How to Build a Floating Frame

These DIY floating picture frames let you showcase your art while maintaining a minimalist vibe. 

Easy Floating Frames

Sometimes the perfect frame is one that lets the artwork speak for itself. For a sleek, modern look, consider a simple floating frame made from sheets of low-cost plexiglass and standoff screw mounts. See-through acrylic frames can be made to fit artwork of any size, and crafters of all skill levels should be able to complete this project in less than an hour.

Each of our plexiglass picture frames uses two sheets of acrylic and four standoff screws, so multiply the supplies if you plan to make more than one frame. The frames look great grouped above a sofa!

  • Working Time 1 Hour
  • Start to Finish 1 Hour
  • Difficulty         Select Projects Easy
  • Involves Power tools , Measuring

What you need

Tools

  • Utility knife
  • Ruler or T-square
  • Sandpaper
  • Small clamp, optional
  • Drill
  • 5/16-inch drill bit
  • Pencil

Materials

  • Standoff screw nails (x4)
  • Empty tissue box, optional
  • Spray Paint
  • Plexiglass (x2)
  • Painters tape
  • Scrap plywood or MDF
  • Adhesive dots
  • Art

How to do it

Step 1 Paint Mounting Hardware

Spraypaint mounting hardware

Standoff screws can be difficult to find in a variety of colors, so if you have a specific hue in mind, simply coat the screws with spray paint. We went with gold to fit the modern feel of our artwork, though any color will do. The easiest way to get a good painted finish is to insert the screws into each of the standoff casings, insert the caps, and then push the screws into an empty tissue box or other cardboard box you don't mind getting paint on. This will allow you to spray an even coat of paint on all sides of the hardware at once. After applying a smooth, even coat of paint, set aside and allow the standoff screws to dry while you work on the rest of the project.

Step 2 Cut Plexiglass

You can buy plexiglass in a number of precut sizes at most home improvement stores, but if you are working with a large sheet or you need a unique size to fit odd-size art, it's easy to cut it yourself at home. Measure your artwork and add 4 to 6 inches to both the height and width to determine the size of each of your plexiglass sheets. Run a utility blade along the edge of a ruler or T-square to score the plexiglass per your measurements, then snap the plexiglass for a clean break. Use a bit of sandpaper to smooth the raw edge, if needed.

Step 3 Mark Holes

Mark holes

Prepare the plexiglass for drilling. First, apply painters tape to the corners of one plexiglass sheet. If your plexiglass comes with a protective film, keep that on for this step. Place one sheet on top of the piece of scrap wood. Use more painters tape to secure the plexiglass to the wood. If you have a small clamp, consider using it to keep the pieces in place, or grab a buddy who can lend a hand. You definitely don't want the sheets to slip while you're drilling.

With a ruler, measure where you want the holes for the standoff screws. We placed ours 1 inch from each side. Mark that spot on the pieces of tape using an "X" so you know exactly where to drill.

Step 4 Drill Holes

Drill holes

Position the drill directly on the tape where you made your mark. Make sure you're holding the drill perpendicular to the acrylic so the hole isn't set at an angle. Press down with even pressure as you drill for a smooth, clean hole. Repeat on all four corners of the plexiglass, then use the drilled sheet as a template to mark hole placement on the second sheet. Secure the second sheet of plexiglass to the wood and drill as you did the first. If necessary, remove the protective film when you're finished.

Step 5 Apply Artwork

Apply artwork

Peel off adhesive dots and stick them to the four corners of your chosen artwork. They should go on the back of your art. Carefully lift your artwork and place it, back side down, directly on one of the sheets of plexiglass. Make sure the art is centered and straight on the sheet before pressing down on the edges to secure in place. Layer the other sheet of acrylic on top, sandwiching the art between the two. 

Step 6 Hang Frame

Hang Artwork

You may want a helper for this step to ensure your art is straight and level. Hold your artwork up to the wall where you want it to go. Use a pencil to mark where the holes are. Pre-drill holes at the marked spot, and drill standoff screw bases into the wall. Position the holes in the plexiglass over the screws and add the caps.

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