Create Your Own Unique Frames for your Artwork

I love working with non-traditional materials in my artwork, so why not make a non-traditional frame to show it off!

Below is a mixed media portrait I drew of my daughter. It is finally framed and hanging on her bedroom wall! Yay!  
(It's only been sitting un-framed on a display wall in my art studio for the past two years or so.)

So here are a few easy steps to consider in creating unique frames for non-traditional artworks:

  • First of all, my original work was done on a 2'x2' square piece of hardboard.
  • To create the frame, I took a large piece of white paper and folded it in half (making sure it was at least half the width of my artwork). I sketched the shape I wanted on the paper and cut it out. Once I unfolded the paper I had the template for one complete symmetrically drawn side of the frame.
  • The artwork was placed on a large piece of MDF board and the template was used to trace all four sides of the frame around it. We also traced around the artwork itself and then measured in 1/2" on each side before cutting the square out of the center. My wonderfully handy husband did all of the cutting and even routed and sanded the edges and they looked fantastic!
  • Next I dusted off the frame and took it in the studio to paint. I used an interior acrylic paint, giving it two thin even coats for good coverage.

  • After the paint was completely dry I centered and attached my artwork using Liquid Nails (since MDF often splits easily if you try to nail close to an edge). Be sure to follow manufacturer directions and wait 24 hours before hanging.
  • To hang the artwork, we drilled pilot holes (at least an inch away from any sides) and screwed in small eyelett screws and attached picture hanging wire. Since it was a little bit heavier than a traditional frame we made sure to put an anchor in the wall where it would hang.

*Note: The paint on my frame is solid and simple and there is only one layer of wood, but I'm thinking there are many possibilities with this project for some very creative decorative designs on the frames. Have fun creating and show it off!

Here is a little close-up of the portrait of my daughter. 
We had all been enjoying these huge ice creame treats on a hot afternoon during a magical summer vacation trip in Leavenworth, Washington with some of our dearest friends and I snapped a quick photo.