in an attempt at minimalism, i decided to sell off my poorly treated, disorganized collection of cds, receiving a mere fraction of what i paid originally. apparently, nobody needs a scratched copy of depeche mode’s violator with a cracked jewel case and SO many memories and feelings attached to it…okay i’ll keep that one! but freeing up the space a cd collection takes up doesn’t really work if you still have all the boxes, bins, and binders they sat in. i donated most of the lot, but i decided that with a little decorative molding, a once humdrum plywood cd bin from ikea could become something much prettier. it’s remarkably easy to make a frame if you have a mitre box with 45 degree angle guides, and if you are looking for a wide frame, wood molding can be quite a bit cheaper than buying frames secondhand. the result makes me so happy, in fact, that i think i need to put on violator and remember the pain of my existence. oh, the angst… have fun! -kate
CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!
- old wood box, crate, etc.
- decorative wood molding (enough to frame your entire box + 4″ extra. mine is from a hardware store, is 2″ thick, and cost $12 for 72″)
- saw and mitre box (you can buy these as a set at a hardware store)
- wood glue
- painters tape
- contact paper
- exacto knife
- drill (optional: if your box does not have holes for hanging, you need to drill a couple in the back)
1. Measure the INSIDE dimensions of your box (this is the width and length of the opening in the box).
2. Use your mitre box to cut one end of your molding to a 45 degree angle. Make sure your molding is aligned properly: the top edge should be the outer edge of the frame, and the 45 angle should be ” / ” in orientation instead 0f ” “.
3. Measure and mark the longer dimension of your box from the inside edge of the piece you cut. Now cut to that mark with the opposite orientation of the 45 degree angle, or “” instead of “/”.
4. You have your first piece. You need to saw off the “” edge that you have on the remaining molding piece to turn it into a new “/” edge for the next piece. This ensures the frame aligns correctly (outer edges are all the same).When in doubt, hold the pieces together and see what I mean:) This is why you need extra length on the molding piece.
5. Repeat steps 2 -4 for the remaining three sides of your frame.
6. Apply wood glue to all the angled sides of the frame and lay on a work surface. Squeeze pieces together tightly and apply painters tape around the four edges to secure while it dries. Use a damp cloth to wipe up any excess glue. Let the glue set for at least 15-20 min.
7. While the glue is drying you can put the contact paper around the box (this is only if you don’t like the way the sides look. Mine were ugly so I need to hide them). Measure the width of your box and cut a long strip of contact paper that will fit all the way around the perimeter of your box. If your box does not have hanging holes in the back, drill four holes in the four corners for hanging.
8. Start in the center of the top of your box: since you hang this item at eye level, the top is the least likely side to be seen, so that’s where to put the seam. Align the edge of the contact paper to be flush with the front of the box, and wrap around the box, smoothing out air bubbles and wrinkles as you go. Contact paper is quite forgiving, so you can pull it up and reapply it as needed.
9. Once your frame is dry, lightly sand, paint, or stain it as desired. Once that step is compete and the frame is dry, apply a thin layer of glue to the entire front rim of the box edge. Don’t apply a ton of glue, but don’t worry about drips, you can easily wipe them off the contact paper. Apply a line of glue around the inside of the backside of the frame as well, where the frame will make contact with the front edge of the box.
10. Press firmly and use tape to press the frame down while the glue dries. Use a damp cloth to wipe any drips.The wood glue should be set in 15-30 min and totally strong by 24 hours.
11. Once the glue has set, you can hang the framed display box anywhere you like, and fill with your prized possessions, including crummy old cds:)