How to make a wooden picture frame

Updated February 21, 2017

It's easy to make a wooden picture frame using old wood from a recycling centre or new planks from a lumber supply store. New cherry, oak or pine wood boards come in a variety of sizes to fit any style of wood frame you'd like to make. These instructions are for a cherry wood frame with an overall height of 12 inches, an overall width of 12 inches, and a 2-inch wide face frame.

Place your cherry wood on a flat surface with the 2-inch-wide edge face up. Any size board will work for a picture frame; you can make adjustments to the included measurements to make the size frame that you need.

Measure and mark off four 12-nch sections. Make straight cuts with your saw to sever the four sections. Trim both edges of each 12-inch piece to a 45 degree angle on your mitre saw. When the two 45 degree angles join together, they create 90-degree corners on your wooden picture frame.

Route a small edge along the bottom of each 12-inch length of cherry wood. The indented edge will hold the glass for your frame in place.

Sand the 12-inch wood pieces to remove any roughness or splinters. Apply the clear polyurethane to the wood and let it dry, according to the manufacturer's directions. Add as many coats as needed until you reach the desired level of shine on your wood frame. Lightly sand the frame between coats, letting the polyurethane dry completely.

Lay the pieces of your cherry wood frame face down on a flat surface. Assemble the pieces so that the corners match up and the indented edge is on the inside. Secure a metal brace across the corners where the angles meet. The braces will join the sides of your frame together.

Apply spray adhesive to one side of the backboard and cover it with felt. The backboard should be the same size as the finished frame. Let the adhesive dry. Clean the glass and fit it into the frame so that it rests against the indented edge. You can have the glass cut to size at a glass store. Place your picture and then follow it with the felt covered backing.

Attach one 4-inch strip of ribbon across each corner of the back of the wooden frame to keep the felt backing, picture and glass in place. Attach the ribbon to the wood with upholstery nails. Upholstery nails are easy to remove when you need to change the picture.


If you plan to paint your wooden frame, use less expensive, paint-grade wood.


Wear safety glasses when cutting wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Cherry wood, 2-inch-by-1-inch-by-4 feet
  • Mitre saw
  • Router
  • Light sandpaper
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Paintbrush
  • 4 straight metal braces, 1 1/2 inches long
  • Screwdriver and brace screws
  • Sheet of glass
  • Backboard
  • Felt
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Ribbon
  • Upholstery nails
  • Hammer
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About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.