DIY “Magnetic” Frames



So you might be asking why I put the word “magnetic” in quotation marks…it’s because I tried the magnetic idea. And I hated it. I’ll tell you a little bit more about it and what I decided to do instead.

First, I bought these watercolor prints from Jane.com. If you haven’t heard of Jane, it’s an online daily deals boutique. I’ve seen these cute prints featured quite a few times. Mine are they 8×10 size, and they are printed on card stock. I had hoped they were going to be canvas, but oh well. I still really love the prints.

Okay, let’s get started.

What you’ll need to make your magnetic frames:

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You will need:

Lattice Trim
Hot Glue Gun
Hot glue sticks
Miter saw (I used a miter saw, but a hand saw would work just fine)

Command Strips for hanging

My prints are actually 8.5″ x 11″, so be sure to measure and confirm yours are the same size before you start cutting!

I used lattice trim since it’s nice and thin. It’s only 5/16″ deep, and I used 1 5/8″ wide trim for mine, and the ones available at my local hardware store were Douglas Fir. I cut my pieces to 9.25″ length, so I got 10 pieces out of each 8′ board. Each framed picture will require 4 boards, so you’ll get 2 1/2 pics out of each 8′ board. For my 6 prints, I purchased 3 boards and had some scrap wood left over.


Once you’ve got your boards cut to 9.25″, you’ll want to sand the edges. I love this little sander by Gator Finishing! Super comfortable grip, and great for tight spots, too!


I stained my boards with Minwax in Early American. I left them unfinished (no top coat).

How to build the magnetic frames

Then I tried the magnetic strips. I bought a roll that comes with sticky back, and I just cut them about 1/2″ shorter than the length of the board. I was so excited to try it out…but they ended up being a pain in the butt! They were really hard to lay straight and keep from being crooked. The card stock kept sliding around as I was trying to attach the Command Strips to the wall. And when I was finally finished, a big breeze came through my window, and actually blew one of the pieces of card stock out of the bottom part of the frame! The magnet idea might work if you used a higher strength magnet, but it just wasn’t worth it for my $3 pictures.

So I went back to the drawing board and removed all the magnetic strips. I decided that since these were cheap prints, and I don’t think I will ever be re-framing them, I’d go ahead and just use hot glue! Yes, this will destroy the prints if I ever want to use the frames for something else. But as I said, these are cheap, card stock prints. Not family heirloom portraits. 😉


I measured 1/2″ down for the bottom edge and drew a line, and then I did the same at the top (1/2″ up). And then I got my hot glue gun ready.


Then flip the print over and line it up on the lines you drew.


I was curious how it would look if I just left it like that (for those looking to go even cheaper on this project!). I liked the look okay, but I knew I’d like it even more with two layers.


I went ahead and added glue to the second piece and sandwiched my paper between the two boards.

Then attach the Command strips, and you’re done! I used one Command strip on the top and one on the bottom as well, just to keep them from flapping around in the wind.


Cheap and easy project! It would cost $18 to frame 8 prints. Not too bad!


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