How To Make A Large Picture Frame


Materials and Tools Needed

Creating a large picture frame is a satisfying and rewarding DIY project that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of any room. To embark on this project, you will need a few essential materials and tools. Here are the key items you’ll need to gather before getting started:


  • Wood boards: Choose a sturdy and attractive wood variety like pine, oak, or maple. Ensure the boards are long enough to accommodate the desired frame size.
  • Wood glue: Opt for a high-quality wood glue that offers strong bonding properties.
  • Screws or nails: Select screws or nails that are appropriate for the thickness of the wood boards.
  • Sandpaper: Have a variety of sandpaper grits, including coarse and fine, to smoothen the wood surface.
  • Stain or paint: Decide on a stain or paint color that matches your interior decor or personal preferences.
  • Clear polyurethane sealant: Use a sealant for added protection and to enhance the finished look of the frame.
  • Backing material: Consider using a sturdy backing material like plywood or hardboard to provide support.
  • Mounting hardware: Choose hanging hardware such as D-rings or sawtooth hangers that will securely hold the weight of the frame.


  • Measuring tape: A measuring tape is crucial for accurately determining the desired frame size.
  • Miter saw or hand saw: A miter saw will make precise angled cuts, while a hand saw can be used for straight cuts.
  • Clamps: Clamps will hold the frame pieces in place during assembly.
  • Screwdriver or hammer: Depending on whether you choose screws or nails, have the appropriate tool on hand.
  • Sander or sanding block: A sander or sanding block will help achieve smooth and even surfaces.
  • Brush or roller: If applying stain or paint, a brush or roller will make the process easy and efficient.

Make sure to gather all the necessary materials and tools before starting the project to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted workflow. It’s also essential to keep safety measures in mind while handling tools and using adhesives. Now that you are ready with the materials and tools, let’s move on to the next step: choosing the right size and style for your picture frame.

Choosing the Right Size and Style

When making a large picture frame, the first step is to determine the appropriate size and style that will complement the artwork or photograph you intend to display. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right size and style:


The size of the frame largely depends on the dimensions of the artwork or photo you plan to showcase. Measure the width and height of the piece and add a few inches to each side to create a border. This border will provide a visual frame and prevent the image from appearing cramped or crowded.

Consider the space where you intend to hang the frame. If you have ample wall space, a larger frame can make a bold statement. On the other hand, if the available wall space is limited, a smaller frame may be more suitable.

Remember that the frame should harmonize with the artwork or photograph. A frame that is too overpowering might distract from the visual appeal of the piece, while a frame that is too small may diminish its impact.


Choosing the style of the frame is an opportunity to align it with your personal taste and the overall aesthetic of the room. Consider the following factors when selecting a frame style:

  • Traditional: Ornate frames with intricate detailing are ideal for classic artwork or formal settings.
  • Minimalist: Simple and clean frames with sleek lines are well-suited for modern and contemporary art.
  • Rustic: Frames with a distressed or weathered appearance can add warmth and charm to a more rustic or farmhouse-style space.
  • Eclectic: Mix and match different frame styles to create a unique and eclectic look that reflects your individuality.

Additionally, consider the color and finish of the frame. Choose a hue that complements the artwork and the overall color scheme of the room. A dark frame can create a bold contrast, while a lighter frame can provide a more subtle and airy feel.

Remember, the size and style of the frame should enhance and showcase the artwork or photograph without overpowering it. Take your time to explore different options and envision how the frame will enhance the overall aesthetic of the space.

With the size and style chosen, we can now move on to the practical aspect of the project: measuring and cutting the frame pieces.

Measuring and Cutting the Frame Pieces

To create a large picture frame, precise measurements and accurate cuts are crucial. Follow these steps to properly measure and cut the frame pieces:

1. Determine the dimensions:

Using a measuring tape, measure the width and height of the artwork or photo. Add the desired border size to each side to calculate the total dimensions of the frame. Write down these measurements as a reference.

2. Calculate the length of each frame piece:

For a standard frame, you will need four pieces – two vertical sides and two horizontal top and bottom pieces. Use the total width and height measurements to calculate the length of each frame piece. Remember to account for the width of the material used to connect the pieces (usually the width of the wood boards).

3. Mark and cut the frame pieces:

Using a miter saw or a hand saw, carefully mark and cut each frame piece to the determined lengths. Ensure that the cuts are straight and accurate. If you are using a miter saw, set the appropriate angle for the corners of the frame.

4. Check the accuracy:

After cutting all the frame pieces, double-check the dimensions to ensure accuracy. Use a square to ensure that the corners form perfect right angles. Make any necessary adjustments or recuts if needed.

It is recommended to measure twice and cut once to ensure precise and accurate cuts. Take your time with this step to achieve the desired result.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when handling cutting tools. Wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves, and exercise caution throughout the cutting process.

Once you have measured and cut the frame pieces, the next step is to sand and finish the wood to prepare it for assembly.

Sanding and Finishing the Wood

Before assembling the picture frame, it’s important to sand and finish the wood to ensure a smooth and polished appearance. Here are the steps to follow for sanding and finishing:

1. Begin with coarse sandpaper:

Start by using coarse sandpaper to remove any rough edges or imperfections on the wood. Sand in the direction of the wood grain and apply even pressure. This will help create a smooth surface for the frame.

2. Transition to finer grit sandpaper:

Switch to finer grit sandpaper to achieve a finer finish. This will help eliminate any remaining marks or scratches from the coarse sandpaper. Continue sanding in the direction of the wood grain until the surface feels and looks smooth.

3. Pay attention to the details:

Don’t forget to sand the edges and corners of the frame pieces to ensure a uniform appearance. Be careful not to round off the edges too much, as it may affect the frame’s overall look.

4. Remove dust:

After sanding, use a clean cloth or a vacuum to remove any dust or debris from the wood surface. It’s important to have a clean surface before applying any finishes.

5. Apply the desired finish:

Once the wood is sanded, you can choose to apply a stain, paint, or clear coat to enhance the natural beauty or change the appearance of the frame. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the chosen finish, and apply it evenly using a brush or a roller. Allow the finish to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

6. Add a protective sealant:

To protect the wood and provide a professional-looking finish, apply a clear polyurethane sealant. This will help prevent any moisture damage and add a subtle sheen to the frame. Follow the instructions on the product for application and allow it to dry completely.

Sanding and finishing the wood is a crucial step that ensures the frame looks polished and professional. Take your time during this process to achieve the desired result. Once the wood is sanded and finished, you’re ready to assemble the frame.

Assembling the Frame

After sanding and finishing the wood, the next step in creating a large picture frame is to assemble the frame pieces. Follow these steps to properly assemble the frame:

1. Arrange the frame pieces:

Lay out the frame pieces on a clean and flat surface. Position them to form a rectangular shape, with the shorter horizontal pieces located between the longer vertical pieces.

2. Apply wood glue:

Apply a thin layer of wood glue along the edges of the frame pieces that will be joined together. Make sure to spread the glue evenly for a strong bond.

3. Connect the frame pieces:

Bring the frame pieces together at the corners and carefully align them. Apply gentle pressure to create a secure connection. If needed, use clamps to hold the pieces in place until the glue dries.

4. Secure the frame with screws or nails:

To reinforce the connection, use screws or nails along with the wood glue. Drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting, and then insert screws or nails through the sides of the frame pieces.

5. Wipe off excess glue:

As you assemble the frame, some excess glue may squeeze out. Use a damp cloth or sponge to immediately wipe off the excess glue and ensure a clean finish.

6. Allow the frame to dry:

Let the frame dry completely as per the manufacturer’s instructions for the wood glue. This usually takes a few hours, but it’s best to let it sit overnight to ensure a strong and secure bond.

By following these steps, you’ll have a sturdy and well-assembled picture frame ready for the next stage of the process: attaching the backing and mounting hardware.

Attaching the Backing and Mounting Hardware

Once the frame is assembled and dry, it’s time to attach the backing and mounting hardware. This step ensures that the artwork or photo is securely held in place and allows the frame to be easily hung on the wall. Follow these steps to correctly attach the backing and mounting hardware:

1. Prepare the backing material:

If you’re using plywood or hardboard as the backing material, measure and cut it to fit the dimensions of the frame. Make sure the backing is slightly smaller than the frame to allow for expansion.

2. Attach the backing material:

Place the backing material onto the back of the frame, aligning it with the edges. Use screws or small nails to secure the backing material to the frame. Space the screws or nails evenly around the perimeter to ensure a secure attachment.

3. Consider additional support:

If you’re working with a particularly large or heavy frame, consider adding additional support such as corner brackets or braces. These can provide extra stability and prevent the frame from warping or sagging over time.

4. Install the mounting hardware:

Choose the appropriate mounting hardware based on the weight and size of the frame. Common options include D-rings, sawtooth hangers, or wire. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the chosen hardware, ensuring its placement is centered and secure.

5. Test the stability:

Before hanging the frame, give it a gentle shake or tug to ensure that the backing and mounting hardware are securely attached. Inspect the frame to make sure everything looks and feels stable.

6. Verify the orientation:

Double-check that the hanging hardware is properly oriented based on whether the frame will be hung horizontally or vertically. This will ensure that the artwork or photo is correctly positioned when the frame is displayed.

By following these steps, you’ll have successfully attached the backing and mounting hardware to your frame. Now, it’s time to move on to the final step: inserting and securing the picture.

Inserting and Securing the Picture

With the frame assembled and the backing and mounting hardware in place, it’s time to insert and secure the picture in the frame. Follow these steps to ensure that the artwork or photo is properly positioned and securely held:

1. Clean the glass or acrylic:

If your frame has a glass or acrylic cover, clean it thoroughly to remove any smudges or fingerprints. Use a gentle glass cleaner or a mixture of water and vinegar to achieve a streak-free finish. Allow the glass or acrylic to dry completely.

2. Position the picture:

Place the picture face-down onto the backing material. Ensure that the image is centered and aligned as desired within the frame. Make any necessary adjustments to guarantee that the picture is placed exactly where you want it.

3. Use acid-free mounting tape or photo corners:

If you want to secure the picture to the backing material, consider using acid-free mounting tape or photo corners. These options will hold the picture in place without causing any damage or discoloration over time. Adhere the tape or corners to the back edges of the picture and attach them to the backing material.

4. Skip adhesives for valuable or irreplaceable artwork:

If you are dealing with valuable or irreplaceable artwork, it’s generally recommended to avoid using adhesives directly on the picture. Instead, use archival mounting methods or consult with a professional framer to ensure the long-term preservation of the piece.

5. Check the position and alignment:

Before closing the frame, check once again to ensure that the picture is centered and aligned correctly within the frame. Make any final adjustments if necessary.

6. Secure the back of the frame:

Carefully position the backing material onto the frame and secure it with screws or nails. Confirm that the backing fits snugly to prevent any movement or dust from entering the frame.

By following these steps, you can confidently insert and secure your picture in the frame, ensuring that it stays in place and looks beautiful when displayed. The final step will guide you on how to properly hang the picture frame on the wall.

Hanging the Picture Frame

Now that your picture frame is complete, it’s time to hang it on the wall and showcase your artwork or photograph. Follow these steps to securely hang the frame:

1. Choose the right location:

Select a suitable spot on the wall where you want to display your picture frame. Consider the height, lighting, and surrounding decor to ensure the frame is showcased to its best advantage.

2. Mark the position:

Hold the frame against the wall at the desired height and mark the top corners with a pencil or painter’s tape. Use a level to ensure the frame is straight, and adjust the marks accordingly.

3. Locate the wall studs:

If possible, try to hang the frame by securing it to wall studs for maximum stability. Use a stud finder to locate the studs and mark their positions on the wall. If no studs are available, consider using appropriate wall anchors to support the weight of the frame.

4. Install the hanging hardware:

Based on the frame’s backing and mounting hardware, install the appropriate wall hooks, screws, or nails. Make sure to align them with the marks and stud locations.

5. Hang the frame:

With the hanging hardware in place, carefully lift the frame and hang it on the chosen wall hooks, screws, or nails. Use a level to ensure that the frame is straight before release.

6. Make final adjustments:

Step back and visually inspect the hanging frame. Make any necessary adjustments to ensure it is level and centered. Consider using adhesive bumpers or felt pads to protect the wall and to keep the frame straight.

Once you are satisfied with the placement of the frame, step back and admire your beautifully displayed artwork or photograph.

Remember to periodically check the stability of the frame and make any adjustments if needed. Now that you have successfully hung your picture frame, enjoy the beauty it brings to your space!