This DIY picture frame is not only a simple project but makes for a beautiful homemade piece of decor or thoughtful gift idea. Hundreds of readers have made them and you can too with a few cheap materials!
DIY Rustic Picture Frames
This past weekend I finally finished these DIY rustic picture frames that I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks. I say couple of weeks but they really only took me a few hours in total to make. Things just get dragged out for forever when there’s a toddler running around that wants Mama’s constant attention!
If you remember back to my inspiration board for the living room, I wanted to incorporate some rustic elements into this otherwise more contempory/transitional space. I found these reclaimed wood frames that are really beautiful. However, I was not going to shell out several hundred dollars when I knew I could probably figure out a way to make something similar myself for a fraction of the price.
I think I might even prefer my own version :-)
They are so simple to make. They look like old weathered pallets but in fact they are cheap white wood 1 x 3’s from Lowes that have been stained to look all old and rustic.
I attached some smaller pieces of the wood on the backs with some wood glue to brace them, added some mats and I was good to go.
They really add so much warmth to the living room. Plus, I love looking at pictures of the Baby Man!
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What You’ll Need to Make Your Own Rustic Wooden Picture Frame
- 1 x 3’s cut to size (Lowes/Home Depot will do this for free). 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. So I got 4 boards from each 8 foot piece at round $4.50 for the entire 8 ft board.
- Smaller boards to brace the backs (whatever you can find that’s low profile. Get these cut to about 1.5 ft pieces)
- Wood Stain – I used Minwax Dark Walnut & Classic Gray (the small 80z pots are under 5 bucks each)
- Foam Brushes
- Wood Glue
- Elmer’s Glue
- 11 x 14 Picture Mat (black)
- 8 x 11 Cardstock (burlap color)
- Smaller mat for 5 x 7 photo (cream)
- 5 x 7 photo (Mine are printed in black & white)
- 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 ;-)
Rustic Wooden Picture Frame – Video Tutorial:
UPDATE: Watch this latest addition to the video tutorial to show you how to make the photos removable!
DIY Rustic Picture Frame Directions
Stain your 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.
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.
At this point, it’s all a matter of preference whether you want to add more gray stain or darken up some of the boards. It’s all about getting different colors on the wood. Play around with them!
If you want a really old look, you can also add some watered down white paint. I did not do this but it does look good, too!
By the way, you’ll notice the ends of my pieces of wood are not stained. I decided to cut my pieces shorter so I stained them at the very end.
Arrange your boards so that the colors vary. Flip 7 of them all over, laying them tightly together.
Using wood glue, place two braces on the backs. Weigh them down with something heavy so that the glue bonds correctly.
Once dry, attach the black mat using Mod Podge or Elmer’s Glue. Again, place something down on it and let it dry.
Glue down the piece of cardstock (you may need to cut it to fit correctly). Glue down your photo on top of this and then finally your last mat.
Lightly sand all the edges to give a slightly distressed look.
Finally, attach a sawtooth picture hanger to the back and 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? Will you be giving these a shot to add some rustic flair to your home?