How to Make Your Own Large Picture Frame

One thing I've learned since owning a home is that everything costs a lot more than you thought it would. As we've begun the decorating/remodeling process in our home, we've tried to do as much of it on our own as possible to save money. Luckily, Derek built log cabins in southeast Idaho after high school to help pay for his church service mission in France, so he's pretty handy and is able to fulfill most of the handy man tasks I ask of him.

When I got some engineer size prints in the mail last week, I knew I wanted to get frames to go around them, and then almost peed my pants when I found out frames that size would cost hundreds of dollars. Considering we had three large prints to frame, coughing out upwards of a thousand dollars wasn't exactly an option. Would I buy frames for a really expensive piece of art? Yes. For digital prints that I bought off Etsy? Absolutely not. 

I then had the idea to just make the frames myself, and after a quick google search, I realized they weren't hard at all. The tutorial that I based my project off of can be found here, but I decided to simplify our frames even more by not putting them under glass, and decided to just tape my picture to the back of the frame. 

I will say that the wood we bought from Home Depot was not the greatest quality of wood out there, but each 8' board was only $1.25. Definitely dig around to find the straightest pieces in the batch that they have. Some of ours had split parts, or parts that looked pretty roughed up, but we spray painted them anyway, and loved the "rustic" look that it gave. 

supplies make one 4'x3' frame
(2) 1"x 3" x 8' KD Premium boards from Home Depot
(1) 4 Pack 2 1/2" Flat Corner Braces
Sawtooth Hangers (for hanging if needed)
Wood Glue
Miter Box w/ Saw
Spray Paint

Measure your boards out for the length and width that you need. We were doing 4'x3' frames, and so we needed two pieces of wood to complete one frame. Once you have your measurements marked, place your wood into the miter box, and at a 45° angle, and cut your wood on the marks.

Once you've made all your cuts, lay them out on the ground to make sure they fit together, and that you don't need to correct or fix anything. When your boards are where you want them, wood glue all the seams together, and then screw your flat corner brackets into place. We didn't pre-drill holes for the screws that hold the brackets in place, and did not personally have any splitting on all three frames.

Once all your corner brackets are screwed in place, then spray paint your frame to the color of your choice, and let dry for the allotted time that it states on your paint can.

Once your frames are painted and dried, tape your picture to the back of the frame. If you're going to be hanging this on a wall, be sure to add the sawtooth hanger after the paint dries, or if it's just sitting on your mantle, stick it up there, and be done!

Have you ever made your own picture frames before? Do you love large engineer size prints? I have a feeling these are going to be staples in my house all year long. 


  1. I love these! How did you attach the picture in it?

    1. I should have been more clear in the instructions, but I tapped them to the back of the frame!