As promised, here is my super long and boring (but hopefully helpful) tutorial for disguising a wall-mounted TV. First things first - you should have a flat panel TV that is mounted with a stationary (non-swivel) mount. If you have a tilt mount you can probably modify these instructions slightly to get this to work.
If you haven't hidden the cords yet, you will probably want to go ahead and do that now. Here's a nifty tutorial for running wires through walls and installing outlets behind your TV to hide cables. We simply figured out where we wanted the wires to end up, punched some holes in the wall in strategic spots, and ran the cables through.
This is roughly how we went about constructing the frame.
My sad little diagram showing how everything fits together.The next step is to make the box that will connect to the frame and hide the sides of the TV and the gap between the TV and the wall. This is as simple as getting four 1x4's, cutting them to length and nailing them together on the corners. Just be sure to measure everything first to make sure that the box will fit exactly over the TV and will meet up with both the wall and the frame!
Then attach your frame to the box with nails and glue. At this point you'll probably want to check to make sure that the box and frame fit nicely over your TV. Hopefully it does! Then you'll need to paint out the box to match the frame.
WARNING - Possible heat issue for the TV.
To keep the TV from overheating, we drilled lots of holes in the top and bottom of the box to cool air to flow up from below, and hot air to escape from the top of your TV. Please, please, please be very careful to monitor how hot your TV is while you have the frame and box around it. Try turning on your TV and feeling for heat underneath the box every few minutes, up to however long you normally have your TV on. I don't take responsibility if anyone's TV overheats! My husband has even considered putting a small fan in the top of the box to improve airflow.
Now put the frame and box in place over the TV. Check out the sides of the box where it meets the wall. Chances are you'll have a small gap. We did, too. So we went back to the store and picked up a thin piece of moulding and tacked it onto the box with a nail gun while making sure it was in position to hide the gap completely.
Now you should have something like this, which is a big improvement already, no?
We came up with a few different ideas on how to incorporate artwork. One involved a rollershade, another - a windshield screen. But sometimes the simplest solution is the best. In this case, it meant creating another frame to fit perfectly inside the first one, and then stretching a canvas over it.