How to Make a DIY Large Picture Frame

Woman hanging a picture on the wall

Oscar Wong / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 - 3 hrs
  • Total Time: 1 day, 2 hrs - 1 day, 3 hrs
  • Yield: 1 picture frame
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $30

Build a DIY large picture frame with supplies from your local hardware store. There are no power tools needed, just a few standard tools that you might already have. You can build these as small or as large as you want: All you have to do is take a few measurements of the art print or photo you want to frame.

The result will be a gorgeous picture frame that you can hang up in your home. This is also a great project to make more than one picture frame at a time if you need several frames. All you need to do is double (or even triple) your supplies.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Miter box
  • Clamps
  • Cloth
  • Staple gun

Materials

  • Picture frame moulding
  • Sand paper
  • Wood glue
  • Picture hanger hardware
  • Cardboard or foam board

Instructions

  1. Measure Your Print or Photo

    Using your tape measure, measure the top of the print or photo that you'd like to frame and one of the sides. Write this measurement down so you can refer to it when you cut. This will be the size of your backing and the size of the finished frame.

    Tip

    To figure out how much picture frame moulding to buy, add up the total of all the sides of the picture you want to frame. Add 24 inches to that total to leave room for the miter cuts.

  2. Mark the Picture Frame Moulding


    With a pencil, make a mark to measure out how long you need the picture frame moulding to be for all four sides based on the measurements you just took. You'll want to add 3 inches to each side of each piece of moulding, because that's how much the 45-degree angles you're going to cut will take from the frame.

  3. Make Your Cuts

    Carefully cut the moulding where you made your marks. You'll now have four pieces of picture frame moulding for each side of your frame.

    Tip

    No saw at home? No problem! Take your measurements into your hardware store and ask them to cut the picture molding to size. Then all you have to do is make the 45-degree cuts.

  4. Paint or Stain

    Since you're making your own frame, you can paint or stain it however you want. You could even use chalk paint for a vintage look. Match the artwork, pick a color that compliments your decor, or choose a standard color like black, white, or brown.

    Tip

    You'll want to make sure that your pieces of picture frame moulding are completely dry before moving onto the next step.

  5. Make Your First Mitered Cut

    Insert your picture frame molding into the miter box and make your first mitered cut at a 45-degree angle. Repeat for the other side, making sure that the angle is going in the opposite direction.

  6. Continue With the Mitered Cuts

    Take your second piece of picture frame molding and do exactly what you did for the first piece. Continue with all four pieces of moulding.

  7. Lay out Your Pieces

    Lay out the pieces of picture frame moulding to form the shape of the frame. Now is the time to correct any mistakes before moving on.

  8. Sand Your Edges

    Take your sand paper and sand where you made the cuts. You'll want to sand away any rough areas until they're smooth. Wipe with a damp cloth to get rid of all the sawdust before moving on to the next step.

  9. Apply Wood Glue

    Now it's time to glue the frame together, and it's where you'll see your hard work pay off. Apply a nice amount of wood glue on one of the mitered edges and glue it to the matching mitered edge. Wipe away any excess glue with a wet cloth. Continue on all of the mitered edges until the picture frame is put together.

  10. Clamp the Frame Together

    Use clamps to hold the frame together as the glue dries. You'll want to wait as long as the manufacturer's instructions suggest. Leaving it to dry overnight is a safe bet.

  11. Staple the Frame

    Using your staple gun, add 3 staples securing each corner joint. This will make sure that your frame is really secure.

  12. Add Picture Hanger

    Secure the picture hanger to the back of your frame with nails or screws. Your DIY large picture frame is almost finished!

  13. Make a Backing

    You'll want to make a backing for your picture frame so it will securely hold your picture. Using a large piece of material like cardboard or foam board, cut to the dimensions of the print you're going to insert into the frame.

  14. Put Everything Together

    Place your backing down and sit the picture on top, followed by the frame. You can use a stapler to secure the backing to the frame. Now you have a large picture frame that you can use for posters or large-scale artwork. It's ready to hang on the wall!