Thanksgiving is officially over so it is now okay to talk about Christmas, right? Every year we receive beautiful Christmas cards from friends and relatives near and far. They feaure cute kids, beloved pets and happy sentiments. I have experimented with many different ways to display them but this is my favorite! And it is very easy and inexpensive for a beginner DIYer. Honestly!
My inspiration came from lollyjane. Those resourceful chicks even made theirs from scrap wood they had on hand. I didn’t have any scrap wood, but 1″ x 2″s are inexpensive and easy to work with. I made a few minor structural and cosmetic adjustments but all-in-all, I simply used Lolly Jane’s ideas and plans. This is their frame:
While planning my project, I knew I wanted to make a few extra as gifts so I planned my dimensions based on how much wood I would need. The poultry netting (chicken wire) roll was 24″ wide, so I knew I couldn’t go any wider than that for the width of my frame, but most of my walls won’t accomodate anything much larger anyway. The wire comes in varying widths and length so you can use whatever fits your needs. If you want a 3′ x 4′ frame to hold more cards, use a 36″-width roll of wire. An inexpensive 1″ X 2″ x 10′ common board was the perfect base for my frames, and I cut each into two 24″ and two 36″ lengths.
I used my K5 Kreg jig to make 2 pocket holes in the ends of each 36″ piece of wood. If you do not have any means of making pocket holes, don’t fret. The ladies at LollyJane skipped this step completely and simply used flat corner braces to hold their frames together (more on this below). Corner braces are a quick and effective means to build these frames, especially because the frames won’t be holding anything too heavy (mostly paper!). I have a Kreg Jig so I used it, but still ended up adding the corner braces because I loved how they looked.
After making the pocket holes, I used 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws, wood glue and a drill to assemble the frames.
A quick sanding and they were ready for stain and some finishing wax.
Once the frame was assembled, it was time to add the decorative touches. I laid the frame face down and stapled the chicken wire to the top using 1/2″ staples. I unrolled the wire and while holding it taut, stapled along the sides. Once at the bottom of the frame, I cut the wire with wire cutters and stapled it securely. A pair of gloves was nice to have for this part of the project. The spots where I cut the wire was sharp!
Once the wire was secured to the back of the frame I realized that it would be helpful to have the frame and wire NOT rest directly on the wall. I didn’t want scratches on my wall I and thought it would be a lot easier to clip the cards to the wire if there was a bit of space between the wire and the wall. I added a couple small pieces of scrap wood (3/4″ x 3/4″ molding) using a nail gun (you could use finishing nails and a hammer instead). This is completely optional, but I liked how it turned out. It also has the added benefit of covering those sharp spots where I cut the wire.
Once the frame is completely assembled, it is ready for use. You can add sawtooth hangers to the back or use Command Strips to hang it on the wall. I liked the look of the corner braces in the original frame by Lolly Jane so I purchased some, painted them a hammered bronze color, and attached them to the frame.
I was making seven frames so I needed a quick and easy (and hands-free) way to spray paint all the screws and flat corner braces. I poked each screw into a piece of cardboard and laid the braces out on a piece of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking after I sprayed them. It is only necessary to paint one side of the braces.
And voila! the frame is finished. I added a boxwood wreath from Target and some colored clothespins from Michaels. I decided to keep two of the frames…one for all the beautiful cards we receive from loved ones, and one to display the cards WE have mailed over the years.
- Miter saw
- Kreg jig (optional)
- 1/2″ staple gun
- wire cutters
- nail gun and finishing nails (optional)
- 1″ x 2″ x 10′ common board, cut to 2-24″ lengths and 2-36″ lengths
- 24″ x 25′ poultry netting, cut to 36″ lengths
- 2″ flat corner braces (4 pack)
- stain of your choosing
- spray paint (optional)
- 3/4″ x 3/4″ scrap wood (optional)
- 1″ x 2″ x 10′ common board: $2.50 each
- 24″ x 25′ poultry netting: $13 (but was enough to make 7 frames)
- 2 1/2″ flat corner braces (4 pack): $2.70
- stain of your choosing: on hand, free
- spray paint (optional): on hand, free
- Total cost per 2′ x 3′ frame: about $7