Declaration as Decor: DIY Vintage Poster Frame for 4th of July Mantel
In February we had the chance to attend a family wedding in the Washington D.C. area. Anytime we have an opportunity to travel, we try to extend the trip a day or two to do some exploring nearby. I had been to D.C. before, but I am certain you could go many times and still not see it all!
This time, I ventured to the National Archives for the first time. Can you believe I hadn't even seen National Treasure, either!? (We changed that immediately, when we got home!) Before going to see the Constitution and Declaration of Independence on display, I wandered around the gift shop and decided that I absolutely needed to buy a replica Declaration of Independence for 4th of July decor!
As I wandered around the exhibit, the security guard made a joke about me trying to steal it and put in a fake (an obvious reference to National Treasure I didn't totally appreciate at the time). It was a lot more funny after I'd watched the movie.
Anyway-- now that you know the background of how I ended up with this year's focal point of my patriotic mantel, here's how you can make your own vintage style poster frame. To learn more about how I styled this year's mantel, click here!
What You Need
Minwax Espresso Stain (Around $4 at Home Depot or another hardware store)
Step 1: Prep you Wood Boards
Pick up or order your poplar wood board. You can order 4 foot boards online from Home Depot, but I just picked up two of the 3 foot boards in store for about $3 total. I already had some Minwax Espresso stain on hand and have used it on a ton of projects, including our wedding signage, but if you need a can, pick it up while you are there! A little goes a long way with stain, so it will last several projects.
Good news, you don't have to go to Washington, D.C. to get a replica Declaration of Independence! Now, I will say mine was like $4 at the gift shop, so buying online does come with a bit of a premium. I got the large size.
Next, you'll need a saw to cut the boards to the size of the replica. My poster measured to 22 inches, so I went with 23 inches for slight breathing room. If you don't have a saw at home, Home Depot will make cuts for you! Sand off any rough edges and brush off any wood dust.
Step 2: Stain Your Boards
Next, use a staining rag or old t-shirt to apply a coat of stain. Remember, a little goes a long way and you can't take the stain off. You can always apply more to achieve a darker look. Wipe off any excess stain immediately and let dry for several hours to overnight. You can also use gel stain or 1 hour stain in Espresso for a quicker dry time.
Step 3: Glue Declaration to Boards
Once the boards were dry, I glued the Declaration to the boards using Craft Goop. It's a nice strong glue! To ensure it stays down, you can add on some heavy books while it dries.
Step 4: Add Twine to Hang
Finally, cut the desired length of twine and add on to the back with hot glue. I have to use this as a place to plug my favorite tool purchase of 2017-- the Cordless Ryobi glue gun. It literally changed my crafty life to have a cordless glue gun!!
After the glue is dry, consider adding magnets and little felt pads for extra weight. This is completely optional. The bottom was tilting a bit and I realized I just needed to crease the Declaration a bit so it wasn't rolling up and pulling.
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