DIY Extra-Large Acrylic Frame
Let me start this post by saying, this is a three-person job.
We had two.
I was inspired to install an acrylic-framed piece of art by this image. I love how the clear frame gives the room a sleek updated look and keeps the artwork the focal point. Our style leans more traditional, but I still love adding in crisp, clean, modern layers. I thought something similar would look amazing in our dining room. However, rather than the two pieces in the inspiration photo, I wanted one really big one. I’ve always loved rooms with oversized art or lighting. These are two design elements I think you can go big on without it looking like an accident. Our dining room has the perfect wall for an extra-large piece of art, so I started exploring our options.
My first preference was to commission the artwork. I love collaborating with artists and watching our shared vision come to life. I also think original art makes for a fantastic heirloom to pass down. Ultimately, though, I passed on this option because my impatience won out! I figured, if I love having a large scale print in our dining room I can trade it out for a commissioned watercolor or line drawing a little later down the line.
Now, finding sources for large scale, printed art was a challenge. After countless internet rabbit holes I finally stumbled on Anewall, which had the perfect 54” x 68” matte print. But I was only ⅓ of the way to achieving my vision! I still needed to frame and hang the piece.
While the site offers framing, they didn’t have a solution for a piece of this size. As I soon discovered, no one really does unless you want to go the custom route. I wasn’t interested in that because I had my heart set on the oversized acrylic look. My search continued by, turns out, no one sells acrylic frames this size!
This is when I had two choices:
1. Choose a smaller size and have it delivered, ready to hang, right to your door.
2. Stick to my vision, make some calls and rope Brett into a DIY+him project.
One guess what I chose...
I made a few calls to plastic companies in the area and was redirected to Nationwide Plastics. They were super helpful and set me right up with the materials for my 60” x 74” frame. They even dropped them off at my house the next day. That’s my kind of service!
I’m happy to report that after a good deal of research, some trial and error and a bit of husband coaxing, I achieved my vision.
If you want to spruce up your space with a statement-sized piece of art in an acrylic frame, here’re are a few tips from our adventures in DIY...
1. Sizing the materials
You need to cut two pieces of acrylic, taking into account room for a 3-4-inch border around the print. I asked to have two 74” x 60” pieces of acrylic cut to frame my 68” x 54” print.
2. Mounting prep
Ask your acrylic supplier if they would be able to drill holes for your mounting hardware. I did this step on my own with a 7/16” forstner bit, but it would have saved me time and energy to have them do it.
3. Extra materials
Nationwide had to cut a larger sheet of acrylic, so I had two 60” x 22” pieces leftover. They were kind enough to cut them down to four 30” x 22” inch pieces, which I’ll use to make smaller frames at a later point.
4. Mounting hardware
To finish the look, I wanted brass standoff bolts for the corners. A quick search led me to Highland Hardware where I ordered this set.
Note: This is a large, heavy piece of art. I knew we were drilling into wood. If you’re not drilling into studs you might want to consider different mounting hardware.
5. Assembly and mounting
This is by far the trickiest part of the project and a great time to invite a friend over to help. We first held up one of the acrylic pieces to the wall with a level and marked the location of each predrilled hole. Then we installed the bolts to the wall. Next, we assembled the piece of art by lying the first piece of acrylic on a flat surface, taping the print into position and topping it with the second acrylic sheet. Holding up the frame, we matched up the bolts to the predrilled holes, put the washers in place and tightened the screws. Ta Da!