Frame It Up! 5 Ideas for Creating Unique Frames

I can think of few experiences as pleasant as picking out artwork, or even photos, to fill the walls or the nooks and crannies of a space. Framing those items, however, can be tricky. Whether you can’t find the frame you want, or custom framing is out of your budget, or if you simply want to avoid generic frames on your highly personal art choices, matching a frame to the artwork can sometimes become frustrating or less than enjoyable. And, what’s worse, the artwork sits there, unenjoyed, until some kind of framing miracle happens.If you’ve ever needed to find that perfect frame, this article is for you. Here are five ideas for creating (DIYing) unique, fantastic frames:

Oxidized Oak Frame.


Take a simple, ordinary, bland oak frame (we’ve all got some of those stashed away, haven’t we?) and turn it into something extraordinary. Although this retailed frame is oxidized, you can capture the same vibe with some flat black or dark charcoal paint and a DIY enthusiasm. Keep the black part contained to about one-third of the overall frame, and you’ll have a chic showpiece…for next to nothing!

Expanded Frame.


If you have a dremel tool (or access to one), consider beefing up a standard frame with an external mat, like this one. Take some MDF, measure the internal cutout space (the space that will be covered up with the existing standard frame), cut it out, paint it, and attach. Adding embellishments to the new frame addition is optional, of course, but either way doesn’t this frame look so much more impressive now?

Reclaimed Wood Frame.


Pallet boards would work for this, or you could use something more substantial like the wood shown here. Find a mirror (or take your artwork – a modern abstract would be interesting here) and frame it out with rustic reclaimed wood. Depending on the type and size of wood you have, you could use heavy duty glue to attach the wood to the mirror, or you could attach the pieces to each other via metal brackets. Either way, the end result is stunning in its simplicity.

Floating Photo Frame.


With some plywood and cut-to-size acrylic sheeting, you can easily create these charming custom-sized frames. The photo/artwork appears to float out in front of the frame (it’s actually held there by a piece of hidden spacer wood), and the end result is a perfect blend of industrial and organic.

Paper Tape Frame.


This simple, perfectly customizable frame is both easy and inexpensive to do. A fabulous marriage of DIYness, if you ask me! Using custom cut acrylic sheets, cardboard, and paper (packaging) tape, you can create professional-looking frames. (Another tutorial, using non-gummed paper tape).

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.