Floating Acrylic Frame DIY

How to make an acrylic frame! via A Beautiful MessI am really excited to share today’s DIY with you because I LOVE how it turned out. I have admired modern, floating frames from afar, but this is my first time to try to do anything with acrylic. It is easier than it looks (seriously, the hardest part is just having the correct supplies), and it looks SO polished and pretty in my dressing room. 

We’re working with Canon USA for this project, and I used my Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer because I knew I wanted a big 13×19 print. Absolutely love how the print came out.

Alright! First, here’s the video tutorial. Read the written instructions as well for a little more info about drill bits. 

Supplies:
-piece of acrylic a few inches bigger than your photo (You can get this at most home improvement stores, and they will cut it to size for you.)
standoff mounting hardware
-printer and printer paper
-screws to mount hardware (Remember that the screw head has to be big enough to fit inside the hardware tube that attaches to the wall, so take the hardware with you when you go to buy screws.)
-drill and screwdriver
-gold spray paint
-painter’s tape
-glue dots
Canon PIXMA iP8720 Crafting Printer

Step 1: Print your photo. Like I was saying before, I used the PIXMA iP8720 printer and 13×19 inch Luster paper. If you’re using a Canon PIXMA printer, you can just set the print to be borderless in the print setup screen on your computer so you don’t have to trim off any white edges. 

Step 2: Cover the corners of your acrylic, front and back, with painter’s tape. Mark on top of the tape where you want the holes to go. Use a small drill bit to drill a hole into the acrylic (keep a piece of scrap wood under the sheet to protect your surface). To drill into acrylic, it’s best to drill a little bit into the acrylic to get the hole started, but then switch the drill into reverse and press down with pressure to complete the hole. You’re trying to avoid cracking the acrylic, so going backwards and basically melting through the sheet is the best way to go. Keep switching to bigger and bigger bits until you have the right hole size drilled for your hardware. Remove the tape and the protective film from your sheet. 

Step 3: Use glue dots to attach your photo face down onto the acrylic. Hold your photo and center it on the wall where you want to hang the frame. Mark where each hole should be drilled (try and be really precise, there’s not a whole lot of wiggle room if the holes are really off), and pre-drill each hole with a small drill bit. Paint your mounting hardware gold and let it completely dry. Mount the tube part of the mounting hardware into your predrilled holes with a screw and screwdriver. Line up the holes of your frame with the hardware and screw in the front screws to secure the acrylic in place.

How to make an acrylic frame! via A Beautiful Mess How to make an acrylic frame! via A Beautiful Mess How to make an acrylic frame! via A Beautiful Mess I am REALLY loving the clean, modern look of this frame. This design is light and airy. 

For my photo, I used a photo taken by my friend Arielle Vey. (She edited it with A Color Story. That’s how I initially saw the image and fell in love with it.) I really wanted an image that was soft and dreamy, NOT a giant photo of Jeremy and I since it’s in our bathroom/dressing room. Haha! Different moods for different rooms, am I right? 

How to make an acrylic frame! via A Beautiful Mess The acrylic feels heavy and substantial and because of the busy nature of the photograph, you don’t really notice the glue dots in there. 

How to make an acrylic frame! via A Beautiful Mess     I HIGHLY recommend this project if you’re looking for an affordable, modern DIY frame. It was about $40 to make this project, by the way! 

I’ve noticed a shift in my art taste lately. Instead of wanting a lot of small art and gallery walls, I am gravitating toward larger, single statement pieces. I really believe that the right print in the right room can tie EVERYTHING together. A room without art isn’t a finished space! 

Hope this DIY is helpful! Please let us know if you make one and feel free to request future DIYs for your art/photo/decorating needs… we’re ALWAYS curious to hear what solutions and projects you are in need of. 

Have a great day. xx! Elsie 

Credits//Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Laura Gummerman. Video and Music: Jeremy Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

  • What an awesome DIY! I love how it looks against your wall and I love that photo too!!!

  • Just curious, which gold spray paint did you use? It looks absolutely gorgeous <3

  • This is such a cool DIY and it looks amazing, but I have two comments/questions:

    Why not just buy hardware in the color you want, so you don’t have to paint it? Then the finish would be more durable. Like these, for example: http://www.signsupplies2go.com/P-5854/Inexpensive-Sign-Supplies-With-Brass-and-Gold-Finish-For-Wall-Displays?st=Category&sid=29334

    You could use two pieces of acrylic and sandwich the picture between them, so you don’t have to use glue on the front of the photo. The only difference would be the edges wouldn’t look quite as pretty as the do with one solid piece of acrylic. What do you think?

  • We didn’t see this same hardware in gold or we would have done that. But since it’s not something that will get handled I don’t think the spray paint is an issue.

    We had to use the thicker acrylic because that’s what the home improvement store recommended to drill through without splitting. I originally thought it would be two pieces sandwiched together as well.

    🙂 Elsie

    • Awesome thank you so much for posting this! This was my question too. We are definitely doing this but buying the frame kit/acrylic from amazon then will paint the hardware. I wasn’t liking the shiny brass gold but yours look great!

  • Love this! I’ve been looking for a photo just like this- do you know if the image would be available for sale?

  • I love the photo you chose!

    I wrote a DIY on this same project earlier this week and used two pieces of acrylic to sandwich together. I like the option of just using one piece, it turned out great!

    -Courtney

  • Thank you <3 I've seen the diys with two acrylic sheets around a photo but I gotta say, this looks more sleek. I love the new take

  • This looks so great! I would love to try it sometime.
    I love wall decor ideas, so I am really enjoying all these framing posts.
    Tips on making really pretty paintings would be fun! I’ve had a real creative kick lately and want to pick up painting more.

  • Great project, and more importantly for me (a filmmaker), great video!!! By chance does Jeremy remember what camera settings he used? I’m about to do a shoot in a similar setting. I love bright whites, but not losing detail!

  • Thank you so much Audra! 🙂

    I asked Jeremy what setting he was using and he says he doesn’t remember. It probably wouldn’t matter anyway because you’d have to customize it for your shoot anyway- sorry!

    Thanks so much for reading! Elsie

  • Beautiful! Something that I will have to do in my hallway. Also, curious where you got the hanging planter/bowl that’s hanging on the adjacent wall?

    Thanks

  • This is such a cool project! Thanks so much for sharing. Is this image for sale anywhere? It is PERFECT.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this unique dit idea!!!! I love it!! Can’t wait to try it. Happy Easter!!!

  • Wow, this is an amazing DIY. It looks so good. Love the floating effect. I do have to wonder why you didn’t do this with the Jane Birkin photo in your dining room (or perhaps you did/have?)

  • Good points! I didn’t think about the risk of a thinner piece of acrylic splitting when drilled through. Also, I actually like the finish of the gold paint you used more than the super-shiny pre-finished hardware. 🙂

  • I love this tutorial! As a renter, I’d love any tips you all have for hanging art without making holes in the walls. Especially in bathrooms with lots of moisture. Thanks!

  • I absolutely adore this! I’ve been looking at purchasing similar frames but I think making one is a much better option ?

  • Looks gorgeous! Is the print for sale? I checked her blog but cannot see anything. Also, I have seen a tutorial somewhere that if you want to use 2 sheets of acrylic and worry about splitting to heat a nail the same size as the screw and melt in a hole….apparently the excess ‘melted’ acrylic can be picked off once cooled.

  • I loveee this! And going to try it out this weekend! What was the thickness of your acrylic piece?

  • I would love to do this with a small print i have that is white.. will the glue dots show?

  • What size piece of acrylic did you use? trying to decide how much room I need to leave around the edges of my print & i like the look of this one

  • Sounded and looked amazing until you mentioned the glue dots. Sure it might work for this particular piece if you don’t look too close … but surely you can come up with a more polished way of executing this for art that needs to be displayed without damage or grease stains from glue dots … right?? :/ Come on…

  • Thanks for posting it.
    I tried this and turned out beautifully.
    Totally loved the pic of Antelope Canyon.

  • I love this but am worried that the glue dots wouldn’t hold a print that’s on heavier paper. I am also hesitant to put glue on the front of my artwork. Any alternative ideas? I guess just do the sandwich?

  • I love this project and dying to try it for a more affordable float frame option. Do you have any other suggestions as alternatives to the glue dot? I want to do this with some wedding photos, but afraid that the glue dot will show through, especially on the darker corners of some of our photos. I’m trying to think of other options. Thanks! 🙂 looks gorgeous.

  • I have been wanting to do this DIY, but with my engineer sized print so 36×48 I think. That’s the largest size I have seen at Home Depot so… I guess I have to trim my print? Also not sure if the glue dots will hold such a huge print? Any suggestions? Thanks!!

    • I don’t know that it would work with that kind of paper- especially if the room has any moisture. I’d use this tutorial with photo paper only and for engineer prints I would stick with a traditional frame. I agree- the glue dots may not hold it.
      xx!!