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Up-cycled Child Art Display Tutorial

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Some of my favorite and quick up-cycling projects from picture frames. I have planned this project for quite a while and even had it done until my computer crashed and all the pictures disappeared. So I had to recreate it, but I am a bit of a procrastinator. My father LOVES to display his grand children's artwork. For years, his refrigerator was covered in beautiful crayon decor, tissue butterflies, foam puppies, etc. When I was a child, my parent's layered an entire dining room wall in my artwork from preschool to high school. Yes a little overkill and it didn't really lend to home decor. This all got me to thinking that I could take a larger picture frame and turn it into an child art display for my grand daughter's artwork. The following steps are my attempt.



  • Old 10 x 13 or 11 x 17 frame (preferable wood) Or you can buy one at Walmart $5
  • Spray paint
  • 4 pieces of felt or one full piece of felt large enough to cover the board.
  • Spray adhesive
  • Saw picture hangers
  • E-6000 glue
  • Small set of hinges
  • Magnetic sheet or two strong magnetic business cards you don't use.
  • A piece of 1/4 inch plywood cut to fit the frame exactly

Step 1. Take apart the 10 x 13 frame so you only have a frame and glass;


Step 2 . Sand down the rough spots and spray paint the frame and let dry completely;

paint frame of art display

Step 3. Cut a piece of 1/4 inch plywood or other thin lightweight wood to exactly fit the measurements of the outside of the frame. If you don't have the tools, you can go to Lowes
or Home Depot and purchase a small piece of board and they will cut the board to the size you need for free. (straight cuts only) Optionally you could spray paint the board as well although I did not;


Step 4. Attach picture saw hangers on the back.



Step 5. Spray board completely with spray adhesive and then lay felt down. I layered it upon one another so that it built it up so the art work fits more snugly against the glass and then attach hinges.

Note in this particular picture it shows two pieces of cardboard because I used a plastic picture frame that had an indent around the inside of the frame. So in order for the hinges to fit correctly, I had to raise it up a bit. I glued in some box cardboard and then screwed the hinges through the cardboard into the frame. It worked perfectly. Sometimes we have to improvise. However, if I make another one, I will look for a wood frame if I can.


Step 6. Glue in glass with E-6000. I just dabbed a little ever 4 to 6 inches around the frame and then put in the glass and let dry overnight. This prevents the glass from falling when you open the display.

Step 7. Finally, a catch has to be attached to keep the artwork in. So I use magnetic business cards that I don't need anymore. The trick is to make sure they are still magnetic as I have learned over time they lose their magnetism. I glued it on with E-6000 and matched it up on both sides. You can also use a magnetic sheet or strip you can find at a craft store. It must be flat.



There we go! A nice piece of artwork for our walls. Kids love seeing their art work framed like a piece of art and you can layer the pieces so you can keep them together. The cost of this project is less than $8 when you have to buy the frame but under $3 if you have an old frame. This was a fun project and makes a great gift for Nanas and Papas!

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