DIY Framing Tips


Over the years, I’ve saved some money by framing a few prints myself and using some tried and true methods.  First tip:  buy a standard sized frame that is larger than your print size. And make sure you take advantage of the sales at Hobby Lobby or Michaels or even better, find some at a yardsale like I did.  Case in point, I found these 2 white frames for $5 each at a yardsale this summer. They are white wood, just what I needed and are 16×20.

See the white mats that are already inside the frames, as well as the pretty little fillet too that gives them an extra nice look on the inside edge?  The inside of this opening is 11 x 14, too big for my print, but all I had to do was get an 11×14 mat with an 8×10 opening from the 1/2 price sale at Hobby Lobby. They carry standard size mats in all different colors. IMG_6710

As soon as I saw the frames, I knew they would be perfect for what I had in mind.  Framing some pretty shell prints that I had seen in this online store by Laryssa Herbert.  She does beautiful work, so if you haven’t visited her shop, go on over.  Reasonably priced too for prints.  When these came in the mail, I really couldn’t tell that they were not original watercolors.  Beautiful prints on very nice paper!  So, I added those darker cream mats from Hobby Lobby. I decided NOT to go with the exact same white, since the prints have some variations of color, the darker cream really makes an impact with the prints.  And, I like to  mix things up.  All I did was place the prints on the back of the mats and put a little clear packing tape on all 4 edges to hold them in place.


Then, I opened the frame and taped on the mat with prints already attached.  4 pieces of tape on all 4 sides.

seashell prints

And this is how they turned out.   You likey??  Me too!  I think they turned out fabulous.  So, I have a total of $13 in the frames and about $36 in the prints, so not bad at all.  For around $50, I have two beautiful prints that I won’t see anywhere else.


And I love the simple lines and shades of the mats, frame and prints all together.  Lovely!


Now, I’ll give you a little tip about hanging frames that I learned from my design friend here in town that I sometimes work with.  Love this tip!

Take some masking tape and tape it across the back of your frame, OVER the hooks that you are going to be hanging on the wall.  Punch a hole in the hook where your nail should go.


And it will look like this.


Hold your frame up to about eye level, where you want the frame to be (you might need an extra set of hands for this).  Take off one side of the tape and place it on the wall once you see where the hooks should sit on the wall.  Don’t worry about it being straight yet.


Once you get it on the wall in the right spot, then take a small level (or even better, use a laser level if you have one) and put it on top of the tape to make sure it’s reading level.  This will make sure your hooks are even once you nail the nails in.  Hammer the nails in place and rip off the tape.  Then hang up your new artwork.  It works like a charm!


And here’s my new artwork in the master bath water closet.  Doesn’t that sound all fancy like?  Water closet. 🙂


I adore them!


And I love the color they add to this blue space.  White frames are perfect in this bathroom, I’ve discovered.

I hope you enjoyed this little lesson in how to frame something inexpensively.  I’ve done this little trick several times with my botanical prints that I have framed myself.   This even works on prints that are odd-sized too.  You would just need to get a mat cut for them instead of buying one off the shelf, but it’s the same principal.

I also love how much more important a print looks when you put it in a larger frame.  And now you’ll know a simple trick for hanging frames easier too.  Don’t you love that tape method?  I know I do and will use it every time now.

Linked to Kimba’s DIY Day.  Click on over for lots more DIY inspiration.

- Rhoda


  1. Rhoda-
    (I always have to go back and take an N out of your name-wonder why?!!!)
    The prints are wonderful in your (fancy sounding) water closet.
    And the tip about the nail in the tape is ingenious! Thanks.

  2. Hi Rhoda!!! The tip about the tape genius!!! I always end up making 2 or 3 unneccessary nailholes because i never get it right! Next time I need to hang something I am going to try this!!


  3. LOL. Oh my goodness, how funny that I saw your post and I was JUST doing some DIY framing just hours ago. I am so laughing out loud right now – it’s like we’re sisters separated at birth. I love what you’ve done, especially the double mat and never knew that framing trick. I’m totally adopting it.

    PS Your blue and white W.C ? FAB !!!!!!

  4. Love the frames. I’ll keep these tips in mind the next time I get ready to do some framing.

  5. Hi Rhoda,
    I love that picture hanging trick, I also think the double mats look great. Thanks so much for the tip.

  6. Rhoda, beautiful prints and I love how they have both mats..they look lovely in your powder room…

  7. Great instructions…you make it look sooo easy!

  8. What a great trick for hanging stuff! I used to put the tape on the level and mark the tape, but this is just as easy peasy.

  9. I’m trying to figure out the tape/nail trick… so basically you’re transferring the location of the hooks onto the tape, and then placing the tape on the wall, so you know exactly where to hammer in the nails… is that right?

  10. Those pics turned out great!!

    barbara jean

  11. Love that tip for hanging pictures!

  12. Great tip for hanging pictures! Your bathroom looks awesome!

  13. Rhoda, you never cease to amaze me with your wonderful ideas and projects! I love both your frames and the picture hanging tip…Donna

  14. I LOVE the idea of how to hang a picture with two hooks. I have always struggled with getting everything evenly spaced and level-not anymore. Thanks!

  15. Great idea using a double mat. I’m going to do this!
    I need a little level like yours! Where did you find it? Did you take a big level apart??

  16. Those turned out wonderful, Rhoda! Good tip from your friend. I’ve actually started avoiding pre-done pictures when they have those side hooks because I always have such a problem hanging them.

  17. Thank you, Thank you for this tip! I can’t tell you how many pictures my sweet hubby has insisted on hanging for me and they are alway crooked!!

  18. They turned out really pretty. Don’t you just love saving $ !

  19. Rhoda, that looks fabulous. I love the reddish color added in the room.

    I wanted to tell you or ask this…your blog page is taking a long time to open up. Is it my computer? Has anyone else told you the same thing?

  20. beautiful prints!!! And what a great tip for hanging pictures! This will make hanging larger groups of pictures really easy!!!

  21. I can’t believe how simple this idea is! Every time I hang a new picture I have chicken pecks all around where it should be because they hangers never seem level on the backs!! My husband will laugh when I show him this idea, he’s always laughing about how many spots I have to fix on the wall to hang a picture.

  22. Looks great. I love the tip about hanging pictures. I can’t wait to try it!

  23. Love those pictures! I reuse frames a lot here too. Or paint them, I paint the mats too. Where do I find those blinds like you have in the bathroom? I can’t find any. Target has recalled theirs:(

  24. Butteryum, yes! you have it right. Just pull the tape off the back and put it on the wall where you want the print to sit & then level it and put in the nails. Easy!

    Kathi, I think I got that little level in some sort of kit, but I can’t remember where it came from. I’ve also got a small little level that I usually use, about 6″ long, so get one of those.

    Karen, I found those blinds here locally, but I did just order another one off of They have a LOT to choose from & many colors & sizes, so check with them. Shipping $$ is good too.

    I am having problems with my blog loading slowly and I have no idea what is going on. I’m trying to resolve it!

  25. Rhoda, this is wonderful advice! Thank you for explaining so clearly how you do this. And thanks for passing along the tape trick. I’ve always just used a ruler and a level to place my hangers. . . but this is even easier!

  26. Love how you used a slightly different colour mat. They look fabulous. and I’ll definitely use that picture hanging trick. Thanks.

  27. Thanks for the great tips! 🙂

  28. thanks for the excellent tip rhoda!

  29. Rhonda! Really good idea – thanks! I have never commented on your blog, but have been reading for about a year. =) I redid my dining room (right after you did yours) with picture frame moulding using your (excellant) directions and I LOVE it. Thanks for the ideas!! Keep sharing!! =)

  30. Good tips, Rhoda! I love the contrast of those prints on your lovely WC wall. 🙂

    This is a good solution to spending $$$ on framing at Michaels…if you have a chance, I hope you might link this up to my 3rd Decorating Dilemmas party tonight or tomorrow. 🙂 I have a prriiiiize. 😉

  31. THANK YOU for that great hanging tip – I’m SOOO gonna use that from now on! I think we should all start calling it a water closet – so fancy!

  32. Hi Rhoda…I saw this on another blog and thought I’d pass along….can you believe this ??? Nice job on the frames 🙂

    Now government is messing with us bloggers
    If you offer giveaways of products on your blog you better beware. Government is gettng involved. You can read about it here. In a nutshell this is what they are doing:

    The Federal Trade Commission will require bloggers to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

    It is the first time since 1980 that the commission has revised its guidelines on endorsements and testimonials, and the first time the rules have covered bloggers.

    But the commission stopped short today of specifying how bloggers must disclose any conflicts of interest.

    The FTC said its commissioners voted, 4-0, to approve the final guidelines, which had been expected. Penalties include up to $11,000 in fines per violation.

    The rules take effect Dec. 1.

  33. ps it just took forever for your blog to pop on, is it me????

  34. Those look stunning on the blue walls!

  35. It was so good talking to you yesterday! Makes me miss you even more now~

  36. ooh Rhoda, great tips, I always always have problems with all things frames…this makes it a whole lot easier 🙂


  37. I plan to try that tape trick thingy.

    And I voted for your DR.

    Sweet dreams.

  38. Thanks for sharing the tape tip – my hubby will be grateful!

    I voted for you, too!! Good luck!

  39. Great post! I’ve never framed anything myself. I love Hobby Lobby so I always go there! They do a great job and have a great selection of easel backs…plus you gotta love those sales! Have a good week!

  40. Those look great, Rhoda!


    Sheila 🙂

  41. Those look gorgeous! I just love her prints, they are soooo pretty!

  42. that’s a great marking tip. thanks!!

  43. I really enjoyed looking around your blog! What great ideas!!
    *Eliza’s blog*

  44. THANK YOU for the hanging tip! I just left multiple holes from trying to hang a picture with those darn hangers on both sides! My husband won’t have to hear me asking where the spackling paste is anymore… 🙂

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