DIY Large Lucite Wall Art Frame

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.

DIY lucite frame

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.

DIY engineer print wall frame
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!

DIY Lucite Frame

Little Green Notebook | DIY Lucite Frame

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.

 

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.


inexpensive acrylic frame diy

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.

make your own acrylic poster frame

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.

diy acrylic art frame how to hang engineer print

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.


acrylic lucite wall frame diy

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.

DIY lucite frame

And just like that, I was done! One hour and $90 later, my once flimsy palmetto tree art is now gallery worthy.

DIY floating acrylic frame

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 it yourself acrylic lucite frame

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!

inexpensive large statement wall art

This project is Tilly approved :)

Favorite Books of Summer

This summer I put the Reid in Reading. Two weeks at the beach combined with lots of traveling meant I had plenty of downtime. And when I noticed my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge (25 books this year) progress was falling behind schedule, I had to pick up the pace this summer.

As a traditional book reader, usually I prefer to buy the physical book so I can build my home library. However this summer everything changed when I discovered the DC Public Library not only checks out typical hardcover books, but also eBook versions for your Kindle. No stop at the library required. Life changer for this book-worm. Within a week, I had read 6 books.

Here is a list of my Favorite Books of the Summer:


 

To see what I thought of each book (some were much better than others,) check out my reviews on Goodreads.com.

For Fall I am eager to start reading All the Light We Cannot See and The Shadow of the Wind, which my neighbors said was the best book they’ve read yet. To see my full book wish list, check out my To-Read list on Goodreads. What are your book recommendations for me to read this fall?

Top photo of books by Brittany Stevens on Flickr

The Bushwick Collective Mural Photography

Taking Photos at the Colorful The Bushwick Collective Murals

murals brooklyn While discussing plans for my trip to visit my college friend in Brooklyn, my mind automatically went to my fancy Canon Rebel! Keri is a photography whiz and me, well let’s just say I’m still a work in progress. Auto is my friend. I begged Keri for a camera lesson and she did me even better!

Photos of Bushwick Brooklyn Murals

She took me to The Bushwick Collective, a neighborhood full of beautiful and giant murals covering warehouse buildings. They were all done by different artists, so there was new art and style greeting you around every corner.

Photos of Bushwick Brooklyn Murals

To start off our mural hunting/photography taking day properly, our first visit was to The Rookery, a small but hip bar with a great patio out front. It took me back to the artsy outdoor patio bars I visited in Seattle. After a quick stop at The Rookery, we hit the pavement, cameras in hand.

Continue reading

A Weekend in Brooklyn, New York

Washington, DC is in the perfect location. I am in the middle of it all. I am always just hours from the beach, friends down south, and my beloved New York City. My college friend, Keri, lives in Brooklyn, New York with her new dog, Ernie. So when I was granted a Summer Friday, I booked a bus ticket on the spot.

Reidmore Blog by Morgan Reid

Thursday after work I headed to Union Station and boarded the Megabus from hell. The full bus was running behind schedule and an hour outside of Manhattan in New Jersey, we pull over for the third stop to change drivers. As we are getting back on the road, I hear muffled shouts below. There was a fire downstairs and us on the upper level were pushed and shoved, forced to jump out of the very high Emergency Exit windows. It was terrifying. I was shaking. We were forced to wait for a new bus out in the middle of nowhere in the dark. Three hours later, I finally got to Keri’s apartment in Crown Heights.

Megabus DC to NYC

After a good night’s sleep, we ventured out. On Friday we had a biscuits and iced coffee at Lazy Ibis then visited The Bushwick Collective Murals (separate post to come.)

On Saturday we met Keri’s former interns at Essex in the Lower East Side for a bubbly brunch. After filling up we walked around town, stopping in little shops and dodging tourists. (Yes, how hypocritical of me to judge tourists in New York when I technically was one! At least I wasn’t the sidewalk blocking and fanny pack wearing sort.) We walked down through Chinatown, over the Manhattan Bridge, and back to Brooklyn.

Manhattan Bridge VIew

 

My final day in town, we headed to breakfast at a diner and relaxed at home. I may or may not have gotten Keri hooked on Real Housewives. Whoops. We also took Ernie up to the roof and out to the front stoop for a decent people watching session. Continue reading

Underwater Poolside GoPro Photo Shoots

As part of our Iceland trip preparations, Sam and I recently purchased a GoPro camera. We are GoPro photography newbies, so we decided to test out the camera while vacationing in the Outer Banks with family this summer.  This was the perfect opportunity to figure out how the camera operated and learn about the underwater capabilities.

Devan beachside in Corolla

Devan beachside in Corolla, NC

We tossed the GoPro into the swimming pool and spent hours taking photos and videos. As you would imagine, the results were for the most part shaky and not worth keeping. But I dug out a few gems. Quite hilarious photos of Tilly dog paddling (and hating it), sisters posing underwater, and Dad floating by calmly.

Lesson learned: make smoother and steadier motions, expect a wide angle shot with a bit of a fisheye effect, and take videos then grab image screenshots.

Here are a few of my favorite underwater GoPro photos taken in the pool:

Next time we use the GoPro will be in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, so expect pictures of me, covered in the white algae face mask soon, floating around the spa soon! If you have any tips or advice for improving GoPro photos, please share!