DIY Framed Prints – Under $15!

Image of Kelsea holding two DIY framed art prints in black and white of a smiling boy and girl.

Did you know that in order to print a large image and get it framed at Michael’s, you are looking at well over $100? Per frame?? I have been staring at the wall above our couch and dreaming of printing pictures to hang for months now and I couldn’t stomach the cost. As a stay at home parent, every dollar counts.

While watching stories on Instagram, I found my answer and a new vision for my prints! One of my favorite new (new to me of course) Bloggers is angelarosehome, and I am compiling a list of all the DIY I now need to include in our home. But first! These prints!

There are two things I love in this world that are always top ten, after family of course! Coffee and a heck of a bargain. This project is easy and so frugal, I only wish I had discovered this years ago. The prints were the tricky part, as I needed pictures that were high enough quality to print in a larger format. As we haven’t had family photos done since before Sawyer was born, I’m relying on the iPhone for a win! After trial and error, I printed 18″ x 24″ Engineering prints at FedEx. Any guesses as to the cost of said prints? $2.50! Yes, $5.00 for two giant prints that have completely changed the look and feel of our main living area.

To start, I ventured out to my hardware store and found two 2′ x 2′ MDF sheets. If you aren’t familiar with MDF, open a dresser drawer and knock on the bottom. More than likely–it’s MDF! It is a thinner, dense material made out of pressed wood. Since I needed to frame 18″ x 24″ prints, I used my circular saw to trim off the sides to make the final cut 17.5″ x 23.5″ to be sure the border on the print wouldn’t show.

Once cut down, I flipped them over on top of my prints to make sure everything would line up and no bare spots would be on the final product. Once everything looked perfect, it was time to add the spray adhesive. This is the adhesive I ordered from Amazon, and waiting for it to arrive was easily the hardest part of this project! I folded the print in half and began by spraying one side of the MDF board at a time. Once I sprayed it, I carefully started placing the paper over the glue, pressing outward to make sure there would be no wrinkles or bubbles. Since these are draft prints and 100% paper, there is no room for error! You will probably get bubbles and wrinkles and that’s okay! Once this is finished and hanging on the wall, you won’t even be able to tell.

Once the first half has been pressed and smoothed out, spray the other side and adhere the print as before. Depending on how much adhesive was sprayed, you will want to wait to move the project until it is dry to the touch. While we wait for the adhesive to dry–time to cut our frame! Another awesome tip from angelarosehome–thin molding to frame and completely change the look of the picture. Instead of mitering the corners, I decided to butt them up end to end but it is definitely your preference! I wanted the top and bottom piece to overhang on the sides so I cut the sides first. I was in a time crunch with naptime ending, so instead of measuring (ope), I held the trim next to the print and drew a line. When you cut, be sure to cut on the wrong side of your line to account for the blade width! Bet you can guess who made that mistake. Repeat this for both sides and then you’re ready to attach!

For Christmas this year, I asked for a new nail gun, the perfect tool for DIY! So I was more than excited to break it out for the first time! In order to have clearance on the back of the sign for hanging, I decided to stand the picture up to attach the trim so I could adjust the depth. I attached both sides with the nailer and got to measuring the top and bottom pieces. Once cut, I attached them to the picture and voila! The easiest, most frugal large print you can find. Since these are a little on the heavy side, I decided to use a heavy duty hanger and attached them to the back of both frames.

What do you think? Is this a DIY you can get behind? I can’t wait to see the prints you all create, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! 🙂

Coffee in Hand,
Kelsea

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