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A few months ago I shared a set of six free printable vintage botanical prints. I didn’t mention it in that post, but I originally made the prints to create a gallery wall for a huge, blank wall in our living room.
Well, a week after I shared the prints, 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.
I felt pretty damn clever at that point.
Anyway, after realising black frames weren’t for me, I spent the next week looking at the wall trying to figure out what 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? Maaaaaybe.
(I’m overdramatic. It’s my personal brand.)
Anyway, at some point something got me thinking about those vintage poster scroll frames you might have seen in a school classroom years ago. I don’t even remember what made me think of them, but I had a feeling that the frames might go well with the botanical prints, so I decided to see if I could make some.
Here’s how they turned out:
They were fairly straightforward to make, so I’d like to show you how I did it, in case you’d like to make your own.
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.
- A piece of wood/a ruler (or something similar in shape).
- 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. Push the dowel against 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, we’re renting and my landlord might die if I drill six holes into the living room wall.
The frames themselves are pretty light, which means they can blow around a bit if there’s a breeze. I found that I could stop them blowing about by adding a bit of Blu-tack to the top and bottom dowel, then pressing the dowel into the wall. The frame is still supported by the hook, but the Blu-Tack is just enough to keep it from moving around.