Baseball cards are valuable collector's items, prized by collectors and baseball fans alike. To display your collection, going the do-it-yourself route with a DIY baseball card wall display provides you with the freedom to customize your creation.
Take Measurements and Gather Supplies
Before you begin building your own baseball card display case, first determine the size of the frame. As a guide, select the matboard that will surround the baseball cards and lay out the cards on top of it.
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Adjust the placement so all of the cards are evenly spaced. Then trace the card's form onto the matboard and cut out the windows slightly smaller than the guide with an X-Acto knife. Matboard serves as a barrier between the glass and the artwork itself. It is a thick, cardboard-like paper product. Matboard windows are typically smaller than artwork so that the work can attach to the back.
Once the size is defined, determine the required materials. You'll need to construct an inner frame, outer trim and hardboard. For example, to build a standard 8-inch by 10-inch picture frame, you'll need an 8-foot length of 1 x 2 light-colored lumber, like the fir used for 2 x 4s (also known as whiteboard). You will also need an 8-foot length of 1 x 3 light-colored lumber and a 4-foot length of 1/8 x 2 hardboard (this is a thin slab of wood or composite like plywood). Scale up these measurements for larger projects.
Cut the Lumber for the Frame
Once you have gathered the materials, begin constructing the DIY trading card display frame by cutting the lumber with a circular saw. With the 1 x 2 whiteboard, cut two 14 1/4-inch pieces for the top and bottom outer trim and two 13 3/4-inch side edges for the outer trim. On the 1 x 3 whiteboard, cut two 9 1/4-inch pieces for the top and bottom of the frame and two 12 1/4-inch pieces for the frame's sides.
Lastly, on the 1/8 x 2 hardboard, cut the top and bottom pieces of the hardboard's first layer (2 1/8 by 14 1/4-inch), two sides of the first hardboard layer (2 1/8 by 8-inch), two sides of the second hardboard layer (2 1/8 by 10-inch) and the glass and picture retainer (8 by 10-inch). Then sand all of the cut wood to a smooth finish.
Create the DIY Trading Card Display Frame
To make the inner frame, arrange the four whiteboard pieces into a rectangle, ensuring the two shortest pieces are on the inside. Use a carpenter square to confirm the edges are flush and perfectly square, then clamp down to secure in place. Connect each piece with wood glue, then use a finishing nailer to secure it in place.
Begin the process of attaching the outer trim. First, lay the inner frame on top of three layers of hardboard, creating an offset necessary for attaching the outer frame. Next, align the outer trim pieces, clamp the joints and attach to the inner frame with glue and a nail gun. Once dry, check that the hardboard pieces and glass fit. Attach the first layer of hardboard to the inner frame with wood glue and 5/8-inch brad nails, then the second. Let the frame dry, then add the hardware.
Once you've assembled the frame, cut the windows out of the matboard. Place the baseball cards in a protective card sleeve and line them up to the back of the window. Use tape to secure the cards, place the matboard inside the frame and close and finish your DIY trading card display frame.