I realized after my last post on the bedroom, I never explained how we made our DIY air conditioning cover. It’s a simple process and I love how it looks.
Here’s the ugly air conditioner when we purchased the house. I love how the plug is the full cord’s length away from the unit. You wouldn’t want that to be inconspeutious.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t just remove it. We wanted to keep the air conditioning in the room for super hot California nights.
Our concept was to build a piece of art we could hang over the AC unit and disguise it. See it? It’s on the left.
We built two frames. One fits inside the other. The outer one became the frame for the artwork. The inner one became the artwork.
Here’s how it went down.
Wood for Outer Frame
Wood for Inner Frame
Fabric of Choice (I used a cotton quilting fabric)
Measure the air conditioning unit and figure out the dimensions of your frame. You want the frame large enough to have a inch or two of clearance on all sides. We built an outer frame that was 29 1/8″ x 19 3/4″.
The outer frame was built out of 5.5″ x 1″ pieces of wood. We used two lengths of wood to build our rectangle – 2 @ 17″ and 2 @ 28 1/8″. Assemble the piece with a little glue and nails.
Build inner frame out of thinner wood – we used 1″ x 1/2″. The inner frame will be a little flimsy, but this is okay because you want this to fit snuggly in the outer frame. We added two lengths for support along the inside.
Time to stretch your fabric over the inner frame. The most important thing to remember when stretching your fabric is to work from the middle outwards and in opposites. So start on one side and staple a couple times in the middle. Move to the opposite side, pull the fabric taught, and staple the middle in place with a few staples. Repeat with the other two edges. Continue stapling back and forth until you all four edges at tight. At the corners, fold the edges of the canvas neatly and staple the one on top of the other.
It’s okay if your frame isn’t not totally square when you are finished. Once its installed in the bigger outer frame it will maintain its shape.
Sand and paint the outer frame before inserting the inner one. Let the paint dry overnight.
The next day, carefully slip the inner frame into the outer frame. Secured it into place with a few nails.
Install two L brackets slightly above the air conditioner unit to hang the frame on. This allows it to be easily removed when we want to use the unit.
And there you go – a simple way to hide a ugly air conditioner!