Don't spend big bucks letting someone else create a custom frame. Here's how to DIY one with just a few tools and some hardware.

March 17, 2017
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sideboard chair and diy ladder frame

Odd-size frames are hard to come by, but that doesn't mean you can't frame your favorite photos. Make a custom frame by following our easy tutorial below. You'll be able to frame anything you want, wherever you want, no matter the size or space allowed.

What You Need

  • Miter saw
  • 8-foot length of 3-inch wood molding
  • Metal ruler
  • Wood glue
  • Clamp
  • Drill
  • Corner braces with screws
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Spray paint
  • Mat board
  • Bevel mat cutter
  • Cutting mat (optional)
  • Cardboard
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Adhesive tape
  • Picture hanger

Step 1: Cut Molding

ruller

Determine the size of your DIY photo frame. Cut one end of wood molding at a 45-degree angle using a miter saw. Measure from cut end along the long edge and mark at desired length. Cut at mark at a 45-degree angle, taking care that the angle points in the opposite direction from first cut end. Repeat to cut four frame sides.

Step 2: Attach Sides

DIY frame

Run a bead of glue along each raw edge of the newly cut molding. Press corners together to make frame shape; clamp and let dry. Then screw the corner braces to each corner on back of frame, securing the structure together.

Step 3: Apply Wood Filler and Paint

sanding

On the front of the frame, fill in any gaps with wood filler. Allow to dry, then sand until surface is smooth and even. In a well-ventilated area, spray-paint the frame and let dry. If you need multiple coats of paint, wait for paint to dry entirely before adding a second coat. 

Step 4: Cut Mat

measuring

If desired, cut a mat to fit the DIY wood picture frame's opening using a mat cutter (available at any crafts store). Cut an opening in the center of the mat to fit the picture you chose.

Step 5: Make Frame Back

DIY frame

Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the area inside the corner braces. Use a utilty knife to cut a flap in the center large enough for the image and mat. Insert the mat and photo, and staple the cardboard to the back of the frame.

Step 6: Secure Back and Finish

DIY frame

Tape the flap closed with simple-to-remove adhesive tape. Add a picture hanger for mounting, and you're ready to show off your handiwork with a DIY picture frame!

Copper Leaf Picture Frame

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Comments (1)

Anonymous
September 28, 2019
The cardboard is a bad idea if what your framing is important. It has a high acid content and will slowly destroy the artwork/ photo.