How To: DIY Wood Panel Printables Framing.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

star wars printables framing wood panel furniture tacks
This was a fun project, I had a great time with this.

Probably because it was a Christmas gift for my sweetest-can-be hot stuff babe.  (Was that too much?)  Hence a huge gap of time between pulling this one together and then sharing it with you -- there weren't ain't no way I was gonna spoil this surprise ahead of time!

Back a couple months while lolly-gaggle scrolling through Instagram one fine evening, I ran across The Navage Patch, announcing that they had Star Wars printables available on their site.


Now.  If you know Mike, he, he is a Star Wars fa-natic.  Fanatic.

And I mean, he's got it bad.

Like super bad.

No not like Superbad the movie, like Super Fan.  No not the Super Fans, though go Bears!

There is not enough Star Wars in the world for him. If he could move to uh, pick a planet Becky....(yes I had to look this up) uh, the forest moon of Endor (maybe?), he would.  I mean, Ewoks are cute.

Like he's in another room with his phone, I can hear some sort of geeky audio where they're discussing the in's and out's, the intricate details of oh gosh, I could not even tell you what, but it's highly detailed about some storyline thingie.

He's read every Star Wars book out there (did not know there were bajillions of them).  He wants lightsaber sconces.*  He regularly listens to the movie soundtracks in the car or around the house.  He has a Death Star waffle iron* (oh crap there are other types, oh sh*t don't tell him).

I think you get the gist.

So when I saw these printables, I joined up on their newsletter and downloaded me each and every Star Wars one there was.  If you're not a fan, no worries, they've got plenty of others to choose from if you're interested.

Now, I'm not a printables gal, especially ones with words or phrases and most especially calligraphy'ed ones, but these were different, ones that he'd love but also wouldn't break my bank account as a gift.

It took me a while to figure out how to best frame these puppies up, what size, how many, which ones, did I want regular store-bought frames, did I need to go to Ikea (yes please!, no I couldn't go), should I build frames, hemming and hawing over this that the other, the details....ya know.

Eventually I landed on a solid wood panel for the back.  Was it to be plywood or solid lumber or what?  Then I was tossing around finishing ideas....stain, no stain, rough, smooth....oy it's endless.

Originally I thought glass and maybe some standoffs* but ehh, it was too cold and office-y for this particular application.  Plus uh, holes in glass?  Mmm.  No.

Too, glass, I was afraid he'd bump them and they'd crash down; he can be a bit of a bull in a china shop sometimes.  But then glass, I was having trouble figuring out how to attach it without some kind of edge...

Yes, this was a multi-week map-it process in my wee head.

So I went with acrylic sheets* which you can pick up at your local home improvement store, maybe craft store, definitely online.  These* to be exact, are what I purchased.  Don't forget to peel the plastic lining off both sides!

They look exactly like glass, though more expensive than glass, but yet are infinitely easier to work with and less shattery scary if broken.

After digging through my pile of existing wood that is collecting dust from major lack of use, I found a long rough hewn board I had purchased a while back at Home Depot for about eight bucks, a one by twelve'r.  That actual is 11.25", don't forget.

Therefore, I went with 8x10 acrylic and worked with the proportions of the two combined.

I cut the wood into four pieces of 11.25" by 9.25".  One of the nice things about this wood is it's super lightweight, almost balsa wood light.  The other was that it was rough and knotty gnarly-ish.

Ok, so I overordered on the acrylic sheets in case any arrived broken, scratched, or I screwed up.  Whoever packages these particular orders does a terrible job, just throwing them into a pouch and dumping them off on the postal service.


A speedy (ha!) trip to Menards and I gathered up some picture hanging hardware* and some furniture tacks.*

I'm sorry, what now, furniture tacks?, you scratch your head.  Yes, furniture tacks.

supplies to create printables wood panels
All my supplies assembled and ready for action.
After scaling down the images to print at 7x9 which leaves a nice half inch border of wood seen through the acrylic around the image, then cutting them ever so carefully with my X-acto knife* and cork back ruler* (which prevents slipping, ahhh), it was time for assembly.

trimming Star Wars tie fighter printable art
See, the cork on the ruler back holds everything securely in place so you don't slice up your hand, er, the print.  Always cut with the discarded end out, as seen above.
First went the hanging hardware on the back which I centered and set at an inch and a half or so down from the top edge so they'd be consistent across all four.

adding picture hanging hardware to back of wood panel
Gettin' that hanging hardware on.
The best way to handle those itty little nails that you can't hold onto and skitter everywhere fyi is with a pair of needle nose pliers.*   Hold the nail in place with the pliers, right under the head of the nail, tap tap with the hammer, and bada bing, good to go.

Mmmk, flip the board over.

Lay the print down and with a tape measure, center it.  Math.  I know.  Sorry.

Carefully, while holding the print down with one hand, tip up the top edge and stick on a tiny piece of double stick tape* with the other, repeat for the bottom.

Peel the plastic film off one side of the acrylic.  Lay the acrylic down over the print.  With a tape measure, I then centered the acrylic on the board, top-bottom, side-side.

placing acrylic panel over print on wood
Gettin' it all laid out.
Very very carefully with the smallest drill bit I had, I next drilled holes in the corners of the acrylic through ever so slightly into the wood but not too far.  This I didn't measure but you can for OCD purposes.

drilling acrylic corner for furniture tack
Gettin' that itty bitty teensy weensy hole drilled.
Peel the corners of the film up on the front and gently tap in the furniture tacks with a hammer.  They might bend but no worries, there are a slew in the package.  Once each corner is tacked in, carefully peel up the rest of the film.

peeling plastic over acrylic and tacking in furniture tack
Don't peel too much in case you slip while pounding these in!
Ta da!  Done!

AT-AT Star Wars printables wood panel framing picture acrylic
Super cool, right?!

DIY wood craft furniture easy acrylic tack printable frame
Neat, yeah?!
Funny thing was, most of the pieces and parts of this project were out in plain sight most of the time, sans the prints themselves.  Not that Mike is oblivious but he's so used to weird projects around the house, he rarely questions anything.

Sweet.  Heh.

close up of diy wood panel printables framing corner furniture tack
Nifty lil' close up of the cool wood for ya.  You're welcome.
The wrapped box sat under the tree for a solid month, (giddily for me) taunting him.  That's mean.

Come Christmas morning, I was rrrrrr so excited to give him these.  Hilariously, he's opening a different gift and says, "is it the Millenium Falcon?"  No, it was not.

Even more hilariously, when he opened the prints, the Millenium Falcon was on top to which I exclaimed, "aw babe, look!  You got the Millenium Falcon for Christmas after all!"  We had a nice cheesy chuckle.

And he was happy.  He likes them.  Yay!

Star Wars printable on DIY wood panel framing for printables
pew pew....
Happy New Year, everyone!  Fingers crossed for a much more prolific year around these parts and I hope you all have a great one!

*The lightsaber lights, Death Star waffle iron, standoffs, acrylic sheets, picture hanging kits, furniture tacks, X-acto knives, cork rulers, double stick tape, and needle nose pliers are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Acrylic sheets look exactly like glass, though more expensive than glass, but yet are infinitely easier to work.


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