How to Build a Wood Octagon Picture Frame

Updated February 21, 2017

Break free from the boring square and rectangle with a wooden octagon picture frame. Draw attention to your favourite photographs and give them the spotlight they deserve. An octagon creates an interesting focal point that highlights the centre of the photo instead of equally showing the entire photo, like straight 90-degree angle frames do. Building an octagonal picture frame is not any more difficult than building a standard frame. The octagon requires only a few more cuts and a different angle setting on the mitre saw.

Cut eight pieces of trim or decorative moulding to equal lengths. The frame opening will be twice as high and wide as the length of each piece of wood. Therefore, 6-inch pieces will yield a 12-inch photo opening.

Set the mitre saw to 22.5 degrees and cut each end of the eight pieces of trim. Mirror the pieces so that the mitred ends point in opposite directions, with the decorative side of the trim facing up. You will end up with a long side for the outside of the frame and a short side for the inside of the frame.

Sand the edges of the mitre cuts lightly to soften any jagged edges.

Press the mitred ends together to form an octagon frame to ensure that the mitres join properly, and make adjustments as needed. If the ends do not butt against each other tightly, trim one side lightly with the mitre saw and test it again until you achieve a tight fit.

Apply wood glue to each mitred end and press the ends together to form the frame.

Wrap the straps of a strap clamp over each side of the frame and tighten the clamp. Make sure that the mitres are aligned properly. Adjust the mitres by slightly tapping with a rubber mallet if necessary. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

Remove the strap clamp.

Hammer corrugated nails into each mitred joint from the back of the frame.

Lay the frame on a piece of cardboard and trace the frame with a pencil.

Cut the frame's image from the cardboard slightly inside the traced line.

Apply glue to the bottom and up the sides of the cardboard cutout and press it to the back of the frame. Do not apply glue to the top three sides of the octagon so that a photograph can be slipped into the frame from the top. Allow the glue to dry for several hours before placing a photo into the frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood trim
  • Mitre saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Strap clamp
  • Rubber mallet
  • Hammer
  • Corrugated nails
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Chasity Goddard has been writing poetry, fiction and nonfiction since 1996. Her work has appeared in "Backspace" magazine, "Sepia Literary Magazine" and the "Plowman Press." Goddard holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing with a specialization in women's studies from the University of Tennessee.