DIY photo frame: how to build your own picture frame from scratch

Show off your artwork or favourite portraits with these DIY frame ideas – perfect for beginners who are making picture frames for the first time.

Updated

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Key steps

Follow these steps when making your DIY photo frame:

  1. Make sure you know how to properly use a mitre saw before you start.
  2. Use non-toxic wood glue and staples to hold the frame together.
  3. Never leave tools like staple guns and saws unattended – especially if you have children or pets.
  4. Supervise kids at all times if getting them to help you decorate the frames.

Whether you’re looking for activities to do with little ones or just love decorating your home with arts and crafts items, learning how to make a frame for your photos is a fun and rewarding activity - especially when you can hang it on the wall for all your guests to see!

Have your chosen pictures ready before designing the look of your DIY frame to make sure the styles match.

How to make a picture frame step-by-step

When it comes to making picture frames, it’s important to have all of your essentials ready and close by.

Here’s what you’ll need to build your own picture frame:

  • Scrap wood
  • Staple gun
  • Glue for wood
  • A hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • Duct tape
  • A mitre saw - this is a precision saw that's great at making quick, accurate cuts 
  • 2-in-1 spray paint with primer

Now it’s time to make your DIY picture frame.

You can do this in 6 simple steps:

  1. Lay your four planks of cut-to-size scrap wood on a flat surface. Mark out 45° angles on the edge of each plank where they’ll meet before cutting them with a mitre saw.
  2. Sand down the edges of the planks to ensure a smooth edge.
  3. Use wood glue to secure the planks together. Clamp them until the wood has dried.
  4. Staple the edges together on the back to ensure a strong hold. These may need hammering in if the staple gun isn’t very strong.
  5. Spray paint the wood of your DIY frame. Choose any colour and add a primer first for a professional look.
  6. Place the image you want in the frame. Use duct tape to hold it in place at the back.

DIY photo frame ideas

Once you’ve made your DIY picture frame, it’s time to get creative! You can design yours however you want, but here are some of our favourite picture frame ideas for inspiration:

  • For DIY picture frame ideas with a vintage look, paint your frame before using sandpaper to rub some of it off. This will give it a distressed look.
  • For a floral frame idea, use superglue to attach fake flowers to the edges. Map out the look before you start sticking to ensure you’re happy with the design.
  • For a glamorous idea that’s still kind to the environment, use biodegradable glitter to add extra sparkle to the special moments captured in your frames.

Once you know how to make your own DIY photo frame, you’ll never have to spend money on shop bought ones again! To learn how to make a DIY window frame, read this article.

Make sure you wear all safety equipment and take care when using a mitre saw. Ensure that pets and children are safely out of the way and never leave tools unattended in your home or garden.

Originally published