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Easy DIY Picture Frame

DIY Picture Frame

Making a DIY Picture Frame is so cost effective and I love the way they turned out! I’ve had so many different prints and certificates that I have been wanting to frame and hang up! 

After making my sister’s shadow box for her dried wedding bouquet, I decided that I would just make my own frames.  I have had such a hard time finding exactly what I wanted and then if I was able to find something I liked it came with such a high price tag! 

These frames are very simple and basic, made with 1 x 2 boards and 1 x 3 boards.  There are so many options to make your frames more detailed or larger and there are so many different boards or materials that you can use!  This post walks through how to make a simple frame, but once you have this part down, adding onto it will be an easy DIY! 

Step One: Decide on Size and Material

For sizing you will want to measure for your opening.  I started by measuring my pictures and certificates and then reduced the size by 1/4 inch to create a small 1/8 inch layover all the way around.  

For my materials, I choose to use 1 x 2 boards and a 1 x 3 board for one of the frames.  I also grabbed a 3/4 inch square dowel rod to use to create the different sections in my 3-opening frame. 

DIY Picture Frame

Step Two: Cut Boards to Size

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I made all my cuts on my miter saw.  I started by making a 45 degree cut on one end of the board and then using the interior opening size, the smaller edge, marked for all other cuts.  

Step Three: Route the back inside Edge

diy wood picture frame

Using a router with a 1/4 inch straight bit I routed a small edge on the back inner side (the shorter side) of the frame boards.  This will be where I will place my glass, picture , and back board to hold everything in place.  

Step Four: Nail Frames Together

Using my clamps and a square, I positioned the boards together into a corner and then nailed from one side into the other.  I put 2-3 nails on each side of the corners. 

For the 3-opening frame, I positioned the square dowel in place and then nailed from the outside of the 1 x 2 into the dowel to hold it in place.

DIY Picture Frame

Step Five: Fill Holes

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To fill all your nail holes you can use a stainable wood filler, if you are planning to stain your frame.  If you are not planning to stain your frame you can use a putty or caulk.  

Another option to fill your holes is to mix some wood glue with some of the sawdust you created when cutting or routing your boards.

Step Six: Sand entire Frame

Once the filler has dried, sand the entire frame with 220 grit sandpaper.  You could just us a sanding block or to make this step go faster, you can use a palm sander. 

Be sure to sand the filler flush with the frame and then sand over the whole frame to prep it for a smooth finish.

DIY Picture Frame

Step Seven: Apply a Finish

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There are many different finishes that you could choose for your frame!  

I choose to paint one, stain one, and then apply a colored wash to the last two frames.  Other options you could us would be to spray paint the frame, there are many metallic finishes or textured finishes.  You could also use rub and buff which creates a great antique finish.  

Step Eight: Add Glass or Acrylic Panel

I was able to get glass cut from a local glass shop.  If you are able, you could get glass and cut it yourself.  But another option is to use the acrylic panels that hardware stores sell.  These are great because they are easy to cut with a circular saw. 

To add my glass to my frames, I decided to use my hot glue gun and just run a bead of glue along the backside to hold the glass in place in the frame.

DIY Picture Frame

Step Nine: Frame your Pictures


To hold my pictures and certificates in the frames I used picture frame turn button fasteners that I found on Amazon.  These were easy to add with a screw driver and hold the picture and back board perfectly in place in the frame.

There are so many options for making your own custom picture frames!  From the sizing to the details to the materials, you can really make these DIY picture frames your own!  

If you wanted to add a mat board, you would just plan your frame to be larger.  There are so many uncut mat board options out there!

Also, you could plan to layer together several boards to make a more detailed or wider frame.  You could add a trim detail to the edge or to the front.

The options are really endless.  This is certainly not the end of frame making for me.  I have so many ideas for more wall décor and cannot wait to keep framing our memories! 

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DIY Picture Frame Links

diy picture frames

DIY Picture Frame

Prep Time 1 hour
Build Time 5 hours
Dry Time 6 hours


  • Miter Saw
  • Clamps
  • Carpenter's Square
  • Brad Nail Gun
  • Wood Router
  • Palm Sander


  • 2 1x2x8 Square Edge Common Board
  • 1 1x3x8 Square Edge Common Board
  • 1 3/4" x 36" Square Dowel
  • 1 Acrylic Panel
  • 1 Stainable Woof Filler
  • 1 220 Grit Sandpaper
  • 20 Picture Frame Turn Buttons


  • Decide on frame size & material.
  • Cut boards to size
  • Route back, inner edge of boards.
  • Nail frame sides together.
  • Fill nail holes.
  • Sand with 220-grit sandpaper.
  • Apply paint or stain or finish.
  • Add glass or acrylic panels cut to size.
  • Frame your pictures!
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