DIY Holiday Frame Gifts

By Bruce Johnson

The holidays are a time for pictures, and for those special handmade gifts that people cherish for years. So, why not combine the two?

Large commercial frames, however, are expensive, and cutting the notch in the back of each board requires a table saw or router. But I have found a way to avoid needing woodworking equipment — or paying high prices for large store-bought frames.

At most home improvement centers you can find 2’ and 4’ lengths of oak, pine and poplar boards in various thicknesses. By laying a narrow strip over a wider one, then tacking them together, you can create a notched board designed to hold the glass, your image and the backing.

After assembling this oak frame, I decided to stain it a holiday color, using Minwax® Water Based Wood Stain in “Green Tea.”

I applied the stain with a brush, then used a cloth to wipe off any stain the wood did not absorb.

Finally, I sealed the stain with the aerosol version of clear Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish. The great thing about Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish is that it dries in just minutes.

Which means it was ready to hang the same day.

I also made this frame, stained with Minwax® Wood Finish in “English Chestnut,” and decorated with holiday stickers I found at my local craft store.

So many frames, so many choices!

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!

Bruce

 

 

About Bruce Johnson

Author-craftsman Bruce Johnson has introduced millions of do-it-yourselfers, craftspeople and antique collectors to the world of wood finishing and antique restoration. As the official spokesperson for Minwax®, the leading manufacturer of wood finishing and wood care products, Bruce motivates people to take the initiative to beautify their surroundings. Through his many books, magazine articles and columns, as well as frequent appearances on national television talk shows, Johnson is recognized as an authority in the do-it-yourself community. Appearing on PBS, HGTV, The Discovery Channel, and currently hosting “DIY Woodworking” and “Build A Log Cabin”, on the DIY cable network, Johnson has brought the illustrious craft of wood finishing to the forefront of the American home. An expert in wood refinishing, antique restoration, and home improvement, Bruce has published more than a dozen books on these topics, including Fifty Simple Ways To Save Your House, The Wood Finisher, The Weekend Refinisher, and The Official Identification and Price Guide to the Arts and Crafts Movement. For more than 20-years, he penned an antique refinishing advice column, "Knock on Wood," which ran in dozens of antique/collectibles publications. Currently, he writes a column on Arts & Crafts for Style 1900 magazine. A rare combination of craftsman and journalist, Johnson began his career as a high school English teacher, but left teaching to set up his "Knock on Wood Antique Repair & Restoration" shop. He spent the next 10 years as a full-time professional refinisher, but eventually returned to writing. Yet, Johnson says, he won't ever be without a workbench and a couple of refinishing projects down in the basement. Johnson is also the founder and director of the Arts and Crafts Conference and Antique Show held every February in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Grove Park Inn. The conference, which includes the largest Arts and Crafts antiques show, attracts more than 1500 Arts and Crafts collectors each year to its many seminars, tours, demonstrations and exhibits. Johnson is proud to have played a role in reviving interest in designers like Gustav Stickley, who founded the Arts and Crafts movement. His latest book, “Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Furniture,” was awarded the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Literary Award. These furnishings are treasured by such collectors as Steven Spielberg and Bruce Willis, among many others.

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