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Frame it up, Frame it in.

Monday, March 4

For Valentine's day, I gifted this poster-sized print from Pop Chart Lab to the boy, who is bit of an Apple fan.
Photo from Pop Chart Lab shop
We decided it might be the perfect time to try out the DIY poster frame pioneered by John over at YHL. I love the way our version turned out, but it wasn't quite as seamless a process as we had hoped.
Frame post-construction, pre-stain.
John gives a pretty great step-by-step here, so I won't bother repeating everything he said. Instead, I'll just fill you in on the materials we used and where we ran into a little problem.

So we picked up the majority of the materials from Home Depot - you can find the specifics on what you'll need over at YHL. Here are a few things that we did, on top of that:
  • The boy sanded the ends of the exposed wood with a higher grit sandpaper until there was no white visible (the white is sawdust, caught in the grain). The grain will soak up the stain wayyy more than the rest of the wood (and thus, be darker) - so sanding it heavily ensured that the ends wouldn't absorb more stain than the rest of the frame.
  • We used wood conditioner first (to ensure a more even stain) and then Minwax stain in Provincial, which we left on for around 5 minutes before wiping it off with cheesecloth. We followed that up with polyurethane, following recommended drying time on the cans for each.
And here's how it looked after all that:
The colour of the stain is SO nice.
Now for our "issues":

First, the size of the frame may have been a smidge too big. Our measurements were based on the fact that our poster was pretty much the same size as the one in the tutorial - but I think we may have been off a bit. We really should have made the frame so that the outside edge of the frame mapped on to the outside edge of the poster. A little bit of the print may have been covered by wood (which wouldn't even have mattered for us as the print we were using has a small white border), but it would have been much easier to secure the print to the frame with the staple gun. Because the print was just a bit too small, it was hard to hold it to all sides of the frame and staple it on.
Starting to bubble/detach on the left.
This brings us to the second issue - the poster paper being a bit too flimsy to staple properly without bubbling. This may not have been an issue if the frame was a little smaller - it's hard to say. The poster itself is on pretty thick paper - not your typical flimsy floppy poster paper. Because of this, we figured we probably wouldn't need to mount it to anything before stapling it into the back of the frame. Not true. So after getting a bit frustrated with our inability to properly staple the poster to the back of the frame - we finally admitted we might need something sturdier.
One week later - fully detached on the bottom.
We picked up a piece of illustration board from DeSerres (Peterboro No. 27), traced the frame, cut the board to size, and used double-sided tape to attach the poster evenly to the board. Then, we placed the frame over the print/board and made sure the print was centered in the frame. Once we had the print properly centered, we taped it to the frame with painter's tape, to ensure it stayed in the right spot when we flipped it over to staple.
After that, all we had to do was staple the thicker board to the back of the frame and attach some picture-hanging hardware. Here is the finished product:
Attaching it to the illustration board definitely did the trick. It was super easy to staple on and I think it looks so cool now. I love the look of the simple wood frame combined with the bright pop-artish print - especially on dark grey walls (a before-and-after that will be shared soon!). 
Despite a few minor frustrations, I think the project turned out really well. Now to convince a certain someone to make a whole gallery wall full of these frames...

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