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diy-frame

When you have photographs you want to display you will need to frame them. In fact, this doesn’t just have to apply to photos but children’s paintings, the menu from a special meal or a favourite birthday card can all look beautiful when displayed within a frame. I see my mum buying picture frames all the time and it is noticeable how expensive they can sometimes be. Why not make your own instead? When you know how, it really is quite simple to do and can be done very cheaply. So why not give it a go? There are so many arts and crafts stores where you can pick up the perfect materials and you can customise them as you see fit. Here’s a step-by-step guide how to create your very own picture frames.

frame

Matting

A picture frame consists of more than just four pieces of wood and a glass cover. To give it a more professional finish you should use a mat or mount. This will nicely surround the picture and also keep the photograph itself out of contact with the glass itself. This will prevent damage to the photograph and extend its lifetime. You can use a range of materials as your matting so look at your picture and decide what looks best for you. It is generally better to use quite plain designs but experiment and see what you like most or what compliments the image well. Draw out the outer edge of the matting and make sure you measure this precisely with a ruler. It will be helpful to use a protractor at this point too to help keep the angles a precise 90 degrees. Next you will need to measure the photo or picture itself and draw this centrally within the matting. Measure this to make it slightly smaller than the picture itself so that it will overlap the photos edges a little bit. Now, beginning with the outer edge, cut out the matting being careful to be as precise as possible. Use a very sharp knife when you do this as any frayed edges or mistakes here will affect the overall look.

Prep the Frame

diyHaving created the matting, it is now time to create the frame itself. Firstly, you will need to source the materials to make it from so make sure to find high quality wood. In addition to this you will need wood adhesive, nails and a hammer. Take your photo and matting and secure their positioning with a small piece of sticky tape. Now measure the outside of the matting and note it down as this will become the inner measurements of your picture frame. Draw out the measurements for the length and width and mark these on the inside sections of the frame. Then measure a 45-degree angle and cut them accordingly. Test fit the pieces throughout and make minor adjustments by sanding. A miter saw will make your job much easier here so make sure you use one if possible. You will now need to cut out a small lip into the inside edge of the frame so that the glass will have something to sit in. Use a ruler and only cut a little bit deeper than the thickness of the glass itself.

 

Assemble the Frame

Before going any further, give the frame a few test fittings and make minor adjustments to the angles if needs be. Then take the four pieces of your frame and glue them together. Leave this glue to properly dry before doing anything else with it. Now take the nails and hammer these through the corner joints trying to stay as perpendicular with the frame as possible. Be very careful when you are doing this and gently tap the nails in using as little force as possible. Try to aim for the centre of the frame too. You will undoubtedly end up with some gaps in the frame but don’t worry if this is the case then you will just need to fill these with wood filler. Now take your piece of glass you will be using for your picture. This will need to be pre-cut for you by a specialist glass cutter as dealing with glass can be dangerous for the inexperienced. Now all that remains is to centre everything and assemble it. Use nails on the inside of the frame to hold everything in place and voila your home made picture frame is complete. If you are not feeling up to the job, then there are many picture frame providers for you out there such as Framing Corner but why not give it a go yourself? It is so inexpensive to do that it’s worth the risk even if you end up not liking the final product. It will be fun to do if nothing else.