Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Building a Picture Frame

On my to-do list this past weekend, along with the doors, was making a frame for my D. Mom (and taking pictures to put in the frame).

When I got my Etsy frames in the mail awhile back, I knew I could make them. I looked through Ana's site at Knock-Off Wood for guidance, and came across her plans for a 9 x 12 frame.

I wanted to make a 5x7 frame, so I modified the measurements and got to work. The frames are really easy to make, so let me know if you try them!

You'll need 1x 2's, a miter saw, a sander if you wish, a nail gun, 2'' nails, some wood glue, and paint or stain of your choice.

I was in a hurry to get the frame built before my D. Mom left on Sunday, so I don't have any pictures of me actually using the miter saw, but Chris brought the camera out while I was smoothing away my edges.

All of the edges are mitered at 45 degrees, so for the base of the frame, you need to add 3'' to your cuts.  So for my 5x7 base, I measured 8 inches (mitered 1 1/2 on each side) for the 5'' side and 10 inches for the 7 inch side.
To make the 2nd layer of the frame, turn your 1 x 2 up on the skinny side and make your cut that way.  You'll need to add an extra 3/4'' on either side for the 45 degree mitered cut.  So for the 'frame' around the frame, I made my cuts at 9 1/2 and 11 1/2 inches.

Next, take some wood glue to your edges and then nail them together.  For the outer frame, measure 1/4th of an inch around the backside/  Glue and nail your inner frame to your outer frame starting at that 1/4th inch line so that you leave room to insert your picture.  Make sure that your nail gun is straight, and that you're placing your nail where it connects both 'joints' of the frame around all of the edges.  Sorry again that I don't have pictures of this, I was on a time crunch!

I used the Minwax stain in China Red and applied it with a foam brush.

I took a quick time out for pictures, and this is what she looked like dry!  Since she's not hanging in my home, and since we were all on a time crunch, I don't have very many good pictures of the final product.  So, I'll leave you with a goofy picture of a life sized version of me in the frame!

No, my face should not be that large in any picture frame in anyone's home!!  I'm linking to these parties...go check them out!


  1. Kara... you've been busy. Doors and now this! Looks great... it always feels good to accomplish a DIY project. Your blog looks great... love the bench and bed you created!! I am going to put you on my sidebar under new blogs... :)

    Kendra @ Creative Ambitions

  2. Love your frame, Kara! I was actually thinking the other day .... "how would I go about building a frame?" I'm glad you put this out there - it turned out wonderful!! :)

  3. wow, what a great idea... love the frame you made :)

    New Follower here :)


  4. Awesome! great idea! Gotta love a red frame.

  5. I love a girl who isn't afraid to use power tools! Great job :)

  6. I can't believe I didn't comment on this...I could have sworn I did! I saw it on KOW and admired it. Great job, Kara! I've put building on hold for a few months because it's so stinkin' hot and we do it in our garage with the door shut (too many bugs---too loud for neighbors since it's after the kids are in bed at night that we have time).

  7. CUTE!!! I love your blog! You did a wonderful job on the tutorial! Great ideas! I am your newest follower. Stop by Sassy Sites and say HI! :)

  8. WOW! impressive...come on over and link up to MMM :)

  9. Wow! I found you on the girl creative, I'll have to give it a try!

  10. great job! I love the color of the frame.
    could I offer one little piece of advice? if you lift your frame off the paper (by putting a little something under it) I use scrap wood. It will help your piece to not stick to the newspaper.
    ps I love ana's site too

  11. Good job. I love my miter saw!.

  12. Thanks for the inspiration! I used your blog to help me with creating three frames for paintings on canvas.

    One detail that I found helpful was filling the joints with lightweight spackling and then sanding it smooth. Worked great and made the joints seamless.

    The frames are featured on our adoption website in our blog about the nursery. =)

    Thanks again!

  13. How clever, your visual aides are inspiring and helpful for DIY picture framing. Thanks for posing this blog. By the way, I heard that compressors are used in picture framing. Looking forward reading your blog. :-)

  14. Thanks for the FANTASTIC post! This information is really good and thanks a ton for sharing it :-)
    Picture Framing London


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