How to make DIY custom Frames for less at home

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Alexandra is going to share an easy tutorial to make DIY custom frames for less, with us today. You will love how she made these custom frames so neat and inexpensive. So let’s welcome her!
Hi everybody! This is Alexandra from DoctorOnTheSide. I’m a pediatric resident and like to describe myself as an art and travel fanatic, story-teller, amateur photographer, pet-lover extraordinaire, and proud Mexican who channels Martha Stewart  My blog pretty much reflects that. Hani invited me to write a guest post, and I couldn’t be more flattered!
So today, we’re making cheap, (semi) custom-framed art. Because even when Michael’s holds it’s half-off custom-framing specials, their prices are painful!

How to make DIY custom frames?

how to make custom frames

Material for custom frames

You will need:
  1. Magazines, old calendars, sheet music, a book page with a favorite poem, or anything that contains something special you’d like to frame; I chose a couple of small Toulouse-Lautrec prints from the same magazines I used for this project.
  2. Ready-made plain photo mats from your local hobby supply store; choose the standard size that best fits the object you are trying to frame.(remember we are saving tons of $$$ by not custom-framing so if the mat is not the exact size, get over it!)
  3. A photo frame that is much larger than your mat; for example, I used 5×7 inch mats with 3×5 inch inner cutouts, and bought an 8×10 inch frame to put it all in. The empty space in between is where you get creative!
  4. Fun, interesting, scrapbooking card-stock paper that compliments the object you are framing; I chose textured, shimmery, bright orange (best color EVER) paper.
  5. Tape, preferably acid-free (to not wear away at your pictures/cutouts over the years).
  6. Glue-stick, also preferably acid-free.
  7. Scissors or scrapbooking paper cutter.
  8. And as always, creativity.
DIY custom frames

Instructions to make DIY custom frames

Start by choosing and cutting out what you wish to frame; never cut something its exact size; leave a few millimeters around its perimeter to allow for gluing to the mat.

Place a small piece of tape halfway behind your image and halfway sticking out, with the sticky side up; do this on only ONE edge of your image (trust me, it’s easier to correct mistakes this way).

Carefully place your mat over the image, centering it to your liking.

Once you’re happy with the placement of your image behind the mat, press down on the side with the tape so it’s fixed in place; proceed with taping the remaining three edges in the same manner the image should be taped to the back side of the mat, like this.

DIY custom frames 2

If you buy a double-layer style mat, use a glue-stick or double-sided tape to adhere the second mat layer to the first; if you bought a single-layer mat, ignore this step!

Next, use the insert from your picture frame to trace an outline on the back side of your card-stock, and cut it out; by doing this, you’ve cut it the exact size to fit your picture frame.

Glue the mat with your image in the center of the card-stock cutout. I hope you chose interesting card-stock, because this is part that really customizes and make DIY custom frames special.

custom frames tutorial

Frame the whole thing! Voila!

Custom frames at home

how to make custom frames
I bet Michael’s doesn’t have bright orange, textured, shimmery mats to custom-cut! Make a couple of these and you’ve got yourself a sweet wall collage. My closet (yes, closet) just got a whole lot more fabulous!
how to make custom frames
The closet is a very important place for creativity. Check out Alexandra’s blog for more great ideas like:

* Necklace Holder * Artistic Briefcase * Revamping nightstand

You will also like:

9 Wall Art IdeasPainted Fabric Frame

Burlap flower frames

Thread painting art

Looking for Wall Decorating ideas?

Check out tutorials in the category WALL ART.

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Hi, I’m Hani

I’m a mom of 2 decorating and soulfully designing our home. I love to share crafts and simple ideas for home and garden.

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  1. Kristin says:

    I love these! =)

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