DIY (cheap ‘n easy) Poster Frame

img_2543So Henrys nursery is buffalo themed. Look up buffalo decor online and you’ll find that there is next to nothing out there! I kept searching and found this adorable buffalo head picture on Etsy. It was a digital download for multiple sized prints. I wanted the BIGGEST picture of this buffalo for above Henry’s crib. I purchased the digital download on Etsy (for $7.17) and had a 20”x30” printed at Walgreens photo center (for $23.99) and picked up by my sweet momma (for free).

After spending about $30 for this picture I started shopping for poster size picture frames to match current decor of the room.
HOLY CRAP ARE THEY EXPENSIVE. My options were to either buy a cheap ($15) plastic frame or $40+ frame that didn’t look AS cheap and still didn’t match jack. So I decided to make my own frame to match the crown molding and trim of the room. It was cheaper and I supported local business. It matches perfectly. WIN!

For starters,

Since I’m literally framing a matte finished poster I didn’t want a glass front in the frame. Not only would that have cost more getting glass custom cut but it would have added a bit of weight to the frame which is hanging over where my baby will be sleeping. No thanks.

I bought 2 sticks of composite trim from the local lumber store. It’s lighter than wood, cuts just as easy if not easier with the miter saw, is much cheaper, and comes primed and ready for coat of white paint!

The cost of trim was $24 total. Everything else used in this project I already had available at home. If you’re a crafter or do it yourself’er you may have the same stuff available to you as well.

Measure the picture. Don’t just cut trim to 20 and 30 inch pieces assuming picture will be those exact measurements. The picture contained 3/4 inch of a white boarder, which I didn’t want showing. I measured the picture not including the boarder and the measurements were 29.25” x 19.25”.

Figure out which side of the trim you want on the inside and outside. Momma said put the thinner/ornate side of the trim on the inside so I did just that. (Mom’s always right).

Move project to the shop..

Cut end of trim at a 45 degree where thinner/ornate side will be made the short side. Luckily, our miter saw has the degree-lock settings.

Measure from the shorter side to the length desired for picture size. Mark, re-adjust miter saws degree setting, then cut at a 45 in the opposite direction. Do the same for the other 3 trim pieces.

Piece together trim pieces on top of picture to make sure everything fits together properly and no more cuts are needed. Pat self on back.

Assembling Frame

This is where things got tricky. The composite material of the trim is quite flimsy and light so I tried several things to piece them together. Heavy hardware would not do the trick.

First, clean up the rough, cut edges of the trim. You can use sand paper. I’m a girls girl and used the course side of one of my oh so many nail files.

The trim was so lightweight I was able to mend it together with hot glue. Remember to compress trim pieces together tightly so there’s minimal gap. Glue will express on both sides and it rolls off clean super easy.

After glueing, on a hard surface, pop a few staples in the back for reinforcement. I used a Craftsman staple gun and 3/8 in. staples. Make sure the staples you’re using aren’t too long and don’t go thru the other side. I learned the hard way and tacked my frame to the hardwood kitchen floor. I was only able to use two staples at each corner because there was only so much area they were short enough for.

Fill in gaps (if any) with caulk or wood putty. I used white adhesive caulk. The same we used for the crown molding in Henry’s room. It costs $2.99 at Ace hardware and dries quickly. Run down seam with finger and damp paper towel.

Add hardware for hanging. I used the hammer-in type of saw tooth hangers since the frame is light weight and the barbs on the hangers are shallow enough to not go through to the other side. You obviously want to hammer these in on a hard surface but be sure to place cardboard under the frame so you don’t scuff up the front while hammering. Use measuring tape to space out hangers evenly.

Paint frame. I used leftover white paint to match molding and trim in the room.

While paint is drying, adhere the poster to a piece of cardboard or foam board using double sided tape. I worked with an Amazon box. This keeps the poster from crimping or wrinkling. By using double sided tape the poster can be removed and switched out if room decor/theme changes down the road.

Tape or staple cardboard and poster to the back of the frame. My staples were too long and would have gone thru both poster and cardboard so I ended up using painters tape. Hopefully it sticks for a long while. (knock on wood).

Flip over.

Hang’er up!


I seriously don’t think I would pass wood shop class or enter this mess in the county fair but it works for me!



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