How to Upcycle an Old, Too Big Frame

July 29, 2013Allison Murray

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

It wasn’t too terribly long ago that while driving to town I spied some maroon, mauve and hunter green floral art on the side of the road with a sign that said FREE! I popped a u-ey like you’ve never seen before and sent Russell to pick up my new art.

But I had no intention of keeping it as is. There is no place in my world for this kind of art so I’ve gone about making it more me. The first and biggest piece I turned into a mod geometric piece of art for my bedroom. I love that piece and often find myself staring at it when I wake up in the morning.

Now here is the before of the pic we are working with today:

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Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!It’s nothing special but it’s not all that horrendous either. Just not to my tastes.

And since I made a faux Mondrian painting tutorial that I’ll be sharing at Mom Spark this week, (see the post on how to fake your own Mondrian here!) it seemed the perfect time to put this salvaged bit of 90s decor to a better use.

The frame was wrong in 2 ways. The gold obviously wasn’t going to work out with the color scheme and it wasn’t the right size. We’re about to fix that up.

For this project you will need:

First you’ll need to take your framed piece apart. Carefully cut away the paper backing and remove everything carefully. You don’t need glass on top of a painting, so set it aside for another use, but store carefully.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

First you need to take your piece of art and see exactly where you need to cut the frame down to fit. I used a black marker so that I could easily tell where to cut with no horrible mistakes.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

Next you need to take the frame apart at two corners so that you have two L shaped pieces.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

To make sure that I cut my angles correctly, I used the other piece to mark the angle to cut at the mark I placed. See that orange line? It’s my cut line.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

On the front side of the frame (the pretty side) we’re going to put masking tape all around the cut area. When we’re cutting through at the very end, the wood won’t drop suddenly cracking the pretty frontside.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

Cut the angle using your mitre box. Repeat for the other side of this L.

Take the other piece that you haven’t cut on and measure the two pieces up against one another. Mark the uncut piece with the angles so that it matches up perfectly and then cut both corners of this piece as well.

Make sure both pieces fit together before moving on.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

Slather on some wood glue onto both ends of one of your pieces.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

Match up the corners and use your staple gun to tack together. Allow to dry fully (be sure not to set some place the glue seeping out on the front will get stuck to the frame).

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

Before going to the trouble of painting your frame, be sure that your art piece fits well inside. After confirming, I sprayed mine with glossy black enamel.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

When the paint is sufficiently covered and dry, place your artwork in and turn the tabs to hold in place. Most of my tabs broke off so I used a staple in each of the corners to hold that sucker in.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

Before you do something a bit more permanent to get it into the frame, like staple, you should make sure that your piece is straight, especially in the case of a piece like this with horizontal lines.

Make a garage sale frame into a perfectly sized one by cutting it down!

I’m really so glad with how well my new wall art turned out for me. I fully intend to make another to accompany this fella’ since I have another frame just like it! Together in my dining room they’re going to be so chic looking!

If you want to make your own faux Mondrian paintings, be sure to check back tomorrow for the link to get the full tutorial at Mom Spark!

 

Comments (4)

  • Steph @ meet.make.laugh.

    July 29, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Love the finished product! Looks so sharp!

  • amy @ One Artsy Mama

    July 29, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Love this!!! So creative! I'd never heard of Mondrian until this past Spring; my 4 year old son was doing an observation day at the private school he's going to attend this fall and the kids were making their own Mondrian-style artwork. Yours turned out fabulous!!

  • Midsommarflicka

    July 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Oh, I never thought about cutting a frame into desired size and was always upset, when I love a frame but not its size… but it's so easy! Awesome :)
    And I love your Mondrian artwork!

  • Allison Murray

    July 30, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    Thanks so much, ladies! You can see how to make your own fake at Mom Spark!
    http://momspark.net/how-to-make-a-fake-mondrian-painting-tutorial/
    And, Mid – the ONLY reason why I figured out resizing frames is because I'm so cheap! :)

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