How To Make A Floating Picture Frame


Materials Needed

Making a floating picture frame is a fun and creative way to display your favorite photos or artwork. To get started, gather the following materials:

  • Wood – Choose a high-quality wood of your preference, such as pine or oak. Ensure that it is thick enough to provide stability for the frame.
  • Saw – Use a saw to cut the wood into the desired lengths and shapes.
  • Sandpaper – You’ll need sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or surfaces on the wood.
  • Stain or Paint – Select a stain or paint color that complements your style and preferences.
  • Brush or Cloth – Use a brush or cloth to apply the stain or paint evenly onto the wood.
  • Mounting Hardware – Purchase mounting hardware, such as D-rings or sawtooth hangers, to secure the frame to the wall.
  • Plexiglass – Plexiglass will protect the picture and give it a polished look.
  • Screws – Ensure you have the appropriate screws to attach the mounting hardware and secure the frame together.
  • Level and Measuring Tape – These tools will help ensure that the frame is straight and properly aligned.

Having all these materials ready will save you time and make the process of creating a floating picture frame more enjoyable. Once you have gathered everything, you can proceed to the next steps of measuring, cutting, and assembling the frame.

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Wood

Before you begin assembling your floating picture frame, you’ll need to measure and cut the wood to the desired dimensions. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Measure the Size: Determine the size of the frame you want to create. Consider the size of the picture or artwork you plan to display, and add a few inches to each side to create a border.
  2. Select the Wood: Choose a high-quality wood that suits your aesthetic preferences and provides the necessary stability for the frame. Pine or oak are popular choices.
  3. Mark and Cut: Using a measuring tape, mark the measurements on the wood. Ensure that the corners are square by using a carpenter’s square. Then, using a saw, carefully cut along the marked lines.
  4. Smooth the Edges: After cutting the wood, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or surfaces. This will give the frame a professional and polished look.

Accuracy is key when measuring and cutting the wood, as it will determine the overall look and stability of the floating picture frame. Take your time and double-check all the measurements before making any cuts. Remember, you can always trim off excess wood, but you can’t add it back once it’s been cut.

Once you have successfully measured and cut the wood, you’re ready to move on to the next step, which involves sanding and staining the wood to enhance its appearance.

Step 2: Sand and Stain the Wood

With the wood pieces cut to the desired dimensions, it’s time to sand and stain them to achieve a smooth finish and enhance the natural beauty of the wood. Follow these steps:

  1. Sanding: Start by using sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or surfaces on the wood. Begin with a coarse-grit sandpaper and gradually switch to a finer-grit sandpaper until the wood feels smooth to the touch.
  2. Removing Dust: After sanding, use a clean, dry cloth or a tack cloth to remove any dust or debris from the surface. This will ensure a clean and even application of stain.
  3. Staining: Choose a stain color that complements your style and preferences. Apply the stain to the wood using a brush or cloth, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure an even application and let the stain penetrate the wood for the recommended duration.
  4. Wiping Off Excess: After the recommended time, use a clean cloth to wipe off any excess stain on the surface. This will prevent the wood from becoming sticky or blotchy.
  5. Drying: Allow the stained wood to dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes a few hours, but it’s better to be patient and let it dry thoroughly before moving on to the next steps.

Sanding and staining the wood not only enhances its appearance but also helps protect it from environmental factors. The stain adds depth and richness to the wood, highlighting its natural grain and creating a beautiful backdrop for your picture or artwork.

Once the stained wood is dry, you’re ready to proceed to the next step, which involves attaching the frame together to create the floating effect.

Step 3: Attach the Frame Together

Now that you have sanded and stained the wood, it’s time to assemble the frame to create the floating effect. Follow these steps to securely attach the frame together:

  1. Arrange the Pieces: Lay out the wood pieces in the desired order to form the frame. Ensure that the corners align perfectly.
  2. Apply Wood Glue: Apply a thin, even layer of wood glue on the edges of the wood pieces that will come into contact with each other. This will create a strong bond between the pieces.
  3. Join the Corners: Carefully join the corners of the frame, pressing them firmly to allow the wood glue to adhere.
  4. Secure with Clamps: To ensure a tight and secure bond, use clamps to hold the corners of the frame together. Position the clamps at each corner, tightening them just enough to maintain pressure without damaging the wood.
  5. Allow the Glue to Dry: Leave the clamps in place and allow the wood glue to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically takes several hours, but overnight is recommended for a stronger bond.
  6. Remove the Clamps: Once the wood glue is completely dry and the frame is securely held together, carefully remove the clamps.

Attaching the frame together using wood glue and clamps ensures a sturdy construction that can withstand the weight of the picture or artwork. It’s important to follow the proper drying time for the wood glue to ensure a strong and durable bond.

With the frame assembled, you’re ready to move on to the next step, which involves attaching the mounting hardware to hang the floating picture frame.

Step 4: Attach the Mounting Hardware

With the frame securely assembled, it’s time to attach the mounting hardware so that you can hang your floating picture frame on the wall. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the Hardware: Choose the appropriate mounting hardware for your frame, such as D-rings or sawtooth hangers. Consider the weight and size of your frame.
  2. Position the Hardware: Measure and mark the desired location for the mounting hardware on the back of the frame. Ensure that the hardware is evenly placed and centered.
  3. Attach the Hardware: Use screws to attach the mounting hardware to the back of the frame. Make sure to screw them in securely, taking care not to damage the wood.
  4. Measure and Mark the Wall: Use a level and a measuring tape to determine the desired placement of the frame on the wall. Mark the positions where the hardware will be attached.
  5. Attach Wall Anchors (if needed): If you’re hanging the frame on a wall made of drywall or a similar material, use wall anchors for extra support. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the wall anchors.
  6. Screw the Frame Onto the Wall: With the hardware and wall prepared, carefully align the frame with the marked positions and attach it to the wall. Use screws suitable for your wall type and ensure they go securely into the wall or wall anchors.
  7. Check for Stability: Ensure the frame is level and securely attached to the wall. Give it a gentle shake to check for any wobbling or looseness.

Properly attaching the mounting hardware is crucial to securely hang your floating picture frame. Taking the time to measure, mark, and align everything will ensure a level and stable display of your artwork or photos.

With the mounting hardware securely in place, you’re ready to move on to the next step, which involves inserting the picture into the frame.

Step 5: Hang the Floating Picture Frame

Now that you have attached the mounting hardware to your floating picture frame, it’s time to hang it on the wall. Follow these steps to ensure a secure and level installation:

  1. Choose the Hanging Spot: Decide on the exact spot where you want to hang your floating picture frame. Take into consideration factors such as visibility, balance with other decor, and lighting.
  2. Measure and Mark: Use a measuring tape and a level to determine the precise location where the frame will be hung. Mark the spot lightly with a pencil or removable tape.
  3. Drill the Wall (if needed): If you’re hanging the frame on a brick or concrete wall, use a drill with the appropriate masonry bit to create holes for wall anchors or screws.
  4. Attach the Frame: With the mounting hardware and wall prepared, carefully lift the frame and align it with the marked spot on the wall. Slowly lower it onto the screws or wall anchors, ensuring that it hangs straight and level.
  5. Adjust and Check: Step back and check the frame for any adjustments that may be needed. Use a level to ensure it is perfectly straight. Make any necessary corrections before tightening the screws or wall anchors completely.
  6. Secure the Frame: Once the frame is hanging straight and level, tighten the screws or wall anchors securely. Be careful not to overtighten, as this may cause damage or misalignment.

Hanging your floating picture frame requires precision and attention to detail to achieve a professional and well-balanced appearance. Taking the time to measure, mark, and position the frame correctly will result in a visually appealing and secure display of your favorite pictures or artwork.

With the frame securely hung, you’re ready to move on to the next step, which involves inserting the picture into the frame.

Step 6: Insert the Picture into the Frame

Now that your floating picture frame is securely hung on the wall, it’s time to insert your chosen picture or artwork to complete the display. Follow these steps to ensure a seamless and professional-looking result:

  1. Prepare the Picture: If your picture or artwork is not already the desired size, trim it carefully to fit within the dimensions of the frame. Use a ruler and a sharp utility knife for precise cuts.
  2. Position the Picture: With the frame facing down, gently place the picture on top of the frame’s backing. Make sure it is centered and aligned according to your preference.
  3. Tape or Secure the Picture: To keep the picture in place, use acid-free photo corners or acid-free double-sided tape. Attach the corners or tape to the back edges of the picture and press them firmly against the frame’s backing.
  4. Check Alignment: Once the picture is secured in place, flip the frame over to ensure that it is straight and centered within the frame’s opening. Make any necessary adjustments before proceeding.

Inserting the picture into the frame requires careful handling to avoid any damage or misalignment. Take your time to ensure a clean and professional finish. Additionally, using acid-free photo corners or tape will help protect your picture from damage caused by adhesive materials.

With the picture neatly inserted, you’re ready to move on to the next step, which involves securing the picture by adding a plexiglass cover.

Step 7: Secure the Picture by Adding the Plexiglass

To protect your picture and give it a polished finish, adding a plexiglass cover is the next step in creating your floating picture frame. Follow these steps to securely position the plexiglass:

  1. Measure and Cut: Measure the dimensions of your frame’s opening and cut the plexiglass sheet to fit. You can use a sharp utility knife or a plexiglass cutter to achieve clean edges.
  2. Remove the Protective Film: Many plexiglass sheets come with a protective film on both sides to prevent scratches. Carefully peel off the film from both sides of the sheet, revealing the transparent surface.
  3. Position the Plexiglass: Place the plexiglass sheet on top of the frame, ensuring that it covers the picture completely and aligns with the edges of the frame opening.
  4. Secure the Plexiglass: To hold the plexiglass in place, use small metal picture frame clips or binder clips. Attach the clips along the edges of the frame, evenly spacing them out, and gently press the plexiglass against the frame to secure it.

Adding a plexiglass cover not only protects your picture from dust and damage but also gives it a professional, museum-like appearance. The transparent nature of plexiglass allows the beauty of your picture to shine through without any distortion caused by traditional glass.

With the plexiglass securely in place, you’re almost finished. The final step involves adding some final touches and considering ongoing maintenance for your floating picture frame.

Step 8: Final Touches and Maintenance

With your floating picture frame complete, it’s time to add some final touches and consider ongoing maintenance to ensure its longevity and visual appeal. Here are some important steps to follow:

  1. Clean the Frame: Regularly dust the frame with a soft, lint-free cloth or a microfiber cloth to keep it free from dirt and debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the frame or plexiglass.
  2. Adjust the Hardware: Periodically check the mounting hardware to ensure that it is securely fastened. If you notice any loosening, tighten the screws or anchors as needed to maintain the stability of the frame on the wall.
  3. Update the Picture: Over time, you may want to change the picture or artwork in your floating frame. Simply follow the steps in Step 6 to replace the existing picture with a new one and make any adjustments necessary.
  4. Consider Lighting: The placement of your floating picture frame in relation to lighting can greatly enhance its visual impact. Experiment with different lighting angles and intensities to highlight the picture or artwork effectively.
  5. Protect from Sunlight: Direct sunlight can cause fading and damage to your picture or artwork. Consider positioning your floating frame away from direct sunlight or use UV-filtering glass or plexiglass to minimize the harmful effects of the sun.
  6. Showcase Your Style: Personalize your floating picture frame by adding decorative elements such as ribbons, labels, or additional framing elements. Get creative and make it a unique reflection of your style and taste.

By following these final touches and maintenance steps, you can ensure that your floating picture frame remains in optimal condition and continues to showcase your cherished memories or artwork for years to come.

Now that you have completed all the steps, sit back, and enjoy your beautifully displayed picture or artwork in your stunning floating picture frame!