Framing Your Favorite Things

8 Materials
1 Day

We all have favorite things around our home that we love to see every day. They remind us of a special person or a favorite place.
What better way to honor those things then to make a unique space for them to be displayed.
This project started with this old frame found in the basement of a relative. You can find frames at thrift stores, antique malls or yard sales.
Give the frame a good cleaning with mild soap and water. Remove any hangers and wire.
To display your items, you will be building a box on the back of the frame.
I used 1"x2" wood so the frame wouldn't stand too far away from the wall.
Measure around the opening of the frame.

Using a miter saw, cut your pieces of wood.
To attach the pieces of wood, use wood glue on the ends of each piece.
Use trim screws to attach the pieces together.
(For similar wood projects, check out our DIY woodworking section).
Apply wood glue around the opening of the frame (on the back side).
Place the box around the opening and attach the box to the frame using trim screws.
Lay another piece of 1"x2" across the box to determine the length of your shelves.
Cut the shelves to the desired length.
Fit the shelves into the box, taping gently with a hammer if necessary.
Level the shelves.
Attach the shelves using trim screws.
Unsure how to attach the shelves? Watch the video below for all the answers.
For the back of the shelves, place a thin piece of plywood over the box and mark the size.
Cut the plywood to shape and paint.
With the frame still upside down, paint the shelves.
Flip the frame over and paint the front.
Flip the frame over and paint the front.
If you have intricate molding, use a stencil brush to ensure that the paint goes into every nook and cranny.
Apply two coats of paint.
After the paint has dried, apply wax to seal the wood. If you are using a tinted wax, use a dry brush technique which means load your brush with wax, and then brush the excess onto a paper plate until your brush is almost dry. This ensure that you won't be adding too much wax to the frame. If more is needed, continue to dry brush until you have the effect you desire.
To see how to dry brush, watch the video below.
If you are using a clear wax, brush it on as needed.
After the wax has dried, apply a bead of glue around the box edge and affix the back/plywood onto the box. Screw the back/plywood fast using trim screws.
Add hangers onto the back/plywood.
The is the final product!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 34 questions
  • Gloria
    on May 11, 2020

    How did you replace the detail work? It looks like a lot is missing in the first picture?

  • Patsy Hatchett
    Patsy Hatchett
    on May 11, 2020

    How did you fix the broken design on the front? The scrolling was broken off the old piece but in the finished product it looks complete. This piece is around the outside edge and on the inner side of the old frame. It has the squiggle design. I hope I am explaining enough for you to understand. Thanks. Patsy Hatchett

    • Mik22302826
      7 days ago

      In an answer to someone else she said she simply replaced all of the trim instead of trying to repair it.

  • Jackie
    6 hours ago

    What is the yellow item (in the 3rd pic) to help cut the wood into angles? Ive been looking for something like that for my DIY projects.

Join the conversation

2 of 251 comments
  • Pamela
    7 days ago

    Very nice !!! I did something like this when I renovated the master bathroom , there was a small , really small , mirrored medicine cabinet that we pulled out , it left a hole in the wall . Instead of just covering it up with sheetrock , I thought I could do something more interesting. I framed it out with moulding , put a beadboard back , and I cut shelves for it , but didn't put them in..I just put some antique bottles and a framed botanical print on the bottom ledge...

  • Lisa West
    Lisa West
    2 hours ago

    looks very great,

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