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DIY Vintage Style Frame

DIY Projects Dec 20, 2013

Recently my friend Luke Casey (the man behind my recent videos) gave me a print from his Ports & Portholes photography exhibition of amazing photos taken while he was travelling on a ship for 3 months. Immediately I was on the lookout for a way to show it off that was a tad more interesting than my usual IKEA frame option. I decided to do this little DIY inspired by vintage map frames, you know, the roll up ones in most primary school classrooms that had old, yellowed world maps in them.

This little project is a very quick and simple one that, incidentally, makes the perfect gift for last minute givers (just leave enough time for the paint to dry!). Once I made the one to go with Luke’s print I set about making others for the rest of my little art pieces, including a few of Jasmine‘s quotes from our upcoming Do What You Love series. I couldn’t wait!

FYI, I actually did two versions of this frame. For the first version (Luke’s picture) I glued magnets to the back of the wooden pieces to secure the picture in place without ruining the art. You can also just glue or tape, as I did in the second version which is illustrated below. Admittedly the tape is easier, and works well if your art is a print out or something from a magazine (ie not limited edition), but if you want to avoid any glue or tape marks on your print, the magnets are a good option, just make sure they’re strong.

You need:

  • A picture to frame
  • Two pieces of wood cut to size ( mine was 2.5cm /1in thick)
  • tape (or magnets)
  • Paint and a paintbrush
  • String or twine.

How to:

1. Put some paint on a piece of paper.

2. Paint your wood and let dry.

3. Secure the picture to the back of the frame with tape, making sure the picture is nice and straight. And then secure the twine to the back of the frame, using either tape or thumb tacks.


Such a simple holiday gift, although I think I’m going to keep the one below for myself – thanks Jasmine! You can still get your hands on her prints here and here.

If you get the chance and are in Hong Kong, make sure you pop down to Time and Space Gallery and check out Luke’s Portholes & Ports exhibition, you can also buy the prints online


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