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
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


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


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


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


Comments (1)

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.