This spring when I moved into the new town house, there was a TON of empty wall space compared to my tiny little city studio. As a quick fix, I printed off a 3′ x 4′ engineer print of a black and white palmetto tree (taken in Columbia, South Carolina) poster for $7 at Staples. It was very inexpensive as far as wall art goes, while still making a big impact.
However the print was just thumbtacked up to the wall and looked like a flimsy dorm room poster. I headed to Michael’s during a big framing sale, where they told me the cheapest and simplest 3′ x 4′ frame would set me back over $500!!! After I picked my jaw off the floor, I headed home to research cheaper options.
You better believe I jumping for joy when I discovered this DIY solution. How cool does the clear acrylic frame look holding up the colorful art, surrounded by industrial brass bolts? Upon reading Little Green Notebook’s helpful tutorial, I noticed she was inspired by Honey & Fitz’s custom lucite vintage scarf framing project.
I studied up on both set of detailed DIY framing instructions. Honey & Fitz took a slightly different approach and also provided a very handy breakdown of all the hardware and materials needed.
Then like it was fate, a few weeks ago while scrolling through my favorite home decor blogs, this colorful DIY Lucite Frame project on Little Green Notebook caught my eye. The lucite frame DIY could be tailored to any size wall art, and best of all, it was relatively cheap!
How I Built My Custom DIY Lucite Wall Art Frame*:
(*and you can too!)
During my preparation I compared all of the plastic sheet options sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s. Apparently Lowe’s offers free in-store acrylic sheet cutting (meaning you’d buy a bigger size, then cut it down,) but I noticed Home Depot had an acrylic sheet the exact size I would need that would cost less in the end. My advice to anyone repeating this DIY frame is to find the store that sells the clear plexiglass sheets in the size you need, or closest to it.
At Home Depot I ended up with 2 gigantic 36″x 48″ .093 in plexiglass sheets. In the large size I needed, my options in store were slim. But luckily the plexiglass was a good weight, not too heavy and not too flimsy. It was however, quite a comical pain in the butt to maneuver these two massive sheets around the store by myself. My second piece of advice: bring someone with you to help you move these around!
Stop two was at Ace Hardware, where they have a much wider selection of individual bolts, screws, and nuts so I wouldn’t have to buy big boxes of each. The folks at Ace were EXTREMELY helpful and patient with this home improvement newbie. They helped me find matching brass bolts, hex nuts, and screws in a good size. I also picked up a giant nail to pierce the lucite sheets with. In the end I had to downsize to a slightly smaller set of fasteners than Honey & Fitz did, just based off what was all in store, but it was barely noticeable.
Back at home I measured out the spacing and marked where my 12 bolts would go on the protective cling. I then taped the 2 sheets together to keep them lined up.
The next step was to heat up the giant nail on the stove top for 5 minutes. Carefully, I pierced the 2 sheets of plastic large enough to make room for the screws.
With the 12 holes completed, I then placed the engineer print in the middle of the sheets, and spaced it out just right. Finally I put in the screws, washers, and bolts. Because the plastic holes had cooled, it was pretty easy to twist them into place.
To hang the heavy frame, I purchased standard picture hanging wire at Ace. Before I screwed the bolts onto the side top 2 screws, I twisted and looped the wire around the screw. Then I was able to tightly put on the bolt, making sure the wire didn’t cause the lucite sheets to bow.
And just like that, I was done! One hour and $90 later, my once flimsy palmetto tree art is now gallery worthy.
I love the industrial brass bolts and the clear lucite. It floats nicely on the wall and doesn’t distract from the detailed art.
Do not be intimidated by the literally giant size of this project! It was honestly pretty quick and simple to complete, and I’m still new to this DIY stuff. For under $100, I am in love with the high impact of this simple DIY wall art framing project. Quick, cheap, and high impact really are the golden trifecta for DIY wall art projects, and this one hits all three!
This project is Tilly approved