DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame


I need to make things with my hands every day.

It’s not an anxiety-induced, “what do I do with my hands” thing. It’s an “as surely as I need to breathe” thing. My head and and my hands and my heart just don’t feel complete unless I’ve made something.

But you and I both know that making time to make can be a challenge. Especially if you are afflicted with overly ambitious DIY eyes that are bigger than your free time/motivation/workspace. ::cough cough ME cough cough::

So in an effort to get a little more making into my life and yours, I’m launching a new series! Presenting—drumroll, please—Mini Makes: DIY in 30 minutes or less. 

Don’t worry, there will still be loads of ambitious big projects. (“Loads” being a highly fluctuating term, meaning as many as I’m able to actually get done). But I’ll be sprinkling in some easy, peasy, and above all, fast DIYs for the instant gratification we are all accustomed to, and to satisfy the endless yearning to make make make.

Up first, a simple way to bring a touch of bohemian style to your decor: DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern In spite of years of my tastes becoming more modern and simple, I still can’t resist a little dash of boho. Sometimes a lot of boho. I’ve got copper and yarn hangings and succulents for my boho leanings, but I don’t have any mudclothy things.

Paint pen to the rescue. DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern A basic mudcloth pattern is extremely easy to draw, and that’s coming from a lady who struggles to draw a basic stick figure. And, it’s a fun way to update a cheap picture frame. And, you only need one “supply” for this “project.” And, you can do it in half an hour. For serious. DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern I’ll shut up now and get to the DIY.

DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame

Skill Level: Oh-so-easy. If you can draw triangles and dashes, you can draw a simple mudcloth pattern.

Time: 30 minutes or less.

What You Need:

  • an old, cheap, or boring picture frame
  • a paint pen (I used a chalk paint pen because it’s what I had on hand)

What You Do:

Step One — Grab your frame and paint pen, and do a little research. DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern What? Research? Just google some images of mudcloth patterns to use as a reference. Do you think I came up with those designs on my own or something?

Step Two — Get drawing. DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern

It’s not a bad idea to practice your shapes and designs on a piece of paper first. Other than that, have fun! You can make it as simple or intricate as you like. Or be all clever and fake an intricate look by adding lots of polka dots like I did. I didn’t plan the patterns out at all, just started drawing shapes based on the reference images I was looking at, and added in more and more until I was happy with it.

That’s it. You’re done. Add a print to your fancy new frame and call it a day. DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern Super secret pro framing tip: take a second to clean the inside of the glass before placing your print. Nothing like sealing up the back of a frame, finding the perfect spot on your wall, hammering that nail, and proudly hanging the whole thing up…only to have to take it all apart again because you’ve encased a bazillion cat hairs.  DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern How adorable and awesome is this cactus print?? It’s a watercolor by Hillary Henslee of The Painted Arrow and I’m more than a little in love with it. You should totally follow her on Instagram, she sometimes gives away digital downloads for freeeeee!
DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame // Jade and Fern And this print. So good. So fitting. This guy is by Delia of Delia Creates, and she made it as a free printable for her blog! Go download it already!

Ok so now I’ve got the mudcloth thing happening, but I’m still not sure I’ve got quite enough Pinterest-fueled-hipstery trends going on in my place. Time to draw some eyeballs and crescent moons. And cover my fridge in druzy magnets and Instagram prints.

P.S. Need another mini-make? Don’t forget about my DIY chalk paint jar labels! You can make them in all of two minutes. No joke.

Author: Marlene @ Idle Hands Awake

Maker, baker, cat momma, total nerd, perpetually covered in glitter/sawdust/paint. Blogging DIY and design for modern creatives.

13 comments on “DIY Mudcloth Picture Frame”

  1. These are really, really, really pretty. I love a DIY that involves doodling- one of the ways I most enjoy using my hands <3
    Ain't nobody got time to make stuff. 30 minutes is so doable though, and typically are how long my fav ideas take! Great idea for a series.

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