When we first moved to our house we decided to adopt a botanical theme in the dining room. It’s tough to keep up as a lot of this type of art is expensive and requires to be framed professionally. But this past weekend while cleaning up the house, Alberto came across a book featuring old prints. The images were reproduction of old pencil drawings, and the book contained an entire section devoted to birds…it was the perfect opportunity to finish up the decor in the dining room! We built our own frames for this project and we also got to try out resin, something we had wanting to do for a while. The result is a set of really cute frames that are perfect for the room!
Here’s what we used to make the pictures:
- Two 6-foot pieces of 1×2’s
- One 2-foot x 2-foot sheet of plywood
- 4 old book prints
- One 32-Ounce Kit Lite Pour-On, High Gloss Finish
- Brown spray paint (gloss finish)
- Frame hangers
This is what we needed to put it together:
- Finishing nail gun (or a hammer and nails)
- Router (not necessary, but it allows the plywood to fit within the frame)
- Glue and sponge
Let’s Make some Bird Print Wall Art!
- Using the router, cut a 1/4-inch groove into one side of the 1×2’s.
- Next cut one end of the 1×2 at a 45-degree angle. The angle should be toward the groove.
- Measure the prints to determine the size of the frames. We want our frames to be 6 1/2-inches x 10-inches, so I measured 6 1/2-inches from the inside of the 1×2 and cut another 45 degree angle. The groove should be on the shorter side of the 1×2. Cut seven more pieces this size.
- Using the same steps as above, cut eight pieces of 1×2 so that the inside measures 10-inches.
- To assemble the frames, start by clamping down one of the short pieces of 1×2 to a stable surface with the groove facing up.
- Now, place a larger pices of 1×2 against a corner of the shorter piece and nail in place. Be sure that the two pieces are flush, the grooves match up and the corner is tight. Continue around with another short and large piece until you’ve finished the first frame, and then repeat for the other three.
- Sand the frames so that they come out smooth. Pay special attention to the corners on the front of the frame to even up any issues.
- Cut four pieces of plywood 7-inches by 10 1/2-inches to fit inside the back of the frames. You may want measure the back of the frames, and make adjustments accordingly when cutting the plywood just in case it’s slightly different than calculated.
- The only thing left to do is paint the frames and the plywood gloss brown.
A Sticky Situation!
- Once the plywood is dry, measure and cut the prints to the same size as the plywood. Be sure that the center of the print is in the center of the plywood.
- Spread a thin layer of glue over the surface of the plywood, and attach the print. Smooth away any wrinkles or bubbles, and repeat for the other three prints.
- Once the glue is dry, spread a thin layer of glue over the top of each of the prints. This will protect the paper from becoming discolored when adding the resin. Apply additional coats as desired.
- Once dry, place the plywood into the frames, and nail the backs into the frames.
- Place the frames face up on wax paper. This will protect your surface from any resin that may seep out.
- Mix enough resin and hardener for one of the frames, and pour it into the frame. We only wanted about an 1/8-inch covering on the print.
- Spread the resin so that it covers all of the print and touches the sides of the frame. We did this two ways. First we tilted the frame in several directions to allow the resin to ooze into place. Then we used a spatula to cover any places that were missed. Finally we had a toothpick ready to pick at any lint. Also for a project this size, you can breath on the bubbles to burst them. Just be sure that you don’t inhale any fumes!
- Set the frame on the wax paper, and repeat for the other three. The resin will take anywhere from 2 to 7 hours to dry.
While we let the resin dry, we decided to get some of our TV time in. We had a lot that we wanted to see this weekend, so we decided to have an old standby, the Whiskey Sour. Of course, Alberto found a way to reduce some of the calories. We may be couch potatoes sometimes, but at least we don’t want to look like one! And there is nothing like a good Whiskey Sour to watch the Golden Globes!
Just Hanging Around!
- Once the resin is dry, turn the frames over and place the hangers on the top center of the frames.
- Hang the prints on the wall in a cluster.
These prints go very nicely in the dining room, and they just cost a few dollars to make!