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How to Make a DIY Floating Frame

An Old Frame becomes a Modern DIY Floating Frame- Farmhouse Hens Blog Hop

The older a person gets the more they realize that home decor has very few new ideas. Most new decor takes a vintage idea and adds a new modern twist to it, crown mouldings are a great example. Thank goodness for that, because it gives us creatives an inexpensive way to update our homes.

My personal taste has nothing to do with the 70’s or 80 revivals, been there done that, i.e. shag carpet, mirrored tiles, carpet on the walls, were ugly and hard to keep clean the first time. But the revival of the vintage styles of the 40’s and 50’s really appeals to me. So when the Farmhouse Hen’s decided to do a post on frames I knew exactly the frame I wanted to make.

A large DIY floating frame in gold.Old frames in need of cleaning, with dull gold patina. DIY floating frame, floating frame, frame ideas, floating picture frame diy, diy picture frame

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Each month I collaborate with four of my favorite bloggers on a monthly theme.  We call ourselves the Farmhouse Hens and you can find their gorgeous posts about frames at the end of my post.

Floating Frame Supplies List

This frame is inexpensive to put together and I am hopeful that you already have all the supplies you need on hand.  If you don’t already have an unused frame, garage sale season is starting and I would wait and find a matched pair of old frames.  I saw 8 by 10 floating frames at the discount store for $20 so make sure your old frames are cheap.

A used frame

2 pieces of identical sized glass to fit in the frame

Artwork

A picture hanger for the back of the frame

Dish soap

toothbrush and toothpicks

Metallic gold paint (optional)

These 11 by 14-inch frames are the first thing I ever bought at an auction and have been filed away in the storage room for quite awhile. Hubs and I decided to do an auction at the last minute, and viewing was the day before so I bought these frames from about 40 feet away.

Old frames in need of cleaning, with dull gold patina. DIY floating frame, floating frame, frame ideas, floating picture frame diy, diy picture frame

The frames came in a pair and I paid $15 for both of them, and they are gorgeous frames, but I purchased a dilemma because the original prints are high quality. I spent a couple of hours researching the prints, learning they were from the 1940’s and obviously taken near Banff, Alta. I have held on to them for awhile not hanging them,  finally deciding to try and donate the pictures in Banff and use one of the frames for this project.

Dismantling the Old Frame

I started by carefully taking the frame apart and keeping the nails and discarding the cardboard and wire for hanging.
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The back of an old frame prior to being made over

This frame was some kind of seriously dirty, all those years of hanging in cigarette smoke-filled rooms.  Check out the lovely light grey ick all along the frame.
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A very dirty old frame, encrusted with years of built up dirt. Old frames in need of cleaning, with dull gold patina. DIY floating frame, floating frame, frame ideas, floating picture frame diy, diy picture frame

The next step is to clean the frame carefully.

Clean the glass in a sink of hot soapy water. I am not convinced that the glue in the corners of the frame would survive being soaked in water, instead use a toothbrush, toothpicks and half an hour of your time to scrub it clean.

Cleaning the pretty moulding on an old frame with a toothbrush and dish soap. Old frames in need of cleaning, with dull gold patina. DIY floating frame, floating frame, frame ideas, floating picture frame diy, diy picture frame

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Using dish soap and hot water scrub the crevices of the frame with a toothbrush. Once most of the frame is clean, try to scrub out any tiny crevices with the end of a toothpick. Then rinse your frame under the tap to dislodge any debris.

My first plan was to spray paint the DIY frame with metallic gold paint, but once the old frame was clean it was gorgeous as is. For this particular old frame I skipped painting it, but if your frame doesn’t look nice, spray paint it with shiny metallic gold spray paint.
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Old frame that has been cleaned and made into a DIY floating frame.

Creating the DIY Floating Frame

Save yourself some stress and don’t do like I did. Before you put the glass back in your frame, attach the picture hanger to the back of the frame. It wasn’t fun doing it oh so freaking carefully at the end. I would have literally cried had I cracked the glass.

Next place whatever photo or printable you like on top of the first plate of glass, sandwich the photo with the second piece of glass.

Using narrow transparent tape seal the very edge of the glass on all four sides. Cut the corners of the tape to keep it neat.

Place the glass into the frame.

If, your frame allows you, use the original nails to secure the glass in place. My frame had the holes visible at the second piece of glass was thinner than the original wood backing. Unfortunately, the little nails were too difficult to push back into place in the frame, and I was too chicken to try it with a hammer.

The solution is good old trusty hot glue. Run a seal of hot glue all around the edge of your frame making sure the glue stays within the frame track, so it won’t show from the front. As always, be cautious with hot glue, the stuff burns. The good thing about using the hot glue is that it holds the glass nicely, but you can pull it out once cool if needed.

Hot glue to fill the back of n old frame as part of a diy floating frame project. Old frames in need of cleaning, with dull gold patina. DIY floating frame, floating frame, frame ideas, floating picture frame diy, diy picture frame

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A large metallic gold floating frame idea. Old frames in need of cleaning, with dull gold patina. DIY floating frame, floating frame, frame ideas, floating picture frame diy, diy picture frame

I absolutely love the gold patina on this old frame, it is so much richer and deeper than the tin looking new ones.  So worth the half hour it took to refurbish it.  Enjoy the other Farmhouse Hen’s posts.

Farmhouse Hen’s Thrift Store Upcycles

Enjoy!  I am sure there will be several posts here to inspire you to make something beautiful and one of a kind.

Farmhouse Hens Decorate, DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments, DIY Ornaments, homemade ornaments easy to make Christmas decorations, farmhouse Christmas decorating ideas


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Easy DIY Chunky Wood Frame

Stephanie at Abbotts at Home!  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter


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Farmhouse Picture Frame – Easy Wood Working DIY Using Barnwood

Tarah at Grandma’s House DIY!   Blog  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter


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DIY Farmhouse Tissue Paper Frame

Sam at Raggedy Bits!  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter


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How to Make a DIY Floral Photo Hoop

Michelle at Our Crafty Mom! Blog  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter


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Ideas for Upcycling Old Picture Frames

Denise at My Thrifty House!  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Twitter


 

A collage of an old vintage frame being made into a DIY floating frame.

12 thoughts on “How to Make a DIY Floating Frame

    1. Hi Sam. You know me, the more bling the better. I am so proud of all the Farmhouse Hen posts.

  1. Wow!! I am always so inspired after seeing what you create. This is just gorgeous! I love the gold patina and the quote you added is perfect. I would love to put something like this over my daughter’s vanity. So lovely!!

    1. Hi Michelle. That saying is so very true, I put it in my bathroom where I get ready for the day. That old frame was such a find and I was really surprised with how nicely the gold tone turned out.

  2. That frame is absolutely gorgeous Leanna. They just don’t make them like that anymore. Love the idea of turning it into a floating frame, that way you get to appreciate both the frame and what’s being framed so much more

    1. Thank you Michelle. Its true about the older vintage stuff, the tone of this gold frame is so much nicer than the purchased new ones. Thank you for letting me know.

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