Coastal / Crafty / Decorating

MAKE: Poster “Framing”

A few weeks back, I shared an easy, rustic framing project that I completed to show off my antique egg prints over here.  Today, I’m back again with another so simply “framing”project that can take any poster from boring normal to fab in just a few minutes (and on a budget to boot!).

James Audubon bird print pelican, swamp birds

When on the hunt for decor for my office, I knew that I needed something large in size to fill a giant, crisp khaki color wall; but small on price.  Now, I’m just smitten with James Audubon bird prints and knew this was just the thing for the space.  Recall I said it needed to be “small on price”, so that’s a tall order when you get into anything this large.  I was pleased as punch when I found a favorite, Audubon’s American White Pelican, in large size poster format (on

Once the art was procured (on sale), I needed a cost effective way to mat or frame this cutie AND a means to disguise the fact it was totally an inexpensive poster (note the large white surround on the original).  I knew even an inexpensive frame would run me a pretty penny; so I gathered up some supplies on hand and went to work to “frame” it DIY style.

DIY tutorial for framing, inexpensive framing options

To “frame” the poster I used …

  • A large canvas.  My print was 30×40, and I was lucky enough to have a slightly larger canvas on hand.  (canvas from craft store – use a coupon and they are a steal … even at this size!)
  • Paint (pick a color – craft paint or left over spray paint on hand … either works!)
  • Spray adhesive
  • A lighter (prefer the wand style for safety)
  • 4 Weights (can goods work great for this!)

To assemble, I ….

  • Started by painting the surround of my canvas.  Lay your print on the canvas and decide how much “frame” you want to show.  My goal was to remove most of the white mat surround from the print, so I needed a few inches of paint all the way around the canvas.  Don’t forget to paint the edge, too!  I used gold spray paint I had on hand.  (((As I always say, if you sit still long enough I with monogram you or spray paint you gold!)))

DIY project canvas

  • As the canvas is drying, begin tearing the edge off of the print.  I did this by hand and practiced first on one tiny corner just to see how it ripped.  Go slow so you can control the amount and direction of the tears.  For my canvas, I did not want a straight line and preferred the tattered edge.

James Audubon print on canvas

  • Now that I had removed most of the white surround poster mat, I felt like the edges needed a little something.  To give character to the print and fake a bit of age; I took a lighter to the edges and in VERY small areas I burnt the paper to give it a textured and aged patina.  (((Warning: do NOT let your children help with this part and pay attention as you work around the print – no need for a forrest fire or injury!  Also, I had a large pitcher of water on hand just in case things got out of hand!)))

burnt paper edges, antique finish

  • Once I was pleased with the way the edges looked, it was time to place the print on the canvas.  I used spray adhesive and applied a generous coat to both the canvas and the back of the poster.  Once tacky, it adheres easily.
  • Add the weights on each corner and let the adhesive dry.
  • For any corners that just didn’t want to cooperate, I went back and added a little rubber cement to keep them in place.  Double side tape would work just as nicely, too.

decorative vignette with James Audubon bird print, pelican, swamp bird


To finish my office vignette, I added a mercury glass vase lamp, plant and an oyster shell pic frame (DIY using a similar technique as this).  Then, I got creative and added an oversized glass vase full of old maps and some white and brown wrapping paper.  The preserved butterfly display was a keepsake hand me down that I love from my Nana.  Together, there’s a natural feel and still glamour enough for the office style.




4 thoughts on “MAKE: Poster “Framing”

  1. Pingback: DO: May Roundup | being bianca

  2. Pingback: DECOR: The Heathcliff House Show and Tell | being bianca

  3. Pingback: DECOR: Decorating a Large Wall with Vinyl Stencils | being bianca

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