Budget-friendly art: frame images from your favorite calendar

One of my daughters is an absolute cat lover and had a dated cat calendar that she wouldn’t part with because she loved the photos so much – so I offered to frame her favourite images. I’m not a cat person ( I prefer dogs) but this calendar had the cutest kittens so I can understand why she was holding on to it. She loved the results and I was thrilled to see how happy she was. So here’s how I made this budget-friendly art by framing images from a favourite calendar.

She chose three close-up images: one of a white cat, one black cat and a grey kitten.

I simply tore the pages of the calendar – they fit perfectly in my frames so I didn’t have to resize any of the images.

Lining up images with mats can be a real challenge (read: pain in the butt). The trick is to place a piece of tape on the back of your image with the sticky part facing up.  Yes, facing up! Then, gently place the mat over the surface of the image you want to frame. Press on the top of the mat for the tape to stick to the mat. Insert the mat and image into the frame and you’re done. 

Since the frames I bought didn’t have any hardware, I fitted each one with a sawtooth hook.

Don’t be intimidated by the steps; the process is easier than you think.

Here’s how:

  • Find the center of the frame.
  • Make a pencil mark at the center point.
  • Align the middle of the sawtooth hook with the mark (note: some sawtooth hooks have a mark in the middle to make this step easier).
  • Make sure the hanger can’t be seen from above the top of the frame.
  • Using a hammer, gently tap in the nails.
  • Tip: Some sawtooth hooks come with screws rather than nails. If using screws, pre-drill the holes using a small drill bit to prevent the frame from splitting and be sure not to over-tighten them, which could also cause the frame to split.

Next I measured the console table and found its centre, which I marked with a piece of painter’s tape. I’ll use that centre mark to centre the middle frame.

Using my Hang & Level I hung the middle frame first and centered it with the middle of the table sitting below.

I left 10 inches between the bottom of the frame and the table to accommodate table top accessories of different heights.

P.S. I hung the black kitty in the middle; I thought he/she would be a great focal point for my display.

I used one Déco Nail for each frame – they’re designed to fit perfectly between the teeth of the sawtooth ensuring a secure hold.

I made a small mark on the wall with the Hang & Level tool, and hammered the nail straight into that pin mark. It’s that easy!

I decided to leave two inches between each picture frame, then cut two inch pieces of painter’s tape to use as a spacing guide – it’s amazing how well it works.

After I hung the black cat, I placed a piece of tape on the right and one on the left to help position the other two frames. 

Hang the next frame on the left or the right – it doesn’t matter.

I used the yellow hanging tool to line up each frame with the middle one. Use the same hanging steps for each frame. Remove the green tape and you’re done.

Once my three frames were hung, I place Anchor Points in the bottom corners of each frame to keep them nice and straight. This way I won’t ever have to straighten them up. 

Here are all the tools I used for this project: Hang and Level, Déco Hammer, CenterFinder, Déco Nails, Anchor Points, mini level, a pencil and painter’s tape.

Picture hanging tip: When hanging pictures, hanging an odd number of frames is easier than hanging an even number. You simply hang the middle frame first, lining it up with your furniture and then you hang the next one(s) either to the left or right. It doesn’t matter.

The black frames and large white mats make the cat art pop against the crisp white wall. I love making my own art, and I love it even more when I can do it without spending much money.

What’s hanging on your walls? Any DIY art you’ve made? Please share in the comment box below.

Thanks for dropping by!

Liette Tousignant
Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating


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