A Woodworker's Workshop With A Diy Project In Progress Showing The Steps Of Making A Wooden Picture Frame. On A Workbench, There Are Various Tools

DIY Picture Frames

Creating wooden picture frames is an excellent way to showcase your favorite memories and artistic skills. This guide provides a detailed, step-by-step approach to building your own wooden picture frames, perfect for those with an intermediate grasp of woodworking. It’s a great weekend project that combines creativity with the satisfaction of DIY craftsmanship.


Materials and Tools Needed


  • Hardwood (like Oak or Maple) or softwood (like Pine)
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Wood finish (oil, lacquer, or paint)
  • Glass pane cut to size
  • Backing board
  • Picture frame tabs or small nails



  • Miter saw or hand saw with a miter box
  • Tape measure
  • Clamps
  • Router with a rabbet bit (optional)
  • Hammer or tab gun


Step-by-Step Guide to Building Wooden Picture Frames

Step 1: Design and Measurements

  • Decide the dimensions of your frame based on the size of the photograph or artwork.
  • Calculate the lengths of frame sides, allowing extra length for the miter cuts.


Step 2: Cutting the Frame Pieces

  • Cut the wood into four pieces, each with 45-degree angles at both ends (miter cuts).
  • Ensure cuts are precise for tight joins.


Step 3: Creating the Rabbet

  • Use a router with a rabbet bit to create a recess along the back inside edge of each frame piece. This will hold the glass, picture, and backing.
  • If you don’t have a router, you can attach a thin strip of wood to achieve the same effect.


Step 4: Dry Fit and Assembly

  • Assemble the frame without glue to ensure all pieces fit snugly.
  • Apply wood glue to each joint, reassemble the frame, and clamp until the glue dries.
  • Wipe away any excess glue immediately.


Step 5: Sanding and Finishing

  • Sand the frame starting with a coarse grit and moving to a fine grit for a smooth finish.
  • Apply your chosen finish (oil, lacquer, or paint) and allow it to dry.


Step 6: Installing the Glass and Picture

  • Clean the glass pane and place it in the frame.
  • Insert your picture and backing board.
  • Secure everything in place with picture frame tabs or small nails.


Tips for Success

  • Use a high-quality wood that’s free of knots for the best finish.
  • Be meticulous with measurements and cuts for a professional look.
  • Experiment with different finishes to match your decor or artwork.



  1. What’s the best wood for picture frames? Hardwoods like oak or maple are durable and have a fine grain, while softwoods like pine are easier to work with.
  2. Can I make a frame without a router? Yes, you can attach a thin strip of wood to the inside edge to create a rabbet.
  3. How do I choose the right finish? Consider the room’s decor where the frame will be displayed and the type of wood you’re using.



Building wooden picture frames is a rewarding project that enhances any photograph or artwork. With patience and attention to detail, you can create beautiful, bespoke frames that reflect your personal style and craftsmanship.


Recommended Resources


Embrace the creativity and precision that comes with woodworking, and enjoy the process of bringing your picture frames to life.