How to Build a Floating Frame

These DIY floating picture frames let you showcase your art while maintaining a minimalist vibe. Make one (or several!) using inexpensive acrylic sheets.

Acrylic Floating Frame

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 acrylic and standoff screw mounts. Clear 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 floating frames use two sheets of acrylic and four standoff screw mounts, so multiply the supplies if you plan to make more than one frame. The frames look great grouped above a sofa or as part of a gallery wall. 

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

What you need

Tools

  • Utility knife
  • Ruler
  • Sandpaper
  • Bar clamps
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • 5/16-inch drill bit
  • Level

Materials

  • Acrylic sheet, 1/8-inch thick (x2)
  • Wall art, for framing
  • Painters tape
  • Scrap plywood or MDF
  • Adhesive dots
  • Standoff screw nails (x4)
  • Wall anchors, if needed
  • Screw tops
  • Spray Paint, optional

How to do it

Step 1 Cut Acrylic Sheets

You can buy acrylic sheets 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 artwork with an irregular dimension, it's easy to cut it yourself at home. Measure your artwork and add 3 to 4 inches to both the height and width to determine the size of each of your acrylic sheets. Run a utility knife along the edge of a ruler or T-square to score the acrylic per your measurements, then snap the acrylic for a clean break. Use a bit of sandpaper to smooth the raw edge. If desired, spray paint wall-mount standoff screw hardware and let dry while you continue the project.

Step 2 Secure Materials

Prepare the acrylic for drilling. First, stack both sheets of acrylic and attach with painters tape, making sure the edges are aligned. If your acrylic comes with a protective sticker, keep that on for this step. Then attach the corners of the acrylic to a piece of scrap wood with more painters tape.

Step 3 Drill Holes

With a ruler, measure 1-1/2 inches in from each corner, and mark with a pencil. This is where your screws will go. Use bar clamps to keep the acrylic sheets in place. You don't want the sheets to slip while you're drilling. With a 5/16-inch drill bit, position the drill directly on the tape where you made your marks. Make sure you're holding the drill perpendicular to the acrylic so the hole isn't set at an angle. Slowly press down with even pressure as you drill for a smooth, clean hole. Repeat on all four corners of the acrylic sheets. Remove the tape and protective film when you're finished.

Step 4 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 acrylic sheets. Make sure the art is centered and straight on the sheet before pressing down on the edges to secure. Layer the other sheet of acrylic on top, sandwiching the art between the two. 

Step 5 Hang Frame

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, and use a level to ensure it's straight. Then use a pencil to mark the hole placements. Predrill holes at the marks, then drill standoff screw bases into the wall. Position the holes in the acrylic over the standoff screw base and add the caps to attach.

Jason Donnelly

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