Big Picture Redo

Way back in November 2013 I made a big picture to put over my mantel.  It was nice to have something up there and I still love the picture, but I wasn’t loving how it looked up there anymore.

After several changes my mantel has looked like this for the last couple of months:

p1Not terrible but I just wasn’t loving it.

I decided to attach the picture to a piece of plywood and then build a frame around it.  All with stuff I already had.  And I didn’t have any plywood.

Improvisation #1:


I had a piece of bead board left over from my bathroom project that was slightly bigger than I needed it.  I still don’t own a table saw so I used a combination of an exacto knife and a hand saw.  Luckily it’s not really wood so it cut pretty easily (although not cleanly.)


Originally I was going to stain the trim around the edges but I had to use a combination of pine and redwood (improvisation #2) so I had to abandon that plan.  I had also planned on setting the picture down into the frame a little bit but since the back board wasn’t real wood I couldn’t nail into the edge so I just set the board on top of the frame and nailed it together (improvisation #3.)

Once everything was fastened it looked like this:

p4I caulked the edge between the board and frame and once that was dry I got to painting.  p5

First I sprayed it wit an aqua spray paint (obviously this was after I had already started to position the picture.)  Once the spray paint was dry I rubbed on a coat of Jacobean stain and let that dry.

Then I put it over the mantel!

p7I love it!  I’m looking for a frame in a size between the one holding the picture of me and Henry and the little one.


I really wish I had done this sooner!  It was so easy and looks so much better!



My Mantel

It all started with a trip to a thrift store.  As I was searching through the picture frames I came across a huge window.  Originally I thought I’d put a collage of pictures in it but it was really heavy!  So heavy that I was worried that it wouldn’t stay on the wall and while it was cheap ($5) I really didn’t want to deal with a broken window in the house.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying it!

Once I got it into the house I carried it around looking for a spot to put it


and I landed on the mantel.


While I liked that big frame, it just wasn’t right for this picture so I wasn’t sad to take it down.



Then I felt like this wall wasn’t balanced so I rounded up some frames and pictures and put them up to the right of the fireplace.  (that green frame won’t stay, it’s just a place holder until I find a black one.)



Then I added a framed letter to the mirror, scrap of wall paper and picture of my dad.



I bought 10 of these frames about a year ago from Target.  The price was right, even if the color wasn’t.



Since it was gorgeous outside today I set up an area to spray paint in the back yard and these got two coats of oil rubbed bronze.



Then above the fireplace I made a little sign.

I really thought that everyone had perfect penmanship and could freehand signs like this.  After some Googling I discovered the trick:



Chalk.  I printed out what I wanted on my sign, turned it over and rubbed chalk all over the back of the paper, flipped it back over and traced the letters.  Seriously, so easy.  Then I just filled in the letters with craft paint.

mantel7Once the frames were dry I filled them with pictures of me and my friends.  My criteria for picking pictures:  everyone in the picture had to look good and it had to be horizontal.



And then it was done!