Handy 2 x 2-foot or 2 x 4-foot wood sheets from the hardware store are the foundation for this simple woodworking project.

By Amy Palanjian; Photos by Adam Albright
January 26, 2019

Making your own frames is an easy way to personalize your decor style. This easy DIY project can be done for an afternoon and replicated again and again. This guide also helps you create a frame with secure picture hanging hardware.

Gold leaf adds a sparkly touch to any project, including these frames. If you've never worked with metal leafing before, our step-by-step guide on how to apply metal leaf can help you get started.

What You Need

  • Poplar, pine, or birch project panel
  • Circular saw
  • Miter box
  • Handsaw
  • Band clamp
  • Wood glue
  • 4 flat corner braces per frame
  • Screwdriver
  • Stainable wood filler
  • Picture hangers
  • Hammer
  • Paint and brush
  • Thin cardboard
  • Thumbtacks

Step-by-Step Instructions

You can make and paint this DIY picture frame in one afternoon with our easy step-by-step picture frame instructions. Widths are customizable based on personal preference. We are making a square frame, but you could use these instructions to make a frame of any size.

Step 1: Cut Frame Pieces

Cut frame sides to desired size. We cut 2-inch widths for one 12-inch-square frame and 3-inch widths for the other.  Use miter box and handsaw to cut the corners to a diagonal (above).  Lay out frame.

Step 2: Secure Frame

Position a band clamp around the frame, apply glue between seams (above), and secure clamp. Let dry according to instructions on wood glue.

Tip: A band clamp is best for making frames because it applies inward pressure toward the center of the frame, making the strongest glue joint possible.

Step 3: Secure the Joints

Secure flat corner braces on the back of each corner with provided screws. Remove clamp and fill corner seams on the front of the frame with wood filler. Your frame is now secured on three sides of the seam. Let dry, then sand to smooth.

Step 4: Finish and Hang Frame

Center picture hanger on the back of the frame and nail in place. Trim thin cardboard to fit flat inside the corner braces and set aside.

Now is the best time to paint the frame any way you desire. We went with a solid blue color. Let dry before continuing.

To use the frame, place the frame facedown, then layer in artwork and cardboard. Secure corners of cardboard with flat thumbtacks and hang using picture hanger on the back.


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