These DIY Wood Clip Frames are a great alternative to standard – and often expensive – picture frames. Plus they’re super easy to make!
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Hi everyone – it’s Lori from Greco Design Company here today and I’m excited to show you how to make these rustic, wood clip frames. I’ve made several of these wood clip frames and I have some different versions available for sale in my Etsy shop. But they really are easy to make so I wanted to share the details with you in case you were in the DIY mood. I love the vintage, rustic look and since there’s no glass, they’re great to hang in a kids’ room or playroom without worry.
These frames also make great gift ideas. Pick your own paint colors and add a photo for a thoughtful birthday, wedding, or Mother’s/Father’s Day present.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own wood clip frames:
- Wood – For the base, I used 1″ thick common board, cut to 10 x 11″. This is a good size to hold a 5″ x 7″ photo. Adjust the size of your boards depending on the size of your photos or artwork.
- Plywood – For the top pieces, I used 1/4″ plywood, cut to 8-1/2″ x 9-1/2″
- Mini bulldog clips – I found some vintage looking colorful ones at a thrift store. But you can get similar ones here.
- Saw – I just used a hand saw and it works fine for this project. If you don’t have a saw, most home supply stores will cut wood for you.
- Wood glue & tack nails
- Super glue – I used Loctite Super Glue Liquid
- Minwax water based polyurethane
- Sandpaper (I used 120-grit) and/or electric sander
Step 1 – Cut your pieces of wood to the size you want. Since I wanted mine to hold 5″ x 7″ photos, I cut my common board wood to be 10″ x 11″ and my plywood to be 8-1/2″ x 9-1/2″
Step 2 – Next, I used my electric sander to sand the boards and give the edges a rounded, more worn look.
Step 3 – Paint or stain your wood pieces. I used 2 coats of acrylic paint on each. The larger board was painted Behr Antique Tin and the plywood was painted Behr White. Since I wanted an aged look, I added some additional, random paint colors to the top board. I think this makes the piece look better and tie in with the colors of the clips. I also added some white paint on the gray to relate it to the top piece. Don’t worry about adding too much paint, we’ll be sanding these again and will remove a lot of it.
Step 4 – Once the paint dried, I sanded the pieces again to distress the wood. As you can see, the before and after boards look so different. I really like some of the wood showing through and also the paint colors to be more subtle.
Step 5 – Now you can attach the plywood to the wood backing. I used wood glue on the back of the plywood.
Then I added a nail in each corner. I know you don’t really need both, but I just feel better with extra support.
Step 6 – Let the glue dry. Paint a coat of polyeuthraine on the entire piece and let dry. I used an acrylic based poly because it doesn’t have a yellow tint like the oil based ones do, plus it dries much faster.
Step 6 – Add your clip. I love these rustic clips and the colors are so cute.
I used just a drop of Super Glue Liquid on the back of each clip to attach them to the top center of the frames. It dries in minutes too.
Now you have really chic and vintage looking wood clip frames that can easily display your photos or artwork.
To hang mine, I stapled some ribbon to the back of each frame and hung them from my hooks. You could also attach a saw tooth hanger to the back and hang simply on a nail.
I hope you love them! This is a crazy simple project that adds lots of fun to any wall… And, you can easily change out the pictures. Easy peasy!
Lori is a freelance graphic designer living in the Boston area with her husband, their three kids and a yellow lab puppy. She started Greco Design Company in 2014 when she realized that her love for design was extending beyond the corporate advertising world and into all areas of her life. She shows us some unique but simple DIY projects, gives some great ideas for home design, provides her outlook on current fashion trends, and loves to do beauty and product reviews. She incorporates her graphic design background through her free printables, paintings, signs, art prints, invitations and stationery on her blog and in her Etsy shop. Lori believes in the importance of surrounding ourselves with good, purposeful design that can help streamline our lives and still be affordable. Her tutorials are easy to follow as she shows how you can make anything you set your mind to!