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 where you measured them.

To attach the pieces of wood, use wood glue on the ends of each piece. Use trim screws to attach the pieces together more securely.  (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.

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.

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 6 questions
  • Lynn
    on May 12, 2020

    Sooooooooo cute

  • Susan S
    on May 13, 2020

    How were you able to fix all the pattern work on the whole one side of the frame? It looks great, but knowing how to do that makes a huge difference in how it would look. Thank you!

    • Gene
      on May 22, 2020

      That is absolutely NOT the same frame in the last picture as in the first. I restore old frames and I know. Very dishonest.

  • Melaine Smith
    on May 17, 2020

    There is no way I could see how you explained how to replace decorative trim? Did you just change frames at end or did you repair? I have read article multiple times but could not find how you repaired it?

    • Chris E
      on May 26, 2020

      I don't think she did. The lower left-hand trim (near the corner) seems to be less decorated when compared with the top left-hand trim. It's hard to see so I'n not too sure. Hope your eyes are better than mine.

Join the conversation

2 of 22 comments
  • Jan
    on May 27, 2020

    I have several frames in my basement just like that one ! What a clever use of them. You did a great job. I will work on that this winter !

  • Angie
    on May 30, 2020

    I have been lookin for a cute shelf to put my makeup in/on in my bathroom, and this would be great, I think.

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