Hey guys! Remember in my master bedroom reveal I said that one of my artwork prints ended up being in the wrong size for framing? Well, it was just as well, because I had been going back and forth on whether I even wanted to frame that print anyway, because when I am planning on just leaning artwork, I really love the look of art that is matted, but unframed. Today I’m sharing my unframed artwork tutorial, or, how I saved tons of money compared to custom framing!
This is one of the easiest, least expensive projects ever!
The tutorial, step by step
Obtain your artwork. I got mine from Jenny’s Print Shop. It’s called Ferris.
Print it out. I originally wanted mine to be larger than what I am capable of printing at home (plus, my printer doesn’t print very high quality prints) so I had mine printed at a local print shop.
Unfortunately, not only was it the wrong size, but they printed it with white strips on either side. Oops. One thing I did not want to do was pay for custom framing, and I couldn’t find a frame at Target, Homegoods, or Michaels that would work with the size they printed.
Well, not the end of the world, and certainly not impossible to deal with. As I said, I was going back and forth on what to do with this anyway. It was the perfect opportunity to make it a little quirkier piece for my room.
Assemble your supplies. You’ll need a box cutter, some Mod Podge (I had two small bottles of the Gloss that I had picked up in the Dollar Spot at Target awhile back), and ideally, a foam brush (I couldn’t find mine, so I used a Magic Eraser. It worked!). Also, some craft board of two different sizes (I bought Elmer’s Presentation Board from Target). One size that is a couple of inches bigger than your art, and one size that is a few inches bigger than that. There are tons of different colors available so get creative with this!
I had to cut those white strips off of the sides of my print before I could proceed to step 4, but hopefully you won’t have to do that (I just used the box cutter). So for most of you, the next step will be to figure out where you want your print to be centered on the smaller of your two craft boards. I did center mine right in the middle, but I also like the look of off centered art as well- you should consider your artwork and how it will look in the room. Don’t necessarily default to “the standard”!
Once you figure out exactly where you want your print to go, lay it out in the exact placement, and use your box cutter to make a super faint outline on the craft board. Don’t use a pen for this, because the Mod Podge may smear it.
Remove your artwork to the side. Pour the Mod Podge onto the craft board into the area outlined that your print will go.
And smear around until there is a thin layer:
Make sure you get the edges! Although, I have to say, I deliberately missed a couple because I wanted a kind of “non-perfect” look. But, if you want a more finished look, be sure that you hit every edge so your artwork adheres.
I haven’t worked with Mod Podge that much, and I really underestimated how much it would take, and also how fast it dries. I kept having to add more and more.
It ended up taking the entire bottle.
Add your artwork and place it exactly where you marked your lines.
You’ll notice some bubbles and wrinkles in it, but those are easy to work out. Just start from the middle and smooth, smooth, smooth. They’ll work out pretty quickly.
I did not add another layer of Mod Podge on top because I was pretty happy with it as is, but I guess you could if you wanted to.
Here’s where we add the backing, which really kicks this up a notch. It’s so easy you won’t believe it.
The secret is- Velcro. Velcro is what holds the larger craft board to the smaller one, and also gives it dimension.
Here’s what you do. Just cut the Velcro to size, stick the pieces together (both the hook and the loop), then peel the backing off of both sides.
Then, attach the Velcro to the smaller of the craft boards at the top and the bottom of the board, the one that now has the artwork on it. Determine where you want your placement on the larger craft board to be. Once you figure that out, place the smaller craft board on the larger craft board- and place firmly!
You now have an original way to display your artwork that is much more affordable than custom framing!
It would be super easy to attach picture hangers on these if you wanted to hang these as well, but I really love this look for art ledges.