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These DIY picture frames are not only a simple project but make for a beautiful homemade piece of decor or a thoughtful gift idea. It’s not just about framing photos; it’s about crafting a piece of art that enhances your home decor.
This DIY project has been a favorite for over a decade! Thousands of readers have made them and you can, too, with a few basic materials!
These DIY picture frames are one of my favorite weekend projects ever. They are easy to make and require few materials. They can be customized to whatever shape, size and color fits your decor – which makes them the perfect project!
Why These DIY Picture Frames Are So Popular
This DIY project has been a fan favorite for over a decade. These easy-to-make DIY picture frames are perfect for showcasing family photos, turning any house into a home. They’re a testament to how a simple DIY project can transform into a cherished piece of art.
This project is an excellent alternative to expensive custom framing, allowing you to create a custom frame that matches your decor perfectly. Save a lot of money and get beautiful handmade picture frames? yes please!
These handmade frames are perfect for creating a gallery wall. You can craft frames of same or different sizes to display your favorite photos in a unique, personalized layout.
How These Frames Came About
When faced with decorating a long wall in our house, I was inspired to create something unique. After spotting some rustic picture frames online, I decided to craft my own wooden frames. This decision sparked the creation of this tutorial for homemade frames, proving that sometimes, the best decor is the kind you make yourself.
Crafting your own frames is not just about saving money; it’s about creating something unique and personal. Whether it’s your first frame or you’re a seasoned DIYer, there’s always room for creativity.
These may be cheap wood picture frames, but they look expensive and would make a lovely gift, too!
And they are so simple to make. They look like old weathered pallets but in fact they are basic white wood 1 x 3’s from the hardware store that have been stained to look all old and rustic.
The staining technique is simple – it’s just layers of dark stain with a gray stain on top. By varying the intensity of the different stains (the longer it’s on, the darker the stain ends up), you get a variety of color on the wood.
My whitewashed wood technique is also another method that would work well here if you would prefer a lighter look.
They really add so much warmth to the living room. Plus, I love looking at pictures of my babies!
Step-by-Step Guide to Your Own DIY Picture Frames
- Wood: 1 x 3’s cut to size. My frames are 22 inches long and 7 boards wide, easily sourced from your local hardware store or from scrap wood.
- Wood Stain: Minwax Dark Walnut & Classic Gray.
- Card Stock: Black (11 x 14) and burlap color (8 x 11) for a classic look.
- Photo: Your favorite 5 x 7 photo and a 5 x 7 cream mat.
- Other Supplies: Foam brushes, rags, wood glue, Elmer’s glue, removable glue dots, a smaller cream mat for the photo, sanding paper/block.
I’ve put together a video tutorial to help you… or you can just skip over it and read the directions below.Watch this updated video to see how I improved my method using the removable glue dots so that the photos can be changed out as needed.
- Cut the wood: Cut the wood into strips the length you want the frame. My frames are 22 inches long and 7 boards wide (just over 17 inches). I purchased 1 x 3 x 8’s and had them cut down into 4 equal pieces. So I got 4 boards from each 8 foot piece at round $4.50 for the entire 8 ft board.
Adding Power Tools for Precision: If you’re comfortable using power tools, a miter saw or table saw can make cutting your wood pieces more precise.
- Stain the wood: Start by putting a coat of Dark Walnut on all the boards except for a few. Immediately wipe it off 3/4 of them. Let it sit for 20 minutes on the remainder before wiping off. This will allow for a different depth of color on the boards.
- Second round of stain: Next, apply a coat of Classic Gray to all boards, including the ones that didn’t get Dark Walnut. Again, wipe it off a few, and leave it sit longer on others. Allow to dry for 6 – 8 hours.
4. Assembling the Frame: Lay out your stained wood, ensuring a varied color pattern. Use wood glue for the frame pieces, securing them with a corner clamp for precision.
- Brace the back: Using wood glue, place two braces on the backs.
Weigh them down with something heavy so that the glue bonds correctly, or use a clamp if you have one.
- Adding Stability: For larger frames, consider using pocket holes for additional support.
- Custom Sizing: Measure twice, cut once! Use a tape measure and straight edge for precise measurements.
- Enhancing the Back of the Frame: For a more polished look at the back of the frame, you can use a piece of foam core board or a piece of cardboard cut to size with a box cutter.
Adding the Front Design: Once the wood is dry and secure, you can work on the front design.
Attach the black card stock to the front, using Mod Podge or Elmer’s Glue. Again, place something down on it and let it dry.
On top of the black, glue down the piece of tan colored card stock (you may need to cut it to fit correctly). Put some removable glue dots on the back of your photo and press it into the center of the tan colored card stock. Finally, attach a strip of glue dots around the the back of the cream mat, and press it down on top of the photo.
Note: It’s important to use the removable glue dots and not regular glue, or you won’t be able to remove the photo and the mat on top of it.
Finishing Touches: Lightly sand the edges for a distressed look. Attach a sawtooth picture hanger on the top back brace. Then hang it up!
That’s it. Really, they couldn’t be easier to make and look pretty impressive in my opinion. What do you think?