I found these gorgeous DIY solid wood frames on Pinterest that led me to the Shanty-2-Chic website. They looked like frames you would find at Pottery Barn for major money, but they weren’t. They were custom frames that were designed and built by one of the sisters that runs the website. I JUST HAD TO HAVE THEM!!! But, the only way to get them was to build them myself. I had NEVER done any kind of wood working, or used any tool more complicated or powerful than a hammer and screwdriver. But reading the Shanty-2-Chic website and seeing these 2 women building all this furniture and home decor for CHEAP inspired me, so I decided to give it a go! Luckily, hubby just finished having a large shop built, and being a big car guy and DIYer, he does have quite a few tools that I could use. But, to build these frames, you really don’t NEED to have the big, bad tools (but I must say it does make it easier). Here is the link to the plans for the frames on the Shanty-2-Chic website. And here are some pics of how my frames turned out:
Unfortunately, I didn’t take pics during the building of the frames. I did make good use of hubby’s compound miter saw though! At first it was a little intimidating to use (I was a bit worried about cutting off a finger or worse, I’m the type who ends up cutting my fingers anytime I use a knife, so a giant powered saw was a bit scary!). But, once I started using it and making sure my fingers were clear of the blade before each cut, I realized that it was pretty easy! And, even if you don’t have a compound miter saw, you can use a basic saw with a miter box. It will take much longer to build the frames, but it can be done! According to the Shanty-2-Chic website, the frames cost about $15 per frame. I found that they were a bit more expensive though. I’m not sure if wood here in CA is more expensive, but I spent about $70 in wood to make three frames.
I did have to purchase a Kreg Jig to build these frames, as hubby did not have that tool. I purchased one of the cheapest and simplest models, the R3 Jr. It can be purchased on Amazon, see link below. I HIGHLY recommend the Kreg Jig if you are planning on building any furniture or frames. It is extremely easy to use and makes building anything out of wood so easy! The R3 is about $40, but it is so worth it.
I used Minwax Dark Walnut stain. I had never stained wood before, so that also had a learning curve. On the first frame I stained, I just brushed the stain on with a foam brush and let it dry. That frame came out WAY darker than I liked:
So, for the remaining two frames, I brushed the stain on with a foam brush, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then wiped the excess stain off with a rag. Those frames came out a much nicer and lighter shade of brown, which you can see in the pictures at the top of the post.
If you like these frames and are new to working with wood, they are an easy introduction into wood working and you should definitely give it a try! I’m so happy I did! I also ended up making four more of these frames and giving them away as Christmas gifts. All the recipients absolutely loved them!