DIY Homemade Picture Frame

This DIYPicture frames are not difficult to make, but they can also be used as an ornament or gift. They have been made by hundreds of readers, and you can make them with just a few materials.

homemade wooden picture frame

Simple Picture Frames You Can Make

These DIYPicture frames are one my favourite weekend projects. They are simple to make and require very few materials. They can be made to fit any size, shape or color you desire. This makes them the ideal project!

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A great way to make a house feel like home is to display family photos. Professional photos were taken for my three boys as newborns as well as their first birthdays. I love framing them, and hanging them around the house.

We moved into this house with a long wall behind our couch. This was a problem. Although I didn’t need one large piece of art, I knew that I wanted something simple and not too big to hang on the wall.

After seeing some frames made from reclaimed wood on an expensive website, I decided that I would make my own. So, this tutorial was created for wooden picture frames.

DIY picture frame with mat. Homemade with cheap materials

If you are looking for inspiration images and want to create it, you should start with the basics. To make this photo frame, I had to first have a wooden backing. Then, I had to create a matted area where the photograph could rest on it, and then I had to add a “frame” to top it off.

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Though I considered using plastic or acrylic to cover the glass to make it look like real, it wasn’t worth the effort. They look beautiful and crisp without it.

Although they may be made of wood, these frames look great and would make wonderful gifts.

These are very easy to make. These look like weathered pallets, but they are actually simple 1×3 pieces of wood from the hardware store. They have been stained to look rustic and aged.

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The staining process is very simple. It consists of layers of dark stain, with a gray top. You can create a variety in the color of the wood by changing the intensity of different stain colors (the darker the stain, the longer it stays on).

If you prefer a lighter look, my whitewashed wood method is another option.

These frames are attached to the wall by simple sawtooth hangers that attach to braces at the back.

The front of the frame is simply a large black piece of card stock. Layered with a smaller piece canvas/tan colored stock and then the photo with the cream photo mat.

They add warmth and color to your living room. I also love to look at photos of my babies.

These DIY picture frames are simple to make with wood, cardboard and some stain
What you

Materials required

  • 1 x3’s can be cut to size (Lowes/Home Depot is happy to do this free of charge if you don’t have a saw).
    • Notice: My frames are 22 in long by 7 boards wide (just shy of 17 inches). I bought 1 x 3x 8’s and had them chopped into four equal pieces. For $4.50, I was able to get 4 boards for each 8 foot board.
  • Use smaller boards to brace the backs (whatever is low profile that you can find). These boards should be cut to 1.5 feet.
  • Wood Stain – I used Minwax Dark Walnut & Classic Gray (the small 8oz pots are under 5 bucks each)
  • Foam brushes
  • Rags
  • Wood glue
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • 11 x 14 card stock, black (or a black mat if you can’t get large card stock)
  • 8 x 11 cardstock Burlap color
  • 5 x 7 photo
  • Removable glue dots
  • For 5×7 photos (cream), a smaller mat is available.
  • Sandpaper/block
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To help you, I have created a video tutorial. Or you can skip it and just read the instructions below.

DIY Picture Frame Video Tutorial

This video shows how I improved my method with removable glue dots. The photos can then be modified as necessary.


You can stain the wood. Apply a coat of Dark Walnut to all boards, except for a few. Immediately wipe it off ¾ of them. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes before wiping off the rest. This will give you a different color.

Apply Classic Gray to all boards. Once again, wipe off some and let it sit for a while on others.

It’s up to you whether you want to darken some boards or add more gray stain. It’s all about different wood colors. You can play with them!

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You can give your house an aged look by adding a little bit of watered-down white paint or liming oil. This is something I have not done, but it does look great.

Notice how the ends are not stained. Since I wasn’t certain what length I wanted frames to be, they weren’t stained. Once I was satisfied with the length, I stained them.

Place your boards in a way that colors are different. Place 7 boards in a row, flipping them and putting them together tightly.

Place two braces on each side using wood glue. To ensure the glue bonds properly, weigh them down with something heavier.

Once the paper is dry, adhere the black cardstock to the front with Mod Podge/Elmer’s Glue. Once dry, lay something on top and allow it to dry.

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You will need to glue the piece of tan card stock to the top of the black. Stick some removable glue dots to the back of your photograph and push it into the middle of the tan colored stock. Line the back of your photo with a cream mat and then press it on top.

Not using regular glue is not recommended. Otherwise, you will be unable to remove the photo from the mat.

To give the area a distressed look, lightly sand the edges.

Attach a sawtooth picture holder to the back, and then hang it up!

That’s it. They are really easy to make and they look amazing, in my opinion. What do you think?

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