Easy DIY Frame Tutorial for Large-Scale Art | Plus a Free Printable Owl ‘Painting’!

DIY Frame Art

Every time I feature one of my DIY large-scale wall art prints I get requests for the framing tutorial. In the past I’ve never managed to capture the process because in the throes of a project most steps require both of my hands…not to mention most of my brain power – which leaves little capacity left for documentation purposes! Have I mentioned before that math isn’t my strong suit? Additionally, it’s generally a bit of a deterrent having to clear a huge chunk of floor space in my tiny house and scale a step ladder amidst a project in order to take the wide-angle photos needed!

But, it’s always been my intention to share a tutorial so last weekend, with the help of one very keen little assistant, I was determined to get it done! Albeit on a slightly smaller scale.

When I was trying to devise a way to create the tutorial (without needing to buy new materials), I recalled we had some peel-and-stick wallpaper left-over from my parent’s suite extension bathroom

Bathroom Vanity

One of the larger remnants was an off-cut from the doorway – which you can just see here on the left…

Turkish Towels

Although the composition of the image wasn’t exactly ideal for a piece of stand-alone art, given it was merely an unintentional off-cut, it was the exact same product I used to make the owl art for my brother’s bedroom and the landscape art for my client’s Airbnb bungalow, so it seemed like the perfect candidate for the tutorial.

Masculine Bedroom Refresh


And whilst it’s not quite as large as some of my previous pieces, at around 75cm x 85cm (29″ x 33″)  it’s still a decent size – and does make things easier from a tutorial perspective.

So, let’s get into it!


DIY Framing Tutorial


Of course this can be whatever you like. This tutorial centers around framing large-scale art so anything bigger than about 50cm x 50cm (20″ x 20″) is ideal (I have linked to some of my past tutorials for framing smaller art at the end of this post). As already touched on I’m using a peel-and-stick wallpaper remnant. Self-adhesive prints are great to work with because they are thick, durable, repositionable and easy to apply. You can certainly use paper prints too, and I’ve done this several times in the past. You just need to be a bit more careful as paper isn’t as resilient and the gluing process can cause it to bubble and wave. Something to be mindful of is having a decent “bleed” area around the print as a portion of the perimeter is wrapped around the frame. If you would like to use my owl image it’s available below as a free download. I had it printed by AJ Wallpaper who have warehouses in several countries and ship internationally.


Because we are dealing with large-scale art which needs to be affixed to a solid backing (unlike fabric which can be stretched around a mere frame) it’s important for the backing board to be light-weight, otherwise the art will end up being overly heavy. This means it can’t be anything too thick. I generally like to use 3mm or 6mm (.01″ or .02″) MDF sheet as it’s easy to obtain, nice and smooth, and affordable. You can even have it cut to size by the hardware store! There are many alternatives such as plywood, masonite and chipboard, or even materials such as corflute and rigid card stock. When considering the size of your backing board ensure it’s around 5cm (2″) smaller than your art print to enable the print to be wrapped around.


As the backing board is quite thin it needs to be stabilised by adding bracing trim around the perimeter. This trim also provides an avenue for affixing the framing moulding to. I generally use lengths of MDF (because it’s the cheapest option and nobody ever sees it) but for this tutorial I have used some pine trim I had left-over in the shed. Depending on the size of your artwork you may also like to add a horizontal or vertical central brace if needed.


This is the visible frame you actually see. There are loads of different mouldings you can use. I like the simplicity and affordability of plain rectangular pine in 12mm x 30mm (.04″ x 1.1″). This should be readily available from most hardware and timber stores.


To attach the trim and moulding. I just used some PVA.


These are fine nails with bullet shaped heads which can be easily hammered in so they are barely visible. You may need two different sizes: one to attach the rear bracing trim (something short enough that it won’t protrude through the trim), and one to attach the face framing moulding (something long enough that it can grab the bracing trim sufficiently). I realise this probably sounds complicated but it’s very straight-forward once you’re actually undertaking the project.


If you’d like to stain or paint your frame. I used a water-based interior stain I already had in the shed. It had been custom mixed from a variety of left-overs so I can’t share the colour sorry.


To conceal nail heads and patch any corner joins if needed.












Firstly you need to cut your trim to fit around the perimeter of the backing board.

DIY Frame Tutorial

Note: As touched on in the materials section, you may also like to add a central (horizontal or vertical) brace depending on the size and rigidity of your board.

It doesn’t need to be millimeter perfect or look amazing – it’s always going to be hidden – but you still want it to be somewhat accurate and tidy. I simply cut mine to form basic butt joints at each corner.

DIY Picture Frame

Here it is just resting in position…

DIY Artwork Frame

Each piece of trim is then glued to the rear of the board before being nailed on from the front. Nailing from the front ensures the nails grip sufficiently into the baking board (any nail heads will be concealed once you attach the print over the top). If you were to nail from the back of the trim you wouldn’t get sufficient bite through the board as it’s quite thin.

Large-Scale Art DIY Frame

DIY Framing Tutorial

To prevent the backing board from sagging in the middle during this process place some spacers beneath it so it sits flush (I generally use some books which are similar in depth to the bracing trim).

Here’s the result…

Frame Bracing Trim

Sorry, it’s tricky to photograph.


With the bracing trim in place, it’s time to attach the art print.

Position it as needed on the backing board, ensuring it’s relatively straight and overhanging each edge, then peel away a portion of the film. Press and smooth the revealed adhesive portion of the print firmly into place. Continue peeling away the film, whilst pressing and smoothing, until the print is completely attached.

Framing DIY Tutorial

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is very forgiving. Because it’s quite thick it rarely bubbles and the removable nature of it allows it to be repositioned if needed.

Fold the edges over and make the corners neat by wrapping them in a similar manner to a gift.

DIY Framing Tutorial

Note: In general peel-and-stick wallpaper adhesive isn’t crazy sticky so you may find the edges and corners lift after you’ve wrapped them around (this can be exacerbated by the fibrous nature of the timber substrate). Don’t worry. These will be flattened by the framing moulding in the next step.


It’s entirely up to you if you want to use mitre or butt joints for your frame.

Mitre v Butt

Mitre joints look a little more refined but they can also be trickier to get right!

Based on the size of your backing board, measure and mark your framing moulding then cut as needed.

Mitre Frame Joint

I always like to double check each piece against the print as I go to ensure the accuracy of the lengths and the neatness of the joints. Sometimes I find I’m a little bit off (have I mentioned before that math isn’t my strong suit?) so in general it pays to trim a tad larger if you’re feeling unsure – because you can always take more length off, but you can’t add it!

Once you’re happy with each piece you can sand lightly as needed then stain or paint as desired.

Staining the DIY Frame


With your print in a vertical position, apply a bead of glue along the length of your first piece of framing moulding then hold it in place before hammering in around five-seven nails.

How to Frame Art

Ensure each nail bites into the rear bracing trim to provide a strong hold. I generally start with the centre nail – this gives wiggle room to adjust the alignment – followed by the two end nails, then I fill in any gaps as needed.

Continue until you have framed the entire print.

At this stage you can countersink any nail heads if needed by knocking them in with a punch before filling the holes with timber putty. Alternatively, you can simply colour the nail heads with a marker which matches your stain/paint. Or you may find that the nail heads are so subtle they blend-in regardless.

Depending on the neatness of your corners you may also like to touch-up the joints with some putty too. I’ve done this a few times in the past though this time around my joints were all accurate enough not to need any filler.

Mitre Joint Frame DIY

I like to align my frame with the front of the print but you can always recess the print if preferred for a more traditional look.

Because my framing moulding is deeper than the bracing trim it provides a little ledge to easily hang the art from.

Picture Framing DIY

I generally just do this by hammering a couple of sturdy nails into the wall (at even heights of course) then plonking the frame over them, but you can always attach some picture string, or other hanging hardware, to the frame instead.


Yep, that’s it!

DIY Frame Art

I realise at the beginning of the post I made this project sound a little bit arduous, though it’s actually really straight-forward as I hope you’ve seen. It can just be a difficult process to ‘stop-start’ with.

All up the large-scale owl artwork for my brother’s bedroom came in at around $100 – about $40 in framing materials and $60 for the print. Given large-scale wall art prints can easily reach into the high hundreds (even thousands!) it’s certainly a really worthwhile and rewarding DIY to get comfortable with.

If you would like to use my owl image, you can download it for free below.

Free Printable Owl Painting Large Scale High Res

Free Farmhouse Quote Printables Download

125cm x 100cm/50″ x 30″ at 300 DPI.
Can be enlarged or reduced by around 30% with good quality retention.

For personal, non-commercial use only.
Republication, reproduction or redistribution in any form is strictly forbidden.


As touched on in the post about my brother’s bedroom makeover, the owl was a free downloadable photo I originally found on Unsplash.

Barn Owl

I made some colour adjustments and size edits in Photoshop, then applied a custom painterly effect using a program called Topaz Impression.

It’s hard to see the details from a distance, so here’s a close-up which better shows the difference…

Photo to Painting Comparison

Owl Artwork

Of course, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the photograph to begin with. It was sharp and well composed and quite lovely, it just didn’t have the mood I was after.

If you don’t have fancy programs like Photoshop or Topaz Impression, there is a huge range of free and affordable software with similar capabilities.

Note: Just be mindful that some online editors and downloadable apps don’t have provisions for saving large-scale and/or high resolution images.

Over the years I’ve actually published a couple of blog posts with tutorials and general information about turning photographs into digital paintings. These even include program lists. You can find them here…

If you’re working with smaller scale art you can get away with using a thicker backing board – because it doesn’t end up being overly heavy – which eliminates the need for the rear bracing trim. If your art is smaller than around 50cm x 50cm (20″ x 20″) then I have some past framing tutorials you can check out (click the below images to go to the relevant posts).

DIY Book Page Sign Art

DIY Wall Lamp and DIY Farmhouse Sign





Free printable is for personal, non-commercial use only.
Republication, reproduction or redistribution in any form is strictly forbidden.


DIY Owl Canvas Artwork


How to Turn Director’s Chairs into Stools

Thank you all so much for the amazing response to my brother’s bedroom reveal. I was incredibly flattered by all the lovely comments.

There were many mentions of the end-of-bed stools which I created from two old director’s chairs.

Bedroom Makeover After

It was a really easy and affordable project and they add so much warmth and character to the space.

Here’s how I did it…



Of course the first thing I needed to do was source some inexpensive second-hand director’s chairs.

The most common style have vertical supports at each corner, like this…

Common Directors Chair

But some have a simple cross base, like this…

Cross Base Directors Chair

I was open to the idea of using the more common style if needed, but I didn’t really want the vertical supports. I was pretty certain it would be okay to remove them and that the stools would still be sturdy, but as I didn’t use them for this project I can’t really say for sure.

After a little bit of hunting I was lucky to come across this pair with simple cross bases on Marketplace for just $20.

Chairs Before


Because these stools are designed to fold flat, the top section was merely attached with hinges so removing it was a simple matter of undoing some screws.

Directors Chair Hack


Next I removed the old seat fabric to be left with a naked frame.

Stool Frame

Now, in hindsight I didn’t need to do this next bit. You see my original plan was to combine the stools into a campaign style bed I could use as a bench, kinda like this…

Campaign Bed

So I trimmed off the horizontal dowels because they looked too busy.

Director Chair Hack

But, after playing around with some visual ideas for the bench, I decided I didn’t like the scale of it so scratched that plan. Which left me with the two stools which would have been fine with the dowels still intact. But, oh well. Thankfully removing them didn’t effect the stability of the stools.


There were quite a few knocks and dents in the timber, even some minor breaks, so I was never going to make things look brand new. Lucky I like a bit of vintage charm.

All I did was fill a few holes with wood putty (including the ends of the slots where the original fabric was embedded) then lightly sand and thoroughly clean the timber before sealing with some linseed oil lightly tinted with oak stain.


Tinted oils are great when you can’t be bothered going right back to raw timber but still want to nourish and slightly deepen the wood.

Oiling the Timber

I contemplated leaving the rusty steel brackets as is, but in the end I felt they were a little too patchy so decided to paint them bronze.

The paint will likely scratch off if the stools are folded but there’s no real need for that given they’re being used as fixed items of furniture. Plus, it’s an easy touch-up job.


This was super easy.

I used a suede style faux leather which doesn’t fray so no sewing was needed! I bought the fabric from Spotlight several months back. Sorry, I can’t recall what it was called but from memory it was around $12 per meter.

Rather than upholster the stools in the same manner they were originally (where the fabric was embedded into the slots), I decided I wanted to wrap my fabric right around. Not only was this easier but there were some obvious breaks in the wood around the slots so this would ensure they were covered.

All I did was trim my fabric to size, position it on the stool (folding the long sides under to conceal the raw edge), then staple it to the underside.

Directors Chair Hack

Rather than make it super taut I gave it a bit of a slouch for a relaxed look.

Of course, you need to be mindful of the weight of your fabric, using something quite strong and rigid, as anything too thin or stretchy could easily sag or tear. If you’re worried you could always attach some webbing to the base first, like this…


Or you can reinforce your fabric with a backing.

In addition to, or as a substitute for, the staples you could use upholstery tacks. This would definitely be a good idea if your point of attachment is somewhat visible as exposed staples don’t look the greatest.

And it was as easy as that!



Blog Stools

Chairs Before

As you can see the timber is still quite “rustic” with lots of  tonal variation and imperfections, but as I mentioned earlier that’s not something which bothers me. In fact, it’s often something I deliberately incorporate to add character and interest to a room.

Masculine Bedroom Refresh

Feel free to shoot through any comments or questions.



Director Chair to Stool Hack Before and After


Masculine Master Bedroom Makeover Reveal

Thank you so much for the warm welcome back! I was honestly unsure if anyone would still be following along, so it was such a lovely surprise to see all the comments roll in. I really missed you guys!

As promised I’m back to share the reveal of my brother’s bedroom.

Here are the before shots…




Before we could get to the fun bit of decorating, we needed to create a nice blank canvas to work with.

Several months back, before the latest lock-down began, my brother replaced the stained carpet and painted everything white for a clean fresh feel. He also removed the random wall mirror and took down the old broken ceiling fan (this will eventually be replaced with a sleeker black fan).

So, here’s the space now…

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

Bedroom Makeover

Masculine Bedroom Refresh

Before you say anything, yes, I realise the wall lamps are a tad intense for this small space.

Slightly more petite versions would have been ideal, but for under $5 each I wasn’t going to complain! Plus they will come in handy if my brother ever needs to host a stage show.

Plug In Wall Lamps

Because I got them on clearance I can’t find a link to share, but if anyone is looking for some, they are the Verve Tori Wall Light (from Bunnings). If you’re quick there might still be a few left at some stores.

Light Before

I contemplated painting them (maybe white or gold – brass ones would have been lovely), but as the room came together I decided they were fine as is. Their boldness certainly provides impact, and their sculptural quality lends interest which helps belie the typicality of the room. Of course I’ve used soft warm bulbs so the lighting itself isn’t too severe (so perhaps my brother will need to increase the wattage for any stage shows – and yes, the bulbs cost more than the lights themselves!).

Bedroom Makeover After

I know not everyone will like the fact we painted the wood panelling. Although I never hated it, and do love the earthy warmth timber can lend to a space (especially a masculine one), given the lack of light in the room it just felt a bit dark and gloomy.

Bedroom Makeover

Having all the walls one light consistent colour helps make the room feel more spacious and cohesive. If anyone is interested the colour is Antique White USA by Dulux.

The original bed was actually one I picked up for free a few years back when I was staging my friend’s house for sale (you can see it HERE). It was always a bit rickety and after several failed attempts to repair it my brother decided he wanted something new.

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

In order to be able to build the room around the bed, we went for something quite understated in this $220 charcoal upholstered bed from eBay.

Masculine Budget Bedroom Makeover

The bedside tables also came from eBay and were less than $100 each.

Bedside Table

I contemplated keeping and upcycling the original bedsides, which would have been totally fine, but these new ones are just that bit more ideal.

When it comes to decorating, in general I probably agonise most over choosing wall art – there are just sooooo many options! But I surprised myself this time around by being super decisive and selecting one of the first images I came across.

DIY Owl Art

This barn owl was originally a free downloadable photograph from Unsplash.

Barn Owl

‘Barn owl hovering before diving to catch prey’ by Bob Brewer.

I edited the colours and applied a digital effect to make it look like a painting before having it printed onto peel-and-stick canvas wallpaper by AJ Wallpaper.

Here’s a close-up section which shows the detail a bit better…

Owl Artwork

I’ve used AJ Wallpaper a few times in the past and always find them really helpful and prompt, plus their products and services are amongst the most affordable I’ve found.

As per usual I didn’t document the framing process (one of these days I will publish a thorough tutorial on how I generally frame wallpaper art), but it was super easy and cost less than $40. Essentially I cut a sheet of 6mm/.02″ MDF to size, bordered the back with some deeper MDF planks to give it stability, attached the wallpaper to the front, then boxed everything out with some mitred timber trim. I realise things sound a bit complicated when the steps are summarised so bluntly so feel free to ask if you want clarification.

DIY Owl Canvas Artwork

If anyone is interested I’m open to sharing my edited owl image as a free download in an upcoming post. Maybe that will give me a good excuse to finally get onto that framing tutorial!

The end-of-bed stools are one of my favourite elements!

DIY Military Stools

I think they just add so much character and interest.

I’ve loved the look of folding military style furniture for ages, especially when used in a masculine room. And this was finally my chance!

I shopped around for quite a while for something that could work, exploring lots of different options. I was also always open to the idea of building something from scratch if needed, but then I came across two old directors chairs on Marketplace for just $20.

They were perfect!

Chairs Before

I will publish a dedicated post about the full transformation process (because I actually managed to take progress photos for the most part!) but as I’m sure you can gather it wasn’t a difficult project.

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

I think many of you will recognise the floor rug from some of my past projects.


It was originally purchased from Spotlight a few years back to stage my friend’s house for sale. Since then it’s been deployed on several different missions (including being stored atop my brother’s Torana for over a year!) but has always held-up amazingly well. It actually still looks and feels brand new! Such an awesome and versatile piece.

Bedroom Makeover After

I kept the bedding quite simple in order to showcase the two jute kilim cushions I found on eBay for just $30 each.

Kilim Cushions

They are quite possibly my most favourite cushions ever!

Originally I had both of them orientated the same way (as they are identical) though decided to switch things up by turning one sideways. Does it make you twitch? Or do you like the slight quirkiness?

I’ve teamed them with some basic striped cushions ($12 each from H&M a few months ago) and a faux leather one ($8 from Kmart several years back).

Masculine Bedroom Makeover

In-keeping with the subtle military vibe I’ve used a wool army blanket (originally from eBay many moons ago). This ties-in well with the kilim cushions and also works to add some tonal depth to the foot of the bed in order to somewhat balance the dark headboard and artwork.

Throw Blankets

I’ve layered it with a new boucle style throw (from Spotlight) which adds a nice hit of softness.

Masculine Bedroom

The decor items are just bits and pieces I already owned, mostly thrifted.

So, here are the side-by-side before and afters…


Masculine Bedroom Makeover


Masculine Bedroom After


Bedroom Makeover

I brought the room together over a few days and it’s fair to say my brother was skeptical until everything was in place. And I don’t blame him because, to be honest, I was a little unsure myself. It’s easy to feel doubtful about a space whilst it’s still in progress. Sometimes pieces don’t seem to work together or the balance and scale can look off. More often than not it’s the final touches which make sense of everything.

Hope you guys like it.






I’m Back…plus a new room makeover!

Why, hello there!

Remember me? Apparently I’m the person who’s supposed to update this here blog on a semi-regular basis.

Turns out I’m not that good at it.

But I think we all knew that.

I never planned to disappear for four months (and I’m sorry for my unexplained absence – thanks so much to everyone who reached out). But I guess lock-downs can do that.

With stores shut and house calls off limits, it’s fair to say that I just kinda gave up…on blog projects that is. During our previous lock-downs I was able to summon the motivation to keep creating despite the obstacles, but this time around it just felt all too hard.

Not that I’m whining. Life in general went on of course, with its usual spattering of both good and bad days. We went on long walks and had early dinners, watched late night movies and slept in, cried about math being too hard and our house being too small. But overall we remembered to be grateful.

Although projects were always whirring around in my head, I just didn’t have the inclination to put them in my hands…until now!

With the lock-down having lifted, life is almost back to normal. And top of my list is helping my brother with the bedroom makeover he requested back in June!

Here’s his space before…




Pretty sure I can’t make it look much worse.

And here are a few of the pieces I’m working with…

Some $4.78 wall lights!…

Light Before

You might remember that I used one of these lights in a client’s living room earlier this year. But I bought it at full price back then. $4.78 is just insane!

These vintage director’s chairs I picked up for $20 from Marketplace…

Chairs Before

And these bedside tables from eBay

Bedside Table


I actually started this room refresh last week and will be able to post the result in the coming days! Very excited to be creating (and sharing) again.

Thanks so much to everyone who is still here.

Now just to remember where that ‘publish’ button is…







Easy No-Wire Wall Lights

No Wire Wall Light

If you’re anything like me, then chasing simple and affordable lighting solutions is probably something you spend way too much time doing (I think some of my past lighting posts can attest to that).

But I’m not just talking about inexpensive DIY plug-in fixtures (which, let’s face it, are very limited anyway) or make-do hacks, I’m talking about real wire-less options.

Something that gives us the flexibility to treat light fixtures like any regular item of decor, providing the avenue to move them around or switch them out with ease.

I’m sure many of us are familiar with the puck light hack (where a battery operated bulb is used in place of a regular bulb), but recently I happened to come across a range of purpose wire-less products which make things even easier!

No Wire Wall Light

Nunu Lighting offers a selection of light fixtures and accessories which are completely wire-free. And not only that, they have also been designed for quick and easy mounting with limited impact on walls and ceilings.

Most of their products are designed to be used with purpose battery operated bulbs (which they are sold with), but some also have in-built rechargeable lithium packs which enables them to be used with regular bulbs!

The ones I bought have the lithium packs. To charge, all you do is plug the cable into a little port on the underside of the base.

Charging the Light

Yes, clearly this is me demonstrating whilst the light isn’t attached to the wall. Obviously you wouldn’t want to have to recharge a fixture which is positioned in an awkward spot, but anything within arms reach would be fine and dandy.

Like I mentioned, not all of their lights have the lithium packs, in which case you would use the battery operated bulbs they provide. These are available in two different sizes and are similar in appearance to regular puck lights, with the exception of having an attached E26 fitting so they can be screwed straight into the fixture!

Screw In Puck Light Bulbs

Normal puck lights have a flat base which means they can’t be easily attached. You either have to glue, tape or wire them into position.

You can operate the bulbs manually by pressing on the cover, or, even better, you can use a remote control to switch them on and off from anywhere in the room.

I was going to mount one or two of these sconces above the open shelves in the suite extension kitchenette, but in the end I felt they weren’t needed there. So now I can use them randomly wherever I feel a light would look cool! This one hangs above a little shelf in my parent’s kitchen.

Wireless Wall Light

To me, it’s just like another item of decor working to add interest and charm to the overall vignette.

Of course, most rooms should still have some form of practical hard-wired lighting, and I wouldn’t recommend using these in a situation where constant or frequent light is required. The life of the battery operated bulbs isn’t the greatest so they’re best reserved for accent lighting. But, like I touched on before, they’re also good if you simply like the idea of using a fixture more-so for its aesthetic value. And I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.


In other news, there’s been more progress in the suite extension which I can’t wait to share soon!