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)

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!