diy large art frame

As most of you know, I am very resourceful but every now and then you have to splurge.  This is a DIY “splurge” (if you will) and my most favorite spot to display my boys’ artwork.

DIY Large Art Frame;

I love my boys’ creativity. Their pieces of art. I love the excitement on their beautiful faces when they’re showing me what they made.

I love displaying their artwork, but I don’t love chaos and pictures taped to the walls and plastering the refrigerator. So I had to come up with something classy, something easy to change out pieces of artwork on, something the boys would feel special to have their art displayed on, and have it somewhere on the main level of our home (which has limited wall space other than really long walls).

One day while shopping in IKEA, I found something interesting… curtain wire with coordinating small metal clips. I immediately started brainstorming. What could I do with this set? It seemed like such a good creative DIY tool and this could be great to show off the boys’ art. But… I didn’t want it attached to my wall and I didn’t want just a single row of artwork. And then the idea hit me that I could use this in a frame!


What you’ll need:

A large open-back picture frame (I got my 30”x40” frame at Hobby Lobby. It was originally $89.99, but I NEVER buy at regular price! Frames typically go on sale for 50% every 2-3 weeks at Hobby Lobby or you can visit their website and print out a 40% coupon.)

  • IKEA DEKA Curtain Wire and Clips $6.99  (I couldn’t find this at IKEA this weekend. However the DIGNITET wire for $12.99 and the RIKTIG clips for $2.99 are the same.)
  • Wire cuttersLarge Art Frame clip;
  • Eyelet screws –  about ¼” or big enough to do 2 passes of the wire
  • Drill
  • Narrow staples – about ¼” wide
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Hammer (light-duty preferred)
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Picture frame hangers of your choice


Let’s get creating…

I have to be honest, my wonderful hubby did this DIY project for me under my “advising”. Some of the frames may be difficult to screw/staple into so you may want to have another set of hands to help you.

  • Decide on spacing of wires. Remember that the clips will hang down. I wanted a couple inches between the frame and the top wire, but forgot about the space between the wire and the clip. My suggestion: do only about an inch between the frame and top wire.
  • Mark for placement of the eyelet screws. Hubby pre-drilled them to make it less likely to split the wood of the frame and to ensure the screws go in straight.
  • Screw in eyelet screws.
  • Route the wire and pull it reasonably tight.
    Large Art Frame wire routing with arrows;
  • After all wire is routed, crease the corners. Using pliers to crease the corners, will loosen the wire and give additional length. So, work from the middle of the wire to each end or from one end of the wire to the other. In other words, crease one corner, then pull the wire tight before creasing another corner.
    Large Art Frame wire routing;
  • Secure wire to edge of frame. The main reasoning for this step is to hide the vertical wires. Otherwise, it was visible from the front of the frame. Secondly, it helps hold the wire in place (although the friction of running 2 wires thru one eyelet should be enough to hold it securely). Then nail in the small staples. Start the staple into the frame with the light-duty hammer. (It may be necessary to start the staple into the frame by holding it with needle-nose pliers.) Finish driving the staple by placing a flat-head screwdriver on top of the staple and striking the top of the screwdriver with the hammer. (Hubby used this technique to avoid striking the frame with the hammer. See picture.)
    Large Art Frame -- Brad's staple hammering technique;
  • Attach picture hangers. Most large frames will need picture hangers added to them. (We used 2 saw-tooth hangers.) Start by finding the studs in the wall. Decide where on the wall you are going to hang your frame. Mark the studs accordingly on the frame. (This will hold the frame securely on the wall. We don’t want the weight of the frame to tear the drywall.) Attach hangers according to directions on back of package.
  • Now comes the fun part… DECORATE! Let your little ones help you! Pick out their favorite pieces of art and have fun making a beautiful artwork wall collage!
    Large Art Frame decorated

I hope you love you and your little ones love your new art display!

Happy crafting!



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