Disclosure: Some affiliate links are provided below. Learn more.
A few months ago I shared a set of six free printable vintage botanical prints. As I mentioned in the post, I originally made the prints to create a gallery wall for a huge, blank wall in our living room.
Well, a week after I made that post, I went about creating my gallery wall. I framed the prints in simple black frames and spent what felt like a million years getting the frames aligned…only to realise that I hated the way the black frames looked.
With the frames still on the wall as a reminder of my dumbass decorating decisions (of which I have made plenty), I spent close to a week staring at my fail, trying to decide what I wanted to do instead.
Did I want to keep the gallery wall but change the frames? Yes. Did I want to scratch the gallery wall entirely? Yes. Did I want to throw in the towel and loudly proclaim that wall art is stupid? Double yes.
Eventually, I finally figured out a solution that would allow me to keep my gallery wall without having to go buy new frames: these vintage poster frames.
They were fairly simple to make, so I’d like to show you how I did it:
The supplies list below is for one frame. It assumes your print is A3 size. Please see the additional notes if your print is a different size or if you’d like to make more than one frame.
To make your DIY vintage poster frame, you will need:
- Your images, printed in A3. You can find the botanical prints I used in this post.
- A roll of brown kraft paper, 12″ wide.
- Two 14″ wooden dowels, stained in the colour of your choice.
- Strong double-sided tape and mounting tape.
- Jute twine.
- If your print is not A3, you’ll need to buy kraft paper in a different width. Measure the width of your print and look for kraft paper that’s the same width (close enough is good enough).
- The width of your dowels depends on the width of your print. If you’re not using an A3 print, measure the width of your print then add 2″. This is how long you’ll want your dowel to be.
- If you want to make more than one frame, you’ll need two extra dowels per frame. I made six frames, which meant I used a total of twelve dowels.
To begin, cut a piece of kraft paper that’s twice as long as your print is high. For an A3 print, your kraft paper should be roughly 33″ long. Use something heavy (like a book) to keep both ends of the kraft paper laying flat.
Apply four strips of double-sided tape to the back of your print – one for each side . Stick your print to the middle of the kraft paper, like so:
Use your hand to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles.
Next, push a piece of wood/a ruler up against the bottom of the print. This works as a guide, making sure the space you leave between the bottom of the print and the bottom of the kraft paper is the same on the top and the bottom.
Add a number of strips of double-sided tape to your kraft paper. Using the piece of wood/ruler as a guide, run a strip of mounting tape just under the wood/ruler.
You should have something that looks like this:
Remove the backing tape from the double-sided tape and the mounting tape. Place your dowel at the very bottom edge of the paper. Roll a small amount of paper around the dowel, then continue to roll the dowel up, tucking the paper as you go.
Once you reach the mounting tape, roll the dowel over the mounting tape. Use medium pressure to press the dowel into the mounting tape.
Flip your print around and repeat the above steps for the top of the print.
Once your dowels are securely attached, tie a piece of jute twine around the top dowels to create a hanging rope:
And that’s it! Your DIY vintage poster frames are done!
Here are some additional pictures of my finished frames, displayed in a gallery wall. Excuse the large plastic hooks – I unfortunately can’t go drilling holes into walls in a rental.
If your frames are near a door or window, you can put a little Blu-tack on the back of the dowel at the top and bottom. This will help keep everything in position when there’s a breeze.
You can pin this project here