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DIY: Large Framed Art, the Affordable Way

Updated: Jan 17

Anyone else feel like nice-looking large framed art is ridiculously expensive? We had been wanting something nice to hang above our fireplace but didn’t want to break the bank.

I finally found the perfect frame (which was FREE from my local Buy Nothing group), but I wasn’t sure what to put in it…. Until I got an idea from an IG post I saw by @angelarosehome. She actually used a paper print (ordered online) inside a DIY frame. Let me tell you about my spin off and how you can do this for your home too!


  1. Frame

  2. Artwork/print/photo

  3. Plywood cut to match your artwork

  4. Double sided tape

  5. Picture hanging hardware

  6. Optional: duct tape

8 easy steps:

1. Find a frame and get thrifty!! Watch for sales and check out your nearby thrift/antique stores. Or, see if a family member has an old frame collecting dust in their basement (maybe all it needs a little paint job!). I got mine for free from my neighborhood Buy Nothing group. Don’t forget to measure if you already have a space and/or picture in mind.

*Personal preference here.* I love a frame without a glass front. That way, you don't have a distracting reflection for something that is taking up so much wall space. And I like how it gives the art more of a matte look. Since we hung ours above the fireplace, you really can't tell that we framed a paper print.

2. Pick out the piece of art/picture/print you want to frame. I purchased this print from when they were running a 40% off sale.

3. Cut a thin piece of plywood to match the size of your print and frame. You might be able to get away with a piece of cardboard to save a few extra dollars. But the plywood will be more sturdy.

4. If your print was rolled up like mine was, lay it out flat for a few hours. I laid the plywood on top to keep it nice and flat overnight.

5. Cover one side of the plywood with double sided tape. The more the better. Make sure to get those edges!

6. Tape your print to the plywood. Start in the center and flatten out towards the edges.

7. Fit your plywood/print combo inside your frame. How you keep it inside the frame will be dependent on the type of frame you have. Ours had a cut out that fit our plywood perfectly. We just used duct tape to keep it in place. Yes, duct tape. We didn’t want to do anything more permanent in case we ever want to switch out the print down the road.

8. Attach the picture hanging hardware/wiring and hang it up. Step back and enjoy your handiwork!

The total cost for us was about $75. Here’s the breakdown:

$55 print (amount reflects 40% off sale price and includes $7 shipping cost)

$5 double sided tape

$12 plywood

$0 frame

Want a quick visual demo for the framing process? Check out my latest reel.

And if you’re looking for a print to frame, head to Collection Prints! They have lots of options to explore. At the time of this post, they are running a BOGO sale.

Note: if you make a purchase following any link in this post, I will receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

I’d love to see your final results. Tag @functionalforyou and show me your framed art!

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