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How to make picture frames from moulding

Updated February 21, 2017

It's easy to make a picture frame from moulding you can find at your local home improvement store. Trim mouldings come in a variety of sizes and shapes so you can design any style of picture frame that suits your home decor. These instructions are for a picture frame made from 5 cm (2 inch) wide moulding with an overall height of 25 cm (10 inches) and an overall width of 20 cm (8 inches).

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  1. Place your trim moulding face down on a flat surface. Any size trim moulding will work for a picture frame project; you can make overall size adjustments to the included measurements to make a frame to fit your picture. Trim moulding comes in a variety of design choices, from a simple rounded surface to multiple groove lines that create a raised texture to the frame. Select the type of moulding that best fits your home decor.

  2. Measure and mark off two 25 cm (10 inch) sections and two 20 cm (8 inch) sections. Make straight cuts with your mitre saw to create four separate pieces. Make a 45-degree cut along each end of the four moulding pieces with your mitre saw. When you join the two 45-degree angled moulding pieces together, they create 90-degree corners on your picture frame.

  3. Route a small indentation along the bottom of each separate piece of moulding. The indentation will hold the glass in place at the front of your frame.

  4. Sand the moulding pieces to remove any roughness. Apply the stain/polyurethane combination to the moulding and let it dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Add more than one coat to create a deeper colour for your stained moulding. Lightly sand the moulding between coats, letting the stain dry completely as instructed.

  5. Lay the pieces of your moulding face down on a flat surface. Arrange the pieces so the corners match up and the indented edge is on the inside of the frame. Place a 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inch) metal brace across each corner of the frame where the angle lines meet. Attach the braces with wood screws, joining the sides of your frame together.

  6. Spray adhesive on one side of the backboard. Cover the sprayed side with felt. Let the adhesive dry. Fit the glass into the frame and let it rest against the indented edge. Add your picture followed by the felt-covered backing.

  7. Place a strip of ribbon across each corner of the back of the picture frame to keep everything in place inside the frame. Attach the ribbon to the frame with small upholstery nails that you can easily remove as needed.

  8. Tip

    Make your frame larger and insert a mat around the picture.


    Wear safety glasses when cutting moulding

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Things You'll Need

  • Trim moulding 5 cm (2 inches) wide by 1.8 cm (3/4 inch) thick by 1.2 m (4 feet) long
  • Mitre saw
  • Router
  • Light sandpaper
  • Stain/polyurethane
  • Paintbrush
  • Four straight metal braces, 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inches) long
  • Screwdriver and brace screws
  • 20 by 25 cm (8 by 10 inch) sheet of glass
  • 20 by 25 cm (8 by 10 inch) backboard
  • 20 by 25 cm (8 by 10 inch) inch felt
  • Spray adhesive
  • Four 10 cm (4 inch) strips of ribbon
  • Eight upholstery nails
  • Hammer


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.

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