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DIY Cheap Frames for Engineering Prints

18x24 frames cheap

You know those amazingly large and cheap engineering prints you can get done at Staples? Of course you do. They’re all over Pinterest. Well I had 3 of them made about the time we moved in from our Spring family photo shoot and they’ve been tacked to the wall above our TV ever since. Literally, I used colorful tacks to attach them to the wall.  I was hoping the tackiness of it (pun intended) would encourage Cody to hurry up and make frames for them, but that plan backfired on me. So, here I am 3 months later just now finally getting frames. With the fireplace makeover complete, I was finally able to woo Cody over to finishing up the art of the TV wall.

The engineering prints were 1.79 a piece for 18×24 in, but try finding frames that size and the money you saved on the prints starts to disappear. I originally got the idea for these frames from Navy Bean Lane. I loved the way her black and white prints looked paired with the wood frames. The frames are made of of stain grade pine 1×2’s and are ridiculously easy to make (and only $5.81 a piece). Cody started by cutting the wood the correct length by using our chop saw.

how to make cheap frames for engineering prints

As you can see he did 45 the corners to give it a more finished look. Next, he put the frames together by using our pneumatic nail gun*.

cheap 18x24 frame

And voila just like that the frames were done. Well almost……

I wanted the frames to have a rustic look as well as to match with some of the existing woodwork in the family room, so I choose to stain it using PolyShades Gloss in Mission Oak* which was left over from a previous project. It had the perfect amount of yellowness in it to match the rest of the woodwork. I applied two coats of the stain a couple hours apart using an old rag.

*These are affiliate links

large cheap frames

Even though the stain is gloss it actually came out in more of a satin finish which is perfect for the rustic look I am going for. Next, Cody attached the prints to the back of the frames using a staple gun.

frames for engineering prints

To ensure that the staples didn’t shoot through the paper he added small thin squares from left over particle board to each corner.

large wood frames

At this point you could easily attach picture hanging hardware to the back of the frames, but we’re cheap and lazy, so we opted to attach the frames to the wall directly with a nail gun. At least I don’t have to worry about them falling off the wall during an earthquake………

framing engineering prints

And here they are all hung. I cannot really express how happy I am with them. The wood tone is perfect and actually picks up on the goldenrod in the lamp shades. I also love how they frame the TV. Our goal with this wall was to downplay the TV as a focal point and these 3 frames in combination with our gorgeous Greek Key console table definitely help do that.

floral lamp shades and engineering prints Here’s a close-up of one of the frames. The way the wood grain comes through the stain really adds a touch of rustic elegance to the frames.

18x24 framed cheap

Total Cost:

Prints             5.37

1x2s                17.40

Total=            22.77  or 7.59 each
Pssst….. the family room is finally done! Family Room Reveal
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