Monday, August 3, 2009

I finished the sentence or the DIY Trapeze Frame Tutorial!

If you have been to my house anytime in the last 2, maybe 3 years, you will have seen this incomplete sentence on my wall (not sure why the picture is so blurry - sorry!)

Really, it has been a great conversation starter. People were generous enough to fill in the blanks with rather humourous suggestions. My favorite would be "bed" - like I am really going to write, "All because two people fell in bed" on my wall. I don't think so. That may be what happened but I don't really see the need to announce it on my wall! Anyhow. After waaaaay too long, I finally took the 20 minutes today that it required to finish up. No, this is not some vinyl rub-on - that would cost money! This is a simple paint-the-words-on-the-wall-for-free trick!! I am relieved to finally have that project completed. Though I may miss the conversations. Just a little. What do you think?

While I was at it, I thought I would share with you how to make your own trapeze frame, like I did. Really, it is terribly easy and oh-so-much-cheaper than Umbra or any of those other brands. I will try to walk you through the steps but, remember, I made this frame about 6 years ago so I hope I don't forget anything important.

First of all, find your frames. Pick the frames that you like, regardless of the color, because you can always paint them, like I did. Arrange your frames on the floor of the store to ensure you like the final set-up. Other customers may look at you funny but that's okay - you are the genius here and they only wish they knew what you were doing so they could do it too! Mix and match until you have the perfect combination. My suggestion is to make all the frames the same color so if you have to paint them, go right ahead.

Secondly, find a curtain rod that you like and one that you can handle looking at everyday. After all, it is what you will hang all those frames on. If you happen to be doing this at the same time as buying your frames, lay the whole thing out on the floor, frames and rod. Still looking good? Perfect! Then you are ready to buy the hardware!

Third, find some eye hooks, some airline cable, and some crimps. Eye hooks are self explanatory, at least for me. This is what crimps look like and they come in packages of 12 or so. I found mine in the aisle with the cable.

This is what the cable looks like. It looks like many thin strands of wire twisted together. I found mine on a large roll - you could cut however much you needed and you pay by the foot. You may want to figure out just how much cable you will need so you buy just the right amount.

The amount that you need will be determined by your setup. I used 18 eye hooks, 24 crimps and a whole whack of cable. You will also need a wire cutter and a needle-nosed plier.
Now the fun begins. Take your eye hooks and insert 2 hooks in the top of each frame, like this. Mine are about 1 inch in from each side.

Now, if you are planning on hanging frames one on top of the other, you are going to have to insert eye hooks in the bottom of the frame that is on the top. Does that make sense? Maybe a picture will help. See how this frame has eye hooks on the BOTTOM of it because there are 3 frames that are going to hang below it.

Make sure you mark your frames accurately so that you aren't making random holes. I held the bottom frames right up against this top frame so I knew where I wanted them to hang then marked each with a pencil. So, now you should have eye hooks in the top of each frame and possibly in the bottom of a frame or two. Can you see where the eye hooks are in my set-up?

Now that you have that done, you need to cut your cable using your wire cutters. Once again, lay out your frames and rod on the floor and measure the distance between the top row of frames and your rod. Add 3 inches to the number. Lets say that number is 12 inches. That is the length of cable you will need for your top frames. If you look at the picture above, I will have cut 6 cables 12" in length. Slide 2 crimps onto each piece of cable. Using your pliers, bend the cable 1" in from ONE end, like this (this photo shows the bend at both ends - please, just do one end):

Now, take that bent end and slide it through the eye hook then slide it back through one of the crimps. You should have something that looks like this:
Take the other end of the cable and loop it around the rod and back through the remaining crimp. You want the loop to be big enough to easily slide along the rod, but not huge. It should look something like this:

Repeat this step for each of the top frames. If you only have one row of frames, you are almost done! I added a small drop of crazy glue to this top loop right at the crimp just to make sure it would not come undone. The cable that goes through the eye hooks tends to stay in place even without glue. Maybe it is the sharp angle of the bend. Whatever the case, if you feel better putting some glue there, too, by all means, go ahead. Once the glue is dry, you can hang your rod (preferably in studs) and enjoy your handiwork.

If you have a second row of frames, you have a couple more steps. Once again, lay out your rod and frames, measuring the distance between that first and second row of frames. Get creative - they don't have to be in a straight row - mine aren't. Add 2" to that measurement. Cut your cable to that length, 2 cables for each frame. Slide on 2 crimps then bend your cable at each end, 1" in from the end, as shown earlier. Slide the cable through the eye hook then back through the crimp. Do that for each end. You should now have this:

Complete each frame this way. Now you, too, are done! Hang up your rod and enjoy! I love my trapeze frame and get many compliments on it. Hopefully you will, too!


  1. The trapeze frame is so beautiful and so creative!!! Wow it's gorgeous and special! Thank you for sharing how to make it!! :)

  2. I had no idea you made that fancy thing yourself! Thanks for sharing! I have the perfect space for something like that :) .... we'll see if I get to that or not!! How did you do your lettering on the wall - stencil? free hand?

  3. You are amazing! I've always admired that frame - that is so awesome you made it yourself!
    And the lettering? Did you paint it freehand? Or have stencils? It looks awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for the compliments! As for the lettering, this is my secret. I print out my saying on the computer, finding the perfect font and size. I always print it out in outline so as to not waste ink. I then line it up on the wall in the perfect location and use carbon paper to trace the letters on the wall. Sometimes it is hard to see so I use a pen or Sharpie and trace over the letters directly on the wall. That way I can see it much better and if I get interrupted (which happens a fair amount around here) I am not trying to figure out where the letters are. Then I paint them in. Or you could buy the vinyl rub-ons which take all of 5 minutes! Your choice!

  5. I LOVE your finished product! Thanks for such a great tutorial and revealing your secret to the lettering. =) I also had wondered if you freehanded them. I think its way more fun to use the carbon paper and paint than the rub-ons...that way you get to brag you did it yourself. =) Great Job!

  6. Thanks for sharing. How did you hang up the curtain rod?

  7. The curtain rod is just hung using the brackets that came with the rod. You can see one of the brackets in the very first picture in the bottom left hand corner. Remember, find a stud in which to place the bracket for a better secured rod!

  8. You're a life saver! THANKS for posting this.... :-))!


Related Posts with Thumbnails