Too Cheap to Buy Frames Tutorial

Chalkboard is the new wallpaper!

Last year’s Anthropologie Catalog has inspired many! Anthropologie displayed their bedding  surrounded by chalkboard-painted walls and floors with hand-drawn accessories: frames, rugs, furniture, lamps, etc. Since then, I’ve noticed hand-drawn picture frames all over the blog-o-sphere, and the new West Elm Catalog has run with the theme as well. Here’s my take from this inspiration.

Frames in Relief (with light walls and a Sharpie)

Supplies needed:

Tape measure or level
Black Sharpie
Straight Edge (ruler)
Different sized frames to trace around

First, decide the layout of the frames on your wall. I eyeballed it. You could trace your layout on a large piece of paper if you need to trial and error before marking up your wall.

Make sure to use the level or tape measure insure your frames are level. Using the pencil, trace around the frames you’ve selected. I used big and little frames to make the inner and outer lines of the frame details. That way, I knew everything would be square. You could use plates and bowls too, if you wanted round frames.  Trace away until you are satisfied.

Step back and take a look. Everything level? Everything square? Feel free to experiment with the frame details, like scrolls or Fleur-de-lies, with your pencil. I like to wing it directly with my Sharpie, and skip drawing everything twice.

As you can see, even walls finished with orange peel (instead of smooth) can be drawn on as well. Now, take your Sharpie and straight edge, and trace over your pencil lines. Its important to hold the Sharpie cap in your mouth as you draw. And, no. I’m not that stout…I’m 7 months pregnant. Okay, my vanity is smoothed… back to the tutorial.

Use the straight ruler to draw diagonal lines for 3-D detail.

Add frame decoration.

Fix little mistakes with fingernail polish remover and a Q-tip. Or,  if you have your wall paint, you could cover mistakes with a small brush.

Here are my finished frames. Click on the links below to see how others have drawn frames for inspiration.

I liked the way the Anthropologie catalog taped papers haphazardly inside the frame. So, that’s what I did. You could hide your tape or glue your picture to the wall.

Other hand-drawn wall frames:


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