February 24, 2024

In the age of digital photography, there’s something uniquely satisfying about displaying physical photos. DIY picture framing allows you to add a personal touch to your cherished memories, artwork, or even a favorite poster. Not only is it a cost-effective alternative to professional framing, but it also gives you the freedom to customize frames to match your style and decor. This comprehensive guide walks you through the process of creating your own picture frames, turning a simple photo into a piece of art.

Understanding Picture Framing

Picture framing involves enclosing a photograph, artwork, or object in a decorative border. Frames protect the piece from damage while enhancing its appearance. DIY framing allows you to choose materials, colors, and styles that complement your personal taste and the character of the item being framed.

Materials and Tools Required

  • Frame Moulding: Wood or metal strips that form the frame.
  • Mat Board: A cardboard-like material that provides a border around your picture.
  • Glass or Acrylic Pane: Protects the picture from dust and damage.
  • Backing Board: Supports and secures the picture in the frame.
  • Frame Saw or Miter Saw: For cutting the frame moulding.
  • Sandpaper: To smooth the edges of the moulding.
  • Tape Measure and Pencil: For accurate measurements.
  • Glue and Nails: To assemble the frame.
  • Picture Hanging Kit: For mounting the frame on the wall.

Step 1: Choose Your Materials

Decide on the type of frame moulding and mat board that suits your picture and decor. Consider the color, texture, and width of these materials. For the cover, choose between glass, which is traditional and offers clarity, and acrylic, which is lightweight and shatter-resistant.

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Moulding

Measure the dimensions of your picture and add the desired width of the mat board to determine the size of the frame. Cut the frame moulding at a 45-degree angle using a frame saw or miter saw. This angle allows the pieces to fit together neatly.

Step 3: Sand and Assemble the Frame

Sand the cut edges of the moulding to smooth any roughness. Apply wood glue to the angled edges and join them to form the frame. Reinforce the corners with nails for added stability.

Step 4: Cut the Mat Board

Measure and mark the mat board to fit the frame. The opening of the mat should be slightly smaller than the picture. Use a sharp craft knife and a ruler to cut the mat board.

Step 5: Assemble the Pieces

Place the glass or acrylic pane into the frame. Lay the mat board over it, followed by the picture, and then the backing board. Ensure everything is aligned and clean before securing the back.

Step 6: Add Finishing Touches

Seal the back of the frame using framing tape. Attach a picture hanger or wire to the back for hanging. You can also add bumpers to the bottom corners to protect your wall.

Tips for Successful DIY Framing

  • Always work on a clean surface to avoid scratching the glass or acrylic.
  • Consider the environment where the frame will be displayed. Avoid placing valuable artwork in direct sunlight or humid areas.
  • Experiment with different mat board colors and textures to enhance the visual appeal of your framed piece.


DIY picture framing is a rewarding project that adds a personal and artistic touch to your space. By selecting the right materials and following these steps, you can create beautiful, custom frames that showcase your memories and artwork. It’s a simple way to personalize your home and preserve your cherished moments.

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