Blog

DIY: Rocks, Crystals, and Geodes... oh my!

If you're feeling particularly crafty today, we've got a simple and quick DIY for you that has a huge payoff. Rocks, crystals, and geodes are perfect for bringing a natural and soothing energy into any room. They make for the perfect bedside companions, bookshelf fillers, good luck charms, pet rocks, and even keychains - but have you ever thought about hanging one of them from your wall? Well, neither did we... until a few days ago. 

What you'll need:

  • silicone (or super strong glue)
  • your favorite rock friends
  • a shadowbox frame (make sure your rock fits inside)
  • white mat board 

Step 1: Find your center

Measure the mat board on both sides to determine where you'll glue your rock. It doesn't have to be exact - but it gives you a good ballpark range of where to glue. 



Step 2: Get sticky

Glue your rock to the mat board in the way that makes it the flattest it can possibly lay. You want to make sure it fits perfectly inside your frame! 



Step 3: Let 'em sit

While your rock friends are drying, it's a good idea to clean your glass and get your frame ready. Make sure all those pesky little specks and fingerprints are nowhere to be seen! Once everything is good and dry, put your frame back together and marvel at your awesome DIY skills. 



You can experiment with all kinds of rock shapes and frame sizes. If you're feeling extra crazy, try using a patterned piece of paper or a bright color mat board. We wanted to keep things simple and elegant, but there's no limit to what you can do with these! 

Come mine through our shelves of rocks and geodes until you find the perfect little stone for your project. Oh, and if you need a frame, we're pretty sure we've got you covered on that, too. 

Scooting into Spring

Spring has officially sprung in Chicagoland and we've been basking in some gorgeous sunshine through our shop windows! The flowers are blooming, the short shorts are strutting, and it's almost time to stow away those heavy coats until next winter. So of course, the Foursided gallery walls had to reflect this welcomed seasons change. Kim, one of our many talented framers, was up for the challenge. We spent some time with her at our Broadway location while she pieced together this vespa beauty by Methane Studios.



This beauty has spring written all over it. Not in a bright and floral way, but in a subtle, classy way - a style that's quickly becoming more popular for the modern minimalist. 


We were totally digging this color scheme. We paired a mid-century wooden frame with an off white mat to really set off the colors in the print. It looked like something that was straight out of the Brady Bunch home. However, something was missing. The piece needed a bit more color. That's when Kim had the idea to do a double mat - and a good idea it was. 



We paired the off white pat with a navy/bright blue color-core accent mat. This helped separate the white of the mat from the cream of the print, along with adding dimension to the piece. We were immediately in love. 



Once we bevel-cut the mats, we were ready to secure them to the print. Bevel cutting is the process of cutting at an angle and is standard for cutting any openings in mats. This allows the mat to "flow" into the piece, and in the case of using a color-core mat like our navy one, allows for the pop of color from the core to show through. We used our ATG gun to secure the mats to the print. 
Fun fact: ATG Gun sounds pretty technical and fancy, but it literally is an acronym for "Automatic Tape Gun." You're one step closer to becoming a professional framer!


We carefully cut our glass to size, made sure our print was spic & span, and placed the glass on top. The next step was to fit the frame to the artwork! 

What a breath of fresh air! Doesn't that make you just wanna hop on the nearest scooter and take a ride around town? We were both geeking out at how this piece came together. Make sure to stop by our location at 2939 Broadway and see it for yourself! You can also take it home with you for $285. 
Want more Foursided? Make sure to follow us on instagram (@foursidedchicago) and keep checking back for more exciting blog posts! Happy Spring!

DIY: PINS, PATCHES, & THE WONDERS OF CORK

Have you always dreamed of an easy way to display all of those super cool pins and patches you've been collecting? Or those gorgeous necklaces that sit in a tangled mess on your dresser? We've got the answer. 

Cork.
Yes, cork. 
It's not just for wine bottles anymore, people!

Here's a pretty easy DIY for those crafty types. If you aren't so artsy-fartsy, don't worry.
We've broken it down step by step so you can follow along. It's easier than building IKEA. 


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
 
  • cork (you can buy this in sheets or a roll at any craft store)
  • a frame (we used an awesome vintage frame we had in the shop)
  • foam-core 
  • a razor blade or scissors 
  • a sawtooth picture hanger
  • glazier points (can be found here)
  • ruler or measuring tape
  • spray glue

STEP 1: MEASURING

The first thing you'll want to do is measure the inside of your frame to get the size of your foam-core and cork board. After laying the frame face down, measure the inside back walls from top to bottom and side to side. Make sure to measure from lip to lip and not the inside opening of the frame - you don't want your cork board falling out the front when you're all done! It may seem very obvious, but because what's inside the frame is slightly larger than the opening, it stays put. Once you've got your measurements, write down the length and width. 



STEP 2: SNIP, SNIP, SNIP

Mark your measurements on your foam-core. Using a ruler or some other sort of straight edge, cut the foam core to size. We use a box-cutter because it's more accurate, but a pair of sharp scissors could work too. Mark the same measurements on your cork (or trace your foam-core) and cut to size. 



STEP 3: SEAL THE DEAL

You'll probably want to do this next part outside, unless breathing in really harmful chemicals is totally your thing (we get it but just this once be safe and go outside). We tacked our foam core to a wood column out on the deck and coated it with spray glue. It doesn't take as much as you think! A side-to-side vertical pass followed by a top-to-bottom horizontal pass should do the trick. You'll want to stay about 12 inches away from the foam core. Once you've finished spraying, it's time to attach the cork. Make sure to start at the top and gently rub your way down to avoid any air bubbles. It's kind of like giving a massage - but without the oil and awkwardness. 

STEP 4: SAFE & SECURE

Once our cork is glued on to the foam-core, place it inside the frame. If your frame is face down, you'll want to be looking at the foam-core. If you're looking at the cork, take some deep breaths and flip it over. If your frame already has clamps and a hanging mechanism, then clamp that sucker and move on to step 5. Because we're a fancy frame shop, we've got a special gun that inserts small metal brads that hold the foam core in place. Since you probably don't have one of these, we recommend using what are called glazier points. These you can also get at a craft or hardware store. They're essentially the same thing, they just involve a little more work to get them in. Read the instructions on your package, but it most likely involves nothing more than light tapping with a hammer or wedging in with a flat head screwdriver. Once the foam-core was secure, we hammered in our sawtooth hanger. These can also be purchased with tiny screws that secure the sawtooth to the frame (also available at the same stores). Read the package on your sawtooth and follow the instructions provided. It'll read something like "find the center and whack it in!"



STEP 5: PIN CRAZY

Now's the fun part. Pat yourself on the back because the hard part is over. Find some pins that make you happy. We're using these adorable little gold ball points and some vintage upholstery pins we had in the shop. Different pins can be used for so many different things - so use your imagination! Once you're satisfied with how everything looks, it's time to put this baby on a wall. We recommend using a nail with a flat head so your sawtooth hanger has something to rest on and keep it from sliding forward and off the wall.

TIP: Once you've hammered your nail and hung the frame, apply pressure to the top to drive the nail deeper into the wall. This eliminates the gap between the frame and the wall and makes for a more secure final product! 



STEP 6: STEP BACK AND ADMIRE

Congratulations! You're now a real DIY-er. Here are a couple examples of how you can use your new cork frame. No more piles of pins and no more tangled necklaces - now you can officially stay organized. 

Make sure to tag us on Instagram @foursidedchicago with your finished products! Happy corking!