DIY Custom Frame
Hey all! Ever look at Pinterest and just drool over the many incredible home decor items on there? Ya, me either. During one of my many moments of perusing I stumbled across some gorgeous frames like these. Actually, I think what was more stunning then the frames was the design of the mat and the placement of the photo. After looking up frames I realized I did not want to pay that much for a frame, especially if I wanted to get three or four of them. So, I proceeded to DIY a custom frame, and guess what? It turned out better than I would have guessed!
To start, decide what size you want to make. I wanted to have an untraditional size that still had precut glass at Home Depot so I went with 18″x36″. You can choose the size of wood you prefer; I went with 1″x2″ pine board that was sanded and finished. Because I like the look of the smaller frame, I went with 2″ thickness. Two pieces of 8′ board was what I needed for my picture frame. Remember when cutting your pieces, the two sides of the boards will be different lengths because the corners will be mitered. The shortest side, which will be the width of the glass, will be the inner perimeter.
The process will go a lot quicker if you have a miter saw, but if you don’t, no sweat! You can use a miter box kit. Very inexpensive and easy to use! I’ve had mine for years and still use it from time to time. Start by using a carpenters square and using the diagonal edge, draw a line starting at the tip of the wood. This will be your first miter cut. Go ahead and make it!! Next, measure the length from the shortest edge of that cut. You will want to draw you next miter line the opposite direction so it makes the shape of a trapeze. Mark, make the cut, and viola! The first piece is done!
Repeat those steps until you have all four sides of the frame. Be sure to measure several times before making any cuts; there is not much worse when it comes to projecting than ruining materials by mis-measuring. This next step does require a router. Luckily I have a router table I found on Craig’s list and it was perfect for the job. A groove will need to be cut into the wood. This is where the glass, mat and backing will be placed. Just like a traditional picture frame, this step is necessary. Just be sure to make this groove on the shorter side of the wood.
Now, dry fit all the pieces together, ensuring all the groove sides are facing the same direction. Once you confirm they fit to your satisfaction, you will want to add wood glue to each edge and push the mitered edges together, ensuring they are flush and any seeping glue is wiped away. I did not have corner clamps so I used a small tow strap around the perimeter of the frame. This pushed all the mitered corners together tightly as the glue dried. A much cheaper alternative to four corner clamps that worked perfectly!
When it comes to projects, I have trust issues and prefer to have two forms of reinforcement. To double secure the wood, I used 5/8″ staples and my pneumatic stapler to reinforce the glue. Next, add wood filler at the seams for a more clean look. Sand everything once dry. Hopefully by now you have picked your paint color! I painted my frame black and made sure to paint every square inch of it- front and back.
Time to add the detail! I spray painted these zinc flat corner L braces gold and used wood glue to fasten them to each corner of the frame. They add simple yet gorgeous detail. I chose to glue as opposed to screw them down because I like the simplicity of the holes and preferred the look over screws. Next, add the picture frame turn buttons to hold in the glass, mat and backing, as well as install the picture frame hanger.
Finally, install the glass, mat and backing, fasten with the turn buttons and hang your master piece. What do you think!? I love the way mine turned out. The unconventional size and simplicity fit my space perfectly. The photo I have displayed was taken by one of my best friends while on a trip to Jackson Hole, WY. Isn’t he so talented?
I hope you enjoyed this post and feel inspired and empowered to create your own custom picture frame! As always, just go for it and see how it turns out!
Bye for now babes,