How to make a D.I.Y. picture frame

Michelle, Team member
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How to make a D.I.Y. picture frame

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Project Overview

Everyone has a few photos and pictures that need hanging. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make your own picture frames at the sizes you need. We’ll show you the simple steps it takes to make a picture frame. Continue to step-by-step instructions
use tape to catch excess glue
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Using tape to catch excess glue

Isn’t it annoying when you’re gluing two pieces of timber together and the excess glue ends up on the surface. Thankfully, there is a solution. Simply join the two pieces of wood, then run some tape along the join. Use a utility knife to cut the tape along the join. Then apply the glue to each of the edges you want to join. When you clamp the timber together, glue will ooze over the tape and not the wood. Remove the tape before the glue dries. The result? A perfect join and glue free timber.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut your timber to length
2 Mark and cut your second length
3 Measure and cut your shorter frame lengths
4 Assemble the frame
5 Sand the frame
6 Insert the picture or artwork
7 Secure the frame stay clamps
8 Finish the frame
  • Step 1. Cut your timber to length

    To start this project, you’ll need to cut the timber and backing for your frame. You can have the MDF board for the backing cut at your local Bunnings. We had our backing board cut to 300mm x 400mm, and we made our frame 435mm x 335mm.

    To cut the timber for your frame, make a 45-degree mitre cut at the end of your timber and measure out 435mm for where your next mitre cut will be. For this cut, make the cut in the opposite direction. Check that your measurement of 435mm is from long point to long point to get the right length.

  • Step 2. Mark and cut your second length

    With your first 435mm length, use it to mark out the second length for your frame. Again, you’ll need to make a 45-degree mitre cut in the opposite direction. 

  • Step 3. Measure and cut your shorter frame lengths

    Repeat these steps to make two shorter frame sides at 335mm, with opposite 45-degree mitre cuts at each end. Remember, the 335mm length is from the long point to the long point of each cut.

  • Step 4. Assemble the frame

    Put the four sides of the frame together to make sure they fit. Then use some PVA wood glue to join the mitred ends together to make the frame. Wipe off any excess glue. Then use four mitre corner clamps to keep the frame in place while the glue dries. Once you have the clamps in place, re-tighten them to make sure the frame is square.

  • Step 5. Sand the frame

    Once the glue has dried, remove the clamps. Give the front of the frame a light sand with 240 grit sandpaper for a nice smooth finish.

  • Step 6. Insert the picture or artwork

    Turn the frame over and insert the picture or artwork facedown. Place the MDF backing board on top of the picture or artwork. 

  • Step 7. Secure the frame stay clamps

    Now all that’s left to do is fix the sides with the frame stays. They need to be in the centre of each side of the frame. If you’re using a hardwood and it’s difficult to get the stays into the timber, pre-drill the holes using a drill and 2.5mm drill bit. Secure the frame stays with a screwdriver.

  • Step 8. Finish the frame

    We’ve left our frame natural, but you can varnish or paint yours any colour to suit your home. Then you’re ready to hang the frame wherever you like with either a hook or velcro hanging strips.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • 75mm mitre corner clamps x4
  • Drill
  • 2.5mm drill bit
  • Measuring tape
  • Mini Phillips head screwdriver
  • Mitre saw
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses and earmuffs

Materials

  • 335mm x 30mm x 19mm timber picture frame moulding
  • 435mm x 30mm x 19mm timber picture frame moulding
  • 300mm x 400mm x 6mm MDF
  • Disposable gloves
  • Frame stays
  • PVA wood glue
  • 240 grit sandpaper
  • Wood filler

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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