Shortly before Christmas, my pal Cindy of The Slumbering Herd sent me an amazing 6×6 piece of sideshow art as a gift.
Brilliant work, amirite? I love how convincingly she made the mermaid appear to be behind glass.
To display this amazing beauty, I decided to build a frame – and show you how to build one, too, because it’s WAY easier than you think. I made mine in about 25 minutes, and once you have the tools, so can you. Wipe that look off your face. I wouldn’t lie to you about something as important as art!
The absolutely non-negotiable must-have tool for this project is a mitre box and saw. This is not a big purchase. You can get the exact one I have on Amazon for about $15.
Hello. I cost less than taking somebody to the movies. You can justify my purchase by making frames for everyone next Christmas or something. Yay.
The next thing you need is some sort of wood from which to make your frame. I used one of the old advertising yardsticks you can find in any antique mall for about $3. You could use rulers, paint sticks, craft wood, or molding. You might also think of other things, because you are clever.
To get started, simply place your wood in your box. You want to cut the wood at 45 degree angles. If your wood has writing on it that you want to preserve, position the writing so that it falls on the proper side of your 45-degree line.
To cut, you need to HOLD THE WOOD down with your non-dominant hand. Holding the saw as level as you can, simply move it back and forth over the wood while applying pressure. You don’t need to go all Incredible Hulk. Just, you know, apply some pressure.
Once you’ve finished the cut, measure along the bottom, which is to say, from lower corner to lower corner.
Mark your wood with a pen so that it’s just shy of the size of your art. I marked mine just shy of six inches.
Now put the wood back in the box. Line up your pen mark with the line, and cut.
My mark is just to the left of the 15. See it?
In short order, you will have the four pieces of your frame. SAND THE EDGES. Arrange the pieces as you want them, then flip each piece over so that you can work from the back.
To join them, I suggest a good epoxy. I used JB Quik Weld. After gluing the angles together, I also added two corner braces that I cut from scraps of the same wood, placing them on opposing corners.
Tip: To make a corner brace, take a leftover piece of wood that is already angled and line it up with the OTHER 45-degree line, then saw.
Butter the triangle with epoxy just like stinky toast and press it firmly in place over the corner. I like to hold it for many seconds, which is a holdover from my Super Glue days. Hey, it makes me happy.
The corner piece, which I forgot to sand.
Me, pressing. Mmmm. Pressing.
Now you’ll brace the other two corners with a support piece that will extend from one corner to the other. What is the purpose of this piece? You want to brace the corners AND your art at the same time. I used a paint stick.
Step 1. Cut support piece. Step 2. Place artwork in frame, making sure you have it properly oriented. Step 3. Adhere the piece from one corner to the other. Step 4. Walk away.
Once the epoxy has set, you can flip your frame over. Do not freak out when you see epoxy peeking through at the corners.
Oh no! So unsightly!
You can now cover the corner seams however you like: With pennies, buttons, snaps, gears, whatever. You might also think of other things, because you are clever.
Eight cents for your thoughts? I heard they were on sale.
Once you’re done embellishing your frame, you can add magnets to the back and place it on a refrigerator. You can add Velcro dots and put it in your cube at work You can glue a bracket to the back and hang it on a wall. You can also place it in an easel, as I did. If you want a layer of something that mimics glass, slip in some acetate.
If the frame will be in the sun, I do recommend spraying the artwork with a UV-resistant spray and/or covering the acetate with clear UV blocking film. (Acetate alone won’t black UV rays.)
The sun doesn’t shine on my circus, even thought it brightens my day.
And so does my pal Cindy!
To see more of Cindy’s work, visit her blog! If you make this project, show us! We are total voyeurs, and we want to see!