Projects, Tutorials

DIY Smallwoods Knock-Off: A Cheap DIY

One company has aggressively advertised on my Facebook and it has really caught my eye.

Smallwoods, the company that makes beautiful, giant photo prints for your home, has me swooning. I love all their of gallery walls and giant prints. I wanted some for myself, but after seeing the price tag, I knew it just wasn’t meant to be.

That was until I found a way to do it myself! And for wayyy cheaper than the real thing too!

Here’s how I made a DIY Smallwoods knock-off!

DIY Smallwoods Knock-Off Supplies

  • your favorite picture(s) – turned into posters
  • (2-3) 1x2x8 boards
  • table saw
  • orbital sander & fine grit sanding pad
  • stain & rag
  • brad nailer & brad nails
  • 1/4″ plywood
  • mod podge & sponge brush
  • staple gun & staples
  • picture hangers

Step 1: Choose a Picture

If you’re anything like me, then this is probably the most difficult step of the whole process.

I have so many pictures of my girls, that it’s hard to choose just one (or three!) to use for this project.

When choosing a picture for your DIY Smallwoods knock-off, make sure you choose something with good resolution. The large prints I used for this project were taken with my iPhone!

Just choose a picture with good lighting and a crisp lines and it should turn out fine.

Step 2: Order the Print

The next step is to order your picture. This is where you save your money!

I ordered my prints from Walgreens. Go to their Photo section and click on Posters. From there, you will have several options. I just use the plain Poster option, no designs, text, or adhesive.

There are 5 sizes to choose from. I used the second largest option (20″x 30″) for all 3 of my prints. These are normally $23.99 plus tax, however, I found coupon codes that made them 50% off. (At times, you can even find codes for 60% off!)

That means I got both beach prints for $25! Even on sale, ONE print from Smallwoods cost $50+.

When you’re ordering your posters, Walgreens’ website may alert you that your image has low resolution. It gave me this alert on all 3 prints, but they turned out fine.

The cheap poster print we ordered for our DIY Smallwoods Knock-Off.
(This is what the prints looked like when I picked them up from Walgreens.)

Step 3: Build & Stain the Frame

The next step to your DIY Smallwoods knock-off is building your frame. For our frames, we used a piece of ‘scrap’ cedar that my husband had out in the garage. But you could easily use a 1x2x8 pine boards from Lowes.

The scrap wood we used for our DIY Smallwoods Knock-Off.
(This is a piece of the scrap wood we started off with. You can tell it’s been sitting in our garage for a while.)

You will need 2 boards for one 20×30 picture. For 2 large pictures (24×36), you will need 3 boards.

First, rip your wood into 1-inch strips using a table saw.

After ripping the boards into 1-inch strips for the picture frame.

Then cut your boards to length. We initially cut the boards to one inch larger than the photo prints, ending up with 4 boards at 21 inches and 4 boards at 31 inches.

After cutting the boards to length, we had to cut both ends of each board to a 45-degree angle.

After making the angled cuts for the Smallwoods Knock-Off picture frame.

After making your cuts, lightly sand each piece with an orbital sander. I used a 220-grit sandpaper.

Then, clean and stain the pieces in the color of your choice. We used Minwax Wood Finish in Provincial 211.

Staining the picture frame.

Finally, use a finish nailer to put them together.

Step 4: Prepare & Attach the Picture

Once your frames are built, it’s time to prepare your pictures.

First, we had to cut a backing for the picture. We used a 1/4″ piece of plywood cut to the size of the print (20×30″).

The backs of the DIY Smallwoods Knock-Off prints.
(The back of the picture frames.)

Next, Mod Podge the picture to the plywood. Simply use a sponge brush to spread the Mod Podge onto the back of the picture, then flip it right side up and smooth it down onto the plywood backing.

Mod Podge the print onto the plywood backing.
(I had a little helper for spreading out the mod podge on the back of the print)

After getting the print smoothed out, we stapled the backing to the frame.

Finally, attach picture hangers to the top of the frame and you’re done!

Staple the backing onto the frame.
(Stapling the plywood backing onto the frame.)

These DIY Smallwoods knockoffs are fairly easy to make and cost less than half a real one! They are now my favorite decorations in the whole house!

The finished DIY Smallwoods Knock-Off hanging in my living room.

If you love DIY projects as much as I do, check out my latest projects:

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