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How to Make a Homemade Picture Frame

If you’ve bought a picture frame lately, whether it be wood or metal, you might have gotten a surprise when you looked at the price! Wow! You can sure pay a lot for a frame and a piece of glass! It really riles me when I pay more than I want to for a manufactured picture frame and it quickly falls apart too! And don’t even think about visiting a custom frame shop unless you’re prepared to really pay a hefty price.

As I’ve said in previous articles, I enjoy working with wood. So, of course, I decided I would make my own picture frame. There were advantages to making it myself. It would be the exact color I wanted, made sturdily with the exact wood I wanted it to be too.

I have to start out by saying that if you don’t own a wood saw, or, if cutting wood isn’t your thing, then you can always ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to cut the wood for you. You can also check with your local high school. The shop teacher at our school allows people to bring in small projects that need cut out. It gets your wood cut for free, plus it helps give the students practice.

The frame I decided to make was a rectangular-shaped frame. I chose maple wood, but you can use whatever wood you like. You can even use pine too, but it’s rather soft and not very sturdy.

I had a certain picture in mind to put in my homemade frame, so I measured the width and height of the print and I added two or three inches to those measurements. This allowed for a piece of matting to be added in front of the print. Choose a piece of matting that will bring out the beauty of your framed art.

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You’ll also need a thin piece of glass that will fit inside the frame, joint
connectors, glazing tacks, a picture hanger, wood glue, a piece of heavy cardboard, and material for the back board. The first five items are readily available at your local hardware. You can find cardboard most anywhere. Check your local craft store for the back board.

Now, you’ll need four thin pieces of wood to make the width and length of your picture frame. They’ll also need to be grooved on the inner sides with a router. The thin edge that runs around the inside of a picture frame holds the glass in place.

The ends of all the wood pieces will need to be cut at a forty-five degree angle too.

Once you have your wood ready, the rest of the process is a piece of cake. Start by inserting a joint connector into each end of all the wood pieces. You’ll now want to begin assembling your frame. The ends of the frame pieces will be held together with the joint connectors. Place a tiny dab of wood glue on each connector, then tap it into the next piece. Do this until you have made a rectangular frame.

Next, carefully place the glass inside the picture frame. Measure and cut out the inside of the matte, if need be. If it’s already precut, then just place it over the glass.

Then, place your picture, artwork, or print into the frame. Check to make sure it’s completely visible around the matte. If not, you may have to measure and trim the matte so it doesn’t block the framed work.

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Use the cardboard to make a filler piece, then cut and add the backboard to your homemade picture frame. Use several glazing tacks on each side of the back to hold it firmly in place.

Finally, attach the hanger and your picture frame is complete!