DIY Custom Magnetic Art Frame

Custom framing can be expensive. And let's be honest, not everyone wants to spend their hard earned cash on framing something when they could spend it on a million other things (coffee, food, more food). That's where I, Home Depot/Harbor Freight, and this blog post come in handy. Let's get you started on making that Custom Magnetic Art Frame.

This frame is more-so for artwork that is only on paper (i.e. prints, watercolors, etc.). However, depending on the strength of the magnets you buy, you can easily hang canvas/cloth/anything you want on it as well.  It's super simple to make, does not require a lot of tools, and can take you less than 30 minutes to make (plus optional paint drying time, depending on your preference). What's great about this particular frame is that it allows you to easily change the artwork in seconds, and you can make it according to the size of any artwork you want mounted. Don't want that bird painting in the frame anymore? No problem. Pop the magnets off and put in that new botanical print you've been dying to hang up.

I've got two options for you; Option 1 is with no painted design, Option 2 is with a painted design. Both are simple. Let's do this!

 Option 1

Option 1

 Option 2

Option 2

Option 1 | 

Materials Needed:

  • One (1) piece of 1/4" thick plywood - 16" x 25"
  • Four (4) 5/8" Machine Bolts & corresponding nuts
  • Four (4) magnets
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Sanding Block
  • Twine/String 
  • Sharpie/Marker
  • Measuring Tape

For Option 2:

  • colored paint 
  • painter's tape
  • paint sponge

Step 1: Sand All Edges of Plywood

Edges of plywood can be the ultimate source for splinters when freshly cut, so be sure to sand those edges down to protect your fingers from pain and suffering. If you decide you want to paint a design on the plywood to be visible behind the artwork, scroll down further for a quick how-to!

Step 2: Measure Holes for Drilling

Measure 3" in from the edge of the plywood on each side and mark the four corners with a Sharpie for drilling. You can adjust how far in you want the artwork to sit on the frame depending on size.

Step 3:  Drill Holes, Insert Bolts

Drill holes where you marked using a 5/32" drill bit (slightly bigger than the size of the 5/8" bolt), then insert the bolts in each of the four spots. You may need pliers here to get the bolt head flush with the plywood. Flip the frame over and screw on the nuts but do not make them flush with the wood just yet, we need a little space there for the twine/string.

 use pliers to make the bolt head flush with plywood

use pliers to make the bolt head flush with plywood

 thread the nut flush with the front of the frame (the magnet will attach to this side)

thread the nut flush with the front of the frame (the magnet will attach to this side)

 threaded nut on backside of frame

threaded nut on backside of frame

Step 4: Attach Twine/String

Take about 16-18" of twine or string and tie each end between the nut and back of the plywood then secure in place. Finish screwing the nut as close to the plywood as possible, use pliers if needed.

 backside of the frame where twine attaches

backside of the frame where twine attaches

Step 5: Mount Artwork

Place the artwork evenly on top of the bolts, and secure in place with the magnets. You can choose to paint the magnets as well to add a pop of color!

mounted2.jpg

That's it! Wasn't that easy?

If you want to create a custom painted design on the plywood to be visible behind your artwork, continue reading below.

Option 2 | Painted Design How-To

Okay, so like I said, Option 2 is simply the same as Option 1, but with a painted design. So after you are done sanding the edges of the plywood and insert the bolts, wipe it off, and tape off a design you want to paint with painter's tape. It can be anything you want, I just did two diagonal stripes in this case using basic Valspar interior house paint. Let the paint dry, then pull off the painter's tape and you're all set to move on to the next steps!

paint2.jpg

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me and get in touch!

 

All images taken by Shalene Chavez. Frame design is original to ShaleneLorraine, please do not duplicate or share without crediting ShaleneLorraine.

Beginner Weaving: 8 Tips to Get You Started

Before I began my weaving journey I felt pretty clueless. I browsed through Pinterest swooning over beautiful tapestries created by talented artists wondering if I could ever achieve something so complex. When I decided I wanted to try my hand at weaving, I had no idea where to start. My Google searches only turned up hair weaving tutorials and the little information I did find on actual tapestry weaving was very brief .

It wasn't until I dug more into the internet and found out more information from my Instagram friends and random blogs that I began to learn the tricks of the trade. And of course, my Maryanne Moodie weaving classes left me with a head full of knowledge that I use every time I weave now. Thanks, Maryanne! 

However, I wish that before I even warped my first loom I had a "beginner's tips" guide or blog post that I could have read through quickly to know how to get started. So this is my rendition of that guide. I don't claim to be an expert, but this is something that I would have wanted to know, personally, when I first started out. I am not a seasoned weaver by any means, and have a huge amount I still need to learn, but figured this would be nice for any beginners out there who might be intimidated by the thought of weaving. So here it goes!


1) Start Small

The first loom I ever purchased was a used Lap Loom off of Craigslist. It still had some yarn left in it from the initial kit, all of the tools and the instructions were even with it! Try not to go for the big looms when first starting out. I suggest sticking with small lap looms to start or even make your own! I have a blog post on how to make your own tapestry loom, and it's meant for a larger scale, but you can make smaller ones just as easily. There are so many talented people out there who make their own looms, so try to buy from them and support small businesses! Etsy is a given...and here are just a couple of options that are affordable:

  • Board & Bread - I recently purchased this loom from Emily and couldn't be happier with it. It's such a great size, especially if you travel and want to bring your weaving with you! 
  • Loom and Spindle - based out of Australia, there are a variety of looms available in her shop and they come with awesome bright pink tools to boot! 
  • Harrisville Designs Lap Loom - I have a used version of this, but it got me started and is a really great loom to work on! 
  • Make your own! You can easily make a small loom using canvas stretcher bars and finishing nails as I mentioned above.

2) Get Some Tools 

Below is a list of some standard tools to get you started on your weaving. If you bought a loom kit that came with tools, that's great! If not, here are some basic ones to get you going. Several of these were part of a kit I got at Maryanne Moodie's weaving workshops, but you can get any of these in a craft store and/or online! And you won't necessarily need all of these, depending on your personal preference/style.

  1. Weaving Sword- this is simply a piece of wood, plastic, etc. that is similar in shape to a standard ruler that you weave through your warp in order to allow your yarn to pass through freely.
  2. Sewing Needle- you can use a simple sewing needle with a large eye to weave your yarn through your warp.
  3. Small Crochet Hook - this has become an integral tool during my weaving process and I'm absolutely in love with it. 
  4. Scissors - self explanatory 
  5. Weaving Comb/Fork - pictured below are, yes, an actual fork for eating, and a comb that is meant specifically for weaving. Before I decided to buy an actual comb I used a kitchen fork and it works perfectly! 
  6. Shuttle - wrap your yarn around this in order to speed up your weaving process!
  7. Warp String - a thin string used to "warp" your loom. I'll explain what a warp is below! 

3) Terminology 

To be honest, I'm still learning the correct terminology used in weaving, but below are some basics that are useful to know.

  • Warp - this is created by the string you use to make the vertical lines in your piece. Basically, the "bones" of your soon-to-be weaving.
  • Weft - this is what is created when you weave horizontally through the warp.
  Credit:  Wikipedia

Credit: Wikipedia

  • Tension - this refers to the tightness of your warp on the loom.
  • I am going to create another blog post with a "how-to" cheat sheet for common weaving techniques, stay tuned!

4) Stay Inspired

We all know weaving is nothing new to the world. It's been around for centuries and lately has been trending as the new cool thing to do. And can you blame it? It's an intricate, meditative art form that is translated all over the world with gorgeous rugs, tapestries, clothes, you name it. So what better way to make yourself a knowledgeable weaver than to take that inspiration and run with it? Nowadays there are so many extremely talented textile artists who are really reinventing the way weaving is done. Below are some of my favorites. I could make an extremely long list, but will try to keep it short. :)

  • Maryanne Moodie - One of the main reasons I started weaving was because I saw a piece Maryanne had made on Pinterest and was immediately hooked. I had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful woman and learned a great deal from her. If you ever have the chance, take her weaving classes. 
  • Warped Threads - Two absolutely lovely women residing in Australia creating gorgeous weavings full of texture and delight. Your eyes will thank you once you see their work.
  • All Roads - Unique pieces created by Janelle Pietrzak that really push the envelope and take risks. Her eclectic style and non-traditional materials work to create eye-catching wall hangings.
  • Meghan Shimek - Holy amazing texture. Her pieces are like fluffy clouds that you want to sleep on. You need to check out her work. She's even created a Beginner Frame Loom that has a rotating heddle! (You'll see what I mean when you click that link)
  • Himo Art - May Sterchi is the creator of these mind-blowing macrame pieces. I have no idea how she does it, but it's incredible.
  • Rachel Hine - this woman creates tapestries that I couldn't even draw. Her attention to detail and illustrative style are truly impressive.
  • Mimi Jung - her minimalist pieces pack a punch. And she works in such a large scale for some of her work that I can't even fathom. Can you say #inspiration?
  • Ranran Design - another macrame artist who was a huge inspiration when I first started out. Bethlehem's beautiful bright colors and mass amounts of texture will make you swoon.

Like I said, there are so many artists out there who make fantastic work, and the ones I have listed above are just a few that I follow and take inspiration from. But do yourself a favor and explore the social media world, browse Pinterest, and don't limit yourself to only textile artists. I find images every day that I am inspired by that have nothing to do with weaving, but they make me think of my next piece or the colors I want to use, or the movement I want to create. Inspiration can be found everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open and be ready to take it all in.

5) Sketch

I like to keep a sketchbook on me as often as I can because I have ideas come to me at the most random times. The other day I was at work and had an idea in my head that I had to get down on paper before I forgot. Try to keep a notebook or some paper handy for when your mind is going a mile-a-minute and your ideas need a physical place to live.

  a recent idea I had that I plan on bringing to life...

a recent idea I had that I plan on bringing to life...

6) Ask Questions

Don't be afraid to reach out to the artists who have inspired you. Send an email or a comment on Instagram if you have questions. The weaving community is a beautiful one, and we all like to help each other whenever possible, so just go for it. 

7) Connect 

Instagram has been my main source of inspiration and connection to the weaving world. I have virtually "met" so many talented artists through this social media connection and am beyond grateful for it. It's a huge platform for finding out when someone will be teaching an upcoming workshop, has a sale on their looms, new yarn kits available, literally, everything! Lately I've been seeing people post weaving meet-ups just to grab coffee at a local shop, weave, and hang out for a couple hours. How cool is that? Stay connected and you will be surprised at the amount of people who share the same passion as you, and you'll even make some friends. It's truly a beautiful thing.

8) Take Classes!

As you saw me gush earlier about Maryanne Moodie's weaving classes, you'll see that many textile artists have beginner weaving workshops. And from these workshops/classes you can usually get a loom/starter kit for weaving so you're ready to go! To my point above about "connecting", people post upcoming workshops and classes that could potentially be held in a city near you, so why not take advantage of that, meet some cool people, and learn? You'll not only take away knowledge that will make you a better artist, but you will network and connect with people that can lead to great opportunities! 


Like I said before, I'm not an expert, and I am still learning each day as I go. But when I first began weaving I wanted some tips to get me started.  If you are just trying weaving for the first time or know someone who is, I truly hope this is helpful. And please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to help. :) 

Make Your Own Tapestry Loom... for Under $20!

When I first started weaving I was browsing the internet for an affordable loom to buy. After about a day of looking I realized I wasn't going to find one under $75, which is out of my price range, unfortunately. I ended up finding some DIY looms, but most of them still cost close to $50 to make, so I decided to figure it out myself. I remembered an article I read about New Friends, and saw in some of their pictures that they used canvas stretcher bars for their looms. I figured if it works for them, it will work for me! And I already had spare stretcher bars, so I was halfway there.

If you are new to weaving or are a seasoned weaver and just want to have your own custom loom that's quick and easy to make, this project is for you. And the supplies will cost under $20 in the end! That is, assuming you have the necessary tools to begin with. :)

What you'll need:

  • Four canvas stretcher bars- you can get these at any art store, I bought mine at Blick Art Supplies and it came to about $12 for four bars. The price will vary on which bars you choose. I went with bars to make a 22"x34" loom.
  • Finishing Nails- I could only find ones that were 1.5" in length because there weren't any shorter ones, but I wouldn't go any shorter than 1". You can find these at any hardware store for under $2.
  • Drill-a small hand drill with a 5/64in drill bit will work just fine
  • Tape Measure
  • Hammer
  • Marker/Pen
  • Four wood screws -or- a staple gun (I recommend staple gun)
  • A companion or two

Now you're ready to make your loom!

Step 1: Frame It Out

The nice thing about using canvas stretcher bars is that they're made to fit right into one another, so go ahead and put those bad boys together.

Step 2: Secure the Corners

This is where a staple gun comes in handy. I made this frame a long time ago before knowing I was going to use it for a loom (it was fate, I know) so I used wood screws to hold the corners in place. They worked just fine, but I used a staple gun on a larger loom I made a few months ago and it's much easier and more efficient. If you're using a staple gun, just shoot a couple of them over the gap to connect the two pieces.

Step 3: Measure

I measured 2" in from the sides of each of the shorter bars and 1" in from the top just to avoid any collision with the gap where the bars meet. Once you have those set and marked up, just measure and mark every 1/2" along the bar until you have enough to span the width of the loom. 

Step 4: Make Pilot Holes

This step is very important. I know from experience that if you skip this step, the wood will split and the nails won't be secure. Take your drill with the 5/64in drill bit and make small pilot holes at each of the spots you have marked. This is a tedious step but well worth it! Be sure not to drill too far in or your nails won't set correctly.

Step 5: Nails Nails Nails

You're almost there! The final step....pound those nails in. After setting the pilot holes, you're ready to get the nails in there. They aren't going to be perfectly straight, so don't worry about that. All that matters is that you get them in their spots securely without splitting the wood. This is where having a companion or two helps. Since you're spending this time making something for yourself that you will clearly cherish forever, why not have someone to help you pass the time? In my case, it was my boyfriend and my cat Floyd.

Step 6: Relax!

You've done a lot of work getting this loom together. Now it's time to bask in your own glory. Go on with your bad self! You just saved a good chunk of change and you're going to weave on a loom you made all on your own. Well done! 

If you have any questions regarding this process, feel free to send me a message on my Contact page!