Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DIY Rustic Frame

Since I live on a dairy, there is plenty of weathered wood piled in stacks all over our farm. Using a small picture repinned on Pinterest from a now vanished website photo, I have attempted to recreate the rustic picture frame using weathered wood, lath, and a heavy cardboard background. Pallet wood could also be used for this project.

You will need:

1) Heavy black cardboard for background  
2) Weathered barn wood or pallets 1/2" thick
3) 1-1/2" and 5/8" lath
4) Wood glue
5) Miter box and saw
6) Hammer, nails, screws or staples
7) DIY vintage wood stain (steel wool, coffee grounds, vinegar)
8) Picture hanging hardware


1) The first thing was to create dimensions for measurements. To accommodate two 8"x10" photo prints, I made the outside dimension 14" x 24", not including the lath border.  It helped to cut a piece of heavy black cardboard meant for the back of the project for placing the pieces.


2) The boards I used were 1/2" thick. I used a miter box to cut the fairly small pieces. 

Wood cuts include:
1 center cut piece 3-1/2" x 14"
2 end pieces 2-1/4" x 14" 
4 cross pieces 2-1/4" x 7-3/4" (the opening needs to be less than 8" or the edge of the photo may show)
6 mitered corners approx. 3" on the narrow side mitered to 6" on the wide side 


3) You will also need lath for the borders around the outside edges and along the middle between the photo openings:
2  pieces 1-1/2" lath approx. 25" long (measure before cutting)
2 pieces 1-1/2" lath approx. 14-1/2" long (measure before cutting)
1 piece 5/8" lath approx. 14" long to go down the middle 

4) If you want to stain your lumber, it is best to do it before gluing or nailing the boards. I used a vintage wood stain using 1/4 of a steel wool pad put into a wide mouth glass jar along with 1/4 c coffee grounds, and covered with 1 c. white vinegar. Let the solution stand overnight, then you can apply coats to your project wood. 

BE WARNED this solution appears light colored but it will apply a dark shade to your wood! You may try setting the stained wood outside for drying and darkening. The website for this vintage stain can be found at Home Heart Craft


5) Place your pieces on your cardboard background. When you have everything where you want it, glue the pieces in place. The middle lath will be up on its edge. You may want to use weights or clamps if necessary, especially if the wood is warped. One of the nice things about this project is since it is rustic, variations in size and texture are OK. 

Make sure you don't let any white glue dry where you can see it, since it is hard to remove once everything dries.


6) Carefully turn over your frame, and use either 1" staples, fasteners or screws in appropriate places.

7) Measure the outside edge for adding the lath borders. Nail or screw in place. You may need to stain the edges one more time. Attach picture hanging hardware on the back.

8) Tape photos in place, then staple cardboard background inside the lath border.


9) The final frame, hanging on the wall. These pictures are of my granddaughter Athena on a grand day out down at the hay barn playing on Grandpa's four-wheeler and tractor tire.

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