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.

Art Studio-ShaleneLorraine

I've been wanting an art studio for the longest time. Weaving on my bed in my room just wasn't cutting it and I needed space to branch out and experiment in new mediums. I had looked on Craigslist for studio spaces for rent and didn't find anything for months, so I gave up and figured I'd find the right place when it came along. One day I decided I'd just look on Craigslist again in the off-chance something was available. That was the day I found my new studio space. 

  with my niece and nephew

with my niece and nephew

The next day was an Art Walk, which happens the first Friday of each month; an event that opens the galleries and shops in town exhibiting the work of artists, musicians, and the like. It's great exposure to the public and a nice way to bring the community together. Having just a few hours that afternoon after my full time job had finished, I thought I wouldn't be ready to show my work, but figured I'd see how fast I could move in to my studio and get things set up. Four hours and one sweaty Shalene later, my studio was set up and ready to roll for the Art Walk. I posted a quick "Come see my studio!" Facebook post and waited for visitors to come.

It was awesome. I shared wine with one of my studio mates, got to meet some new people, mingled, talked art, and was surprised by family and friends who came to see me. The feeling of having my own spot and knowing that I had a place to work on my art from now on gave me such a high. The support from my loved ones was the cherry on top. I was anxious to get working!

What once was an apartment from the 1800's, had since been turned into a studio space for three artists, and I was the third to move in. My studio-mates are a fiber artist and a painter, which is amazing to me because it combines two of the mediums that I am trying to combine in my work.

It's been such an incredible experience growing into my space and getting to know the other artists who share the studio with me. We have a lot of ideas for our studio between the three of us, and I've been able to do the experimenting I've been wanting to do with my art for so long. I know I have a long way to go, but I'm enjoying the process of finding my "style".  

There's a lot in the works for the studio. We're coming up with ideas for logos, participating in shows and have ideas for workshops in the future. I'm so excited to be a part of this community and couldn't be happier with how much I've accomplished in the short 1.5 months I've been there. Onward and upward!

  acrylic & pastel on canvas

acrylic & pastel on canvas

  screen print self portraits

screen print self portraits

  acrylic on canvas

acrylic on canvas

  acrylic on canvas & fiber

acrylic on canvas & fiber

  acrylic on canvas & fiber. those metal things are never-been-used clips for chickens to prevent cannibalism. (my mom gave them to me so I put them to use)

acrylic on canvas & fiber. those metal things are never-been-used clips for chickens to prevent cannibalism. (my mom gave them to me so I put them to use)

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. :) 

Bethlehem ArtWalk

So the ArtWalk came and went! I spent months preparing for this, working on stocking up my inventory of weavings and creating the overall look I wanted for my "booth". I worked up until the 11th hour to get everything finished. From my logo sign on my booth, to creating what felt like a million little "S" hooks to hang the weavings, to making my business cards, it all came together in the end and I'm proud of how it turned out. Although I didn't sell as much as I'd hoped, it was a fantastic experience and I did what I went there to do: get my name out there and display the pieces that I worked so hard creating.  It was the perfect day to have all of us local artists come together in Downtown Bethlehem and showcase our work. The sun was shining, the street was buzzing with people heading to dinner and shopping, all in all, just perfect.

My mother has been making dreamcatchers for as long as I can remember, and she made some for me to sell at the ArtWalk along with my weavings. They fit right in and looked absolutely beautiful with my pieces, and definitely made a lot of people stop to admire them. I'm going to work with her getting set up on Etsy soon! ;)

The first couple of hours (the event was four hours long) was a bit slow. People were preoccupied with getting to dinner and didn't seem to have much time to stop and look at everyone's work. All of us artists were spread out along Main St. in Bethlehem and a couple of nearby cross-streets, and I was in a great location next to one of my favorite restaurants. It was a bit windy and my weavings were taking a beating from time to time, but they held up well and worked with the garment rack set-up I had.

Towards the end, around 8pm, more people were stopping and showing interest. I think if I was there another hour or so, my sales might have been up. But like I said, I'm happy regardless of how many got sold. A few of my business cards got taken, which I was thrilled about. Who knows, maybe I'll get an e-mail or two within the next week for some custom orders! :) 

What made this experience so fulfilling wasn't the fact that I sold some products and had my art on display for everyone to see. It was the crazy amount of support I received from my family, friends, boyfriend, and even Instagram followers whom I have never met. It was unbelievable. After reading all of the supportive comments, the "how did it go?" texts, the phone calls, the sharing of my photos, my heart was (and still is) so full. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have this support system and people rooting for me from all over the world. It's such an amazing feeling. I want to say a huge THANK YOU to my family, my friends, and everyone who has given me a pat on the back for this. I may end up doing another one in August if I have time. But this is just the beginning and I can't wait to see what the future holds. :) 

And I've gotta say, I could not have done any of this without the help of this guy right here. And of course, his trusty Platinum wagon to carry all of my things. ;)

Here's a little sneak peak of what I'm working on now...soon I'll have my weavings for sale on Etsy! 

Tapestry Weaving Love

I finally completed my very first tapestry weaving a couple of weeks ago. It took me longer than I had hoped to finish mainly because I work full time and my only chance to weave is on nights and weekends. And also because after moving from the small Lap Loom to one that is almost triple the size is very daunting. I think it would have taken a long time regardless of working, though, since it was my first tapestry-sized piece. Since I made the loom by hand using finishing nails and canvas stretcher bars (will create a how-to post soon!), not everything is lined up perfectly. It did seem to work very well, though! Plus it saved me from spending a crazy amount of money on a brand new loom, and who doesn't like to save money?

I started off having a clear idea in my head of how I wanted this weaving to look. I made a few sketches before warping my loom in hopes that I could follow the patterns that were coming to mind. After about a day of weaving, I quickly realized that my sketches would not directly translate to my loom, and I was fine with that. I've come to love the fact that it's such an organic process that allows me to make decisions on-the-go based on the color of yarn I used last or the technique I chose. 

Initially I had planned to have a mohawk-like look to this weaving, with the long strands of yarn spanning from top to bottom, straight down the middle. After making the bottom "tail" out of thick blue and thin golden yarn, I felt how heavy that one section was and decided to go against my mohawk idea. At that point, I just started to wing it. 

I like the look of neutrals with little bursts of color added here and there. The softness of the off-white yarns mixed with a contrasting deep blue and mint green allow the piece to be subtle, but still have a presence. All in all, I'm happy with how this piece turned out. As with all of my work, I look at it and think of what decisions I could have made differently, but that's just part of the process.

Knowing that my possibilities are endless when it comes to different looks for my weavings, I'm excited and anxious to keep creating these tapestry pieces. I'm constantly inspired by everything around me so I take what I see and build off of that whenever I create. I can't wait until I am able to start creating custom, commissioned pieces for clients. They will be able to display their piece knowing I took into account their personal style and vision, and that will be the most gratifying process of my work. As long as I can make one person happy, I'll be happy!

I still have a lot to learn when it comes to tapestry weaving, but it will all come with more practice and more work. I'm ready to take that on and keep going, knowing each piece will be better than the last!