Pictures are some of the most own decorations you can have in your residence. They symbolize reminiscences, hopes, or even just a glimpse into your passions. Just one way to increase the deep connection you have with the pics you display is to develop the body by yourself.  

Do-it-yourself photograph frames are a simple, uncomplicated task that any novice can acquire on. They are also an excellent academic endeavor, as they sort the basis of a lot of jobs, like the wall-mounted laundry drying rack I made a couple months in the past. You can make one thing very simple, like the primary frame I explain underneath, or attempt out some creative upgrades. Probably you want to insert splines, make the frames out of extravagant moulding, or even examine how to do inlays for visible contrast.

I made a decision to go the basic route mainly because I wanted frames for my kids’ 5-by-7-inch college images in my business office, and I did not want to distract from their handsome very little faces. I also didn’t want to shell out a ton of income, so I created as much of the body as I could from elements I had kicking around. I scavenged the wood from the rails of an old mattress, and the backer is cardboard from just one of the several Amazon containers we get each and every 7 days. And the best aspect is that no one will ever know they are built from scraps. It is awesome what a pleasant coat of paint will hide.

Warning: DIY tasks can be hazardous, even for the most skilled makers. Ahead of continuing with this or any other job on our web-site, make certain you have all essential basic safety gear and know how to use it effectively. At bare minimum, that might incorporate basic safety eyeglasses, a facemask, and/or ear defense. If you are employing ability instruments, you should know how to use them safely and correctly. If you do not, or are if not not comfortable with nearly anything explained here, don’t attempt this challenge.


  • Time: 2 to 3 several hours
  • Content price tag: $5 to $50
  • Issue: Straightforward


How to establish Diy photo frames

1. Clean up up your reclaimed wood as required. When doing the job with recycled or reclaimed wooden, regardless of whether it is from pallets, previous home furniture, or a random board you discovered buried in your lose, you will need to have to cleanse it up ahead of it touches instruments. A store vac and scrub brush can assist take away dust and debris from the floor. Then acquire out any components like hinges, screws, and nails. Think about using a nail-acquiring magnet if you frequently function with reclaimed wood—you never want to uncover a skipped nail with your table observed. If the boards are especially rough, you can also sand them down with 80-grit sandpaper.

2. Mill your wood to rough proportions. Milling wooden is a critical ability in woodworking, and PopSci has an entire tutorial on how to do it. In essence, milling consists of flattening every aspect of the board with a jointer and planer so the faces and edges sort ideal angles. If you don’t get started with flat wood, your corner joints won’t be as strong, and your frame may well cling crooked on the wall. Depending on what type of wood you’re making use of, you may well not have to do significantly milling. My recycled mattress rails ended up by now flat and sq., so I didn’t mill or joint them. I just lower them down to tough duration on my miter noticed and to real width on my desk observed. 

[Related: Tune up your table saw the right way]

At the stop of your milling procedure, you should have two 9-inch-extended boards and two 7-inch ones, all ⅝- to ¾-inch huge.

3. Cut the mitered ends on every single board. Given that this job is a frame for a 5-by-7 picture, with ¼-inch rabbet joints on all sides, the shorter side of each individual miter must be 4.5 inches on the smaller sized boards and 6.5 inches on the extended types. The length of the lengthier aspect of every single miter will count on specifically how broad your boards are.

There are various means to slash miter joints, like, as you may possibly have guessed, on a miter saw. Nevertheless, I choose to use a desk observed on scaled-down boards like this. It feels safer and a lot more correct. You can use the miter gauge that came with your desk observed to make this lower, or you can build a mitering sled.  

  • Pro idea: Nevertheless you decide to minimize the parts, use quit blocks to set the lengths relatively than measuring each and every lower independently, if you can. Quit blocks promise that the paired items are exactly the exact dimension, which is critical to receiving properly-fitting miters.
A table saw set at a 45-degree angle, being used to cut DIY picture frame pieces at mitered angles, with a stop block.
Utilizing a quit block like this can assure consistent cuts. Jean Levasseur

4. Slice the rabbets. A rabbet is a tiny channel slash together the edge of a piece of wooden. In this situation, the rabbets are wherever the glass and image sit in the body with out falling as a result of the front. You’ll have to have to increase these channels to the again of just about every board together the inside of edge, so they all encounter inward when assembled.

Like many woodworking duties, there are several techniques for cutting rabbets. My chosen method for narrow rabbets like these is on the desk noticed, employing a one blade as a substitute of a dado stack. Producing two passes with a one blade is more rapidly than changing in excess of my noticed to consider the dado. 

Lay a board down flat subsequent to the blade, and set its height to about half the thickness of the wood. In my case, this was about ⅜-inch tall. Then established your fence so the blade will lower the within portion of the rabbet. Make your cut on all 4 frame items.

When all four are lower, shift your fence to the appropriate an eighth of an inch, then slash once again, eradicating additional wooden and widening the rabbet. If you nevertheless need to have to, maintain moving the fence about right until you’ve eradicated all of the substance for the rabbet. 

  • Warning: Even though the blade won’t adhere out the top rated of the wood, even now use a push stick or press block. You hardly ever know when a board might split, soar, or kick back again, leaving your fingers behind to tumble on the blade.  

5. Glue the frames jointly. The most straightforward way to glue up miters is with specialised clamps. I made use of corner clamps for this challenge, which are intended for 90-diploma glue-ups. You can also use a strap clamp, which is heading to be my upcoming store enhance. But have no worry if you really do not have specialised clamps for corners yet—painter’s tape will work in a pinch.  

A extra detailed clarification of how to use painter’s tape this way is out there in an article I wrote about constructing a small marriage ceremony card box. The gist, having said that, is that you begin by laying all four pieces of the body down flat, end to stop, with the outer factors of the miters touching. Then join them with a 2- to 3-inch piece of painter’s tape, pulling the tape as tight as you can. This will produce a extended practice of frame items. Flip the entire device on to its back again, so the tape is down and the valleys of the miters are going through up. Distribute a slender layer of glue into these valleys, then fold the miters alongside one another. The final corner will not be protected, so extend a piece of tape about it to maintain it in area, then adjust every little thing as desired to make sure it is flat and square. 

6. Minimize the acrylic to sizing. Chopping acrylic is as uncomplicated as cutting a thin sheet of plywood on the desk saw. You really don’t need to have a unique blade or anything at all. Size the acrylic to in good shape inside of the rabbet within the frame. I lower mine about a sixteenth of an inch smaller so it slips in and out quickly.  

There are a several tips that will make this step a bit less difficult:

  • Leave the protective plastic on the acrylic when chopping. This will hold it from acquiring scratched by any dust or debris on your noticed. 
  • Make sure the acrylic can not slide beneath the fence. If there is a huge sufficient gap beneath the fence, clamp a flat, perfectly-milled board to it, with a single edge flush to the tabletop.
  • Flippantly sand the edges of the acrylic when you are completed. The friction of the noticed blade melts the plastic, so you might be remaining with uneven edges. Those burrs arrive off no trouble with 120-grit paper.

7. Sand the photograph frames smooth. Simply because photo frames aren’t a higher-speak to merchandise, and I was planning to paint them anyway, I did not do a lot sanding for this job. I only did a single move with my orbital sander employing 120-grit paper. This cleaned up any glue squeeze-out and smaller imperfections at the corners, when planning the wood properly for paint.

[Related: The surprising woodworking tools you already have around the house]

8. Utilize complete. What variety of complete you use is a matter of personal style. I determined to paint my body black, for two motives. First, I experienced some leftover black paint, so I didn’t have to purchase nearly anything new for this undertaking. Next, the reclaimed wooden I utilised did not search tremendous awesome. It didn’t have any interesting grain, there were a handful of imperfections, and some of the previous stain was nonetheless noticeable. Paint’s an uncomplicated way to address up less-than-stellar wood, so I paint recycled wood tasks a ton.

9. Slash your frame backer. There are all types of solutions you can use for this, but in the spirit of recycling, I made use of a piece of cardboard that I slash to measurement, employing the acrylic as a template. It doesn’t really matter what you use, since no 1 at any time seems to be at the back of a photo body.  

10. Install hanging components. This is another final decision that comes down to particular desire. I like to use sawtooth hangers due to the fact they are very forgiving of a little imprecision in the hanging approach. Image body wire is another quick system. No matter what you use, having said that, pre-drill the holes for any screws. You really do not want the frame to crack following you are this significantly into the process.

11. Put it all collectively. Spot the acrylic initial, then the picture, then the backer piece. The remaining move is to safe that backer so that every thing doesn’t fall out when you decide on it up. There’s actually a specialised tool for this referred to as a issue driver, and you could want to decide on one up if you approach on producing a ton of photograph frames. If, like me, you’re a person of the quite a few woodworkers who do not have a single, just use a staple gun.  

12. Dangle the frame, stand back, and admire. How you dangle the picture relies upon a little bit on the hardware you choose. Because I made use of a single sawtooth hanger, I was capable to just hammer a one nail into the wall, with about a quarter-inch sticking out, and hung the frame from that. 

Now, when attendees remark on what a charming photograph you have on your wall, you can say, “Yes, but did you know I manufactured the frame?” And bask in the ensuing compliments.


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