I have to snicker as I write up this DIY project. I would love to say I had fancied this glorious idea of creating an exquisite piece to hold artwork. Truth is, this art display was a spur of the moment idea I had to cover an awkward ugly hole (purposely put there to gain access to the whole house humidifier) in our basement.
I previously used a framed antique-ish looking picture of wine bottles to cover the hole. It did the job just fine and even quieted the whir that came from the furnace room. However, after our basement carpet was water-logged from a broken sump pump and 4” of rain in an afternoon, we replaced the worn, old grey & white carpet with a plush, fun lime green carpet. It livened the room up so much, I just felt like our decorations needed to do the same (including the hole-hiding picture I already had on the wall).
I had several pictures and picture frames from our old house that were just sitting in our storage room so I thought I should start searching there for a solution first. I am big into reusing and repurposing things you have at home. Why buy new when you can make new? And there it was… a plain black 23 ¼” x 17 ¼” picture frame that I found on clearance for only $7.88 about 6 years ago. It was just barely the right size to cover this big ol’ ugly hole. And that’s when the idea hit me! Rather than trying to find something to fit the frame, let’s make the frame into something useful!
In our house, artwork is always in abundance, but our display space is sparse. So…. I put on my thinking cap and ran with it! There you have it. What resulted is colorful, fun and very useful! (Plus, since I reused something I already had and bought the bulletin board & metal clips with 40% off coupons, it was a very inexpensive project!) And I love it!
- Open-backed frame (no glass) – have a frame you’re no longer using?! Great, repurpose it & save money! Or watch the Hobby Lobby sales flier for their frames to go on sale 50%.
- Bulletin board – coordinate this to the size of your frame. Can’t find one the exact size? Try looking at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, or online at Amazon. Or buy a larger bulletin board and use a carpenter’s knife to cut it to your frame’s size.
- Corner brackets (found for a couple $$ at a hardware store)
- Miniature metal binder clips — I bought mine at Hobby Lobby in their “Spare Parts” section (back by scrapbooking/paper crafting)
- Screws (short) – You may want to measure the hole in your binder clip to make sure you get the right diameter
- Craft paint (depending if you can see the bulletin board’s frame or if you want to repaint your large frame)
- Hangers for the back of the large frame, if needed. Your fame may already have a way to hang it! We put two saw-tooth hanger brackets on the back of our large frame. However, there are lots of options. Check them out at your local hardware store.
- Prep the Bulletin Board. Paint the frame of your bulletin board depending if it shows behind your large frame. (Note about painting the frame of the bulletin board: very carefully use painter’s tape on the cork. When I peeled up the painter’s tape, it also peeled away a couple small sections of cork. Luckily, I was able to hide most of the damage with a binder clip.) OR… if needed, cut your bulletin board to fit your large frame.
- Lay out and position the binder clips. It seems silly how much thought actually went into this one step. I’m glad I laid them out first though before we started attaching them. Think about how many pieces of artwork you would like to display. How many children do you have – do you want each child to be able to display 2 pieces or more of art? What size do you typically use for artwork (8.5×11, 8.5×5.5, 11×14, 11×17, paper plates, other)? Do you mind if the papers overlap? How much overlap do you want? I rearranged several times before I came up with my incredible thoughtful design.
- Attach the binder clips. I let my hubby do the drilling…I didn’t want him to feel left out (wink, wink). Just make sure your screws are not too long as you don’t want them to scrape your wall.
- Secure the bulletin board to the large frame. Lay your large frame face down. (We laid our across a couple sawhorses. Just make sure you are on a non-scratch surface that your frame won’t damage and that won’t damage the frame. Center the bulletin board upside down on the frame. (We had to flip the large frame over a few times to check the centering since our bulletin board was just barely big enough to cover the frame opening.) Then, screw your corner brackets diagonally across the inside corners of the large frame. This is what holds the bulletin board in place. Do this on all four corners. (Tip: I would secure the bulletin board on diagonal corners first. Then flip the large frame over and make sure the bulletin board is centered. It is easier to make small adjustments this way.)
- Add hanger(s) to the back of the large frame, if needed. Just make sure your hanger brackets are strong enough to support the weight of your frame. THEN… hang your completed project!!!
- Add artwork! Give your project a try! Have your kiddos help you pick out the pieces of artwork they are most proud of!
Congratulations! You’ve completed a DIY project that the whole family can enjoy! Great job, Mom!
Remember, the best projects can come from items you already have around your home. Get creative and keep crafting!