Need an awesome and super cheap frame to jazz up your artwork? Of course you do!
If you have extra cardboard and popsicle sticks lying around, this frame is practically free. Here's what you'll need before you start acting like Martha Stewart:
- Cardboard (piece larger than artwork)
- Popsicle Sticks (I used about 50 sticks for a frame for 9 in x 12 in picture)
- Glue (Liquid glue is best)
Step 1: Measure Out the Frame
First step is to measure your artwork or image with your ruler. This measurement will determine the size of the frame. (Figure 1)
Got these measurements? Great! Now add 2-inches to the height and width you just measured and now you know the size of your frame. This means that the frame will be 1-inch thick. For example, my artwork was 9 in x 12 in, so my frame will be 11 in x 14 in. Measure this out on the cardboard and cut that out.
Next we'll cut out the inside. Take that ruler and measure at least an inch inward on each side, you will want it a bit wider than 1-inch to make sure the artwork doesn't fall through the frame. I made mine about 1.5 inches wide (Figure 2). Connect the marks (Figure 3). You see that smaller rectangle you just drew, cut that out.
You should have a basic cardboard frame now, congratulations. You could stop now if a cardboard frame works for you. If not, let's jazz it up a bit.
*Of course, you can make your frame as big as you want! Want it 2-inches wide, add 4-inches to the artwork measurement, and so on.
Step 2: Construct Popsicle Stick Pattern
It's about to get somewhat exciting . . . Get ready!
Take a popsicle stick and cut off the rounded edges, then cut it in half. No need for perfection here, uneven cuts will actually create a nice, natural-looking pattern.
As you cut the sticks lay them out on the frame to place where you want them to go. Avoid gluing until all the pieces are cut, so you can move around pieces until you are a happy camper. Leave the corners until the end.
For the corners, you may need to cut the sticks smaller. For my frame, I cut them into thirds.
Once you have all the pieces laid out the way you want, glue them on. Make sure to press them close together to avoid larger gapping.
Let the frame dry. To make sure it dries flat, lay something heavy on it.
*Cutting popsicle sticks isn't hard, but it sure is time consuming. Maybe entice the help from friends or family on this part.
Step 3: Tape on Artwork and Hang It Up
When the frame is completely dry, flip it over to the cardboard side and tape on artwork or image to the back. I recommend using masking tape, because you will be able to remove the image later without damaging it.
Hang your finished product up and gaze at it. Martha Stewart eat your heart out.
Not done being creative? You can take your frame to the next level by layering more popsicle sticks or painting it. I liked this lighter wood look for my artwork, but you can make a darker wood color with some brown acrylic paint thinned out with water. Have fun!