two vertical pieces have the hooks one above the other. Make sense?
Once your pieces are hung, you have one enormous frame. What you put in the middle, or on it, or around it is up to you.
You can use magnetic paint and hang things up with colorful magnets. You can collage it with many photographs or drawings. Maybe it’s an inspirational place to hang or draw pictures of a city you are visiting during summer vacation. Maybe ribbons from your kid’s spelling bees. Holiday cards. Maybe only black and white pictures of yout favorite meals! It’s your call. And most importantly, remember that your frame is not a boundary. It is part of the whole story you bring to it. Use that to express your thoughts too. Hang hooks, cool dried flowers, Asian fish locks (ha ha), feathers from your molting chickens! With kids in your home, the ideas and inspirations are limitless.
Thank you Martin Scorsese!!! XOXO