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How To Make A Basic Picture Frame

12 views  •  13 Jan 2023
Joe Martin
4 subscribers

Learn To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Here is a simple process to make a basic wooden picture frame. The great thing about making your own frame rather than buying one, is that you can make your own bespoke size. You can apply these steps to a different sized frame if you wish.

This may be a good tutorial to make a basic picture frame if you are just starting out with woodwork, as you can follow the measurements to learn exactly how a wooden picture frame is made.

Materials & Equipment To Make A Basic Picture Frame

  • 1.5m of 50mm X 25mm of Hardwood
  • 355mm X 280mm of 3mm Hardboard Backing
  • PVA Wood Glue
  • Panel Pins
  • Retaining Clips
  • Fixing Attachment
  • Glass (Optional)
  • Bullnose Plough or Rebate Plane
  • Bevel Gauge
  • Small Block Plane
  • Mitre Saw
  • Mitre Frame Clamps
  • Drill
  • Web Clamp
  • Spanner
  • Sandpaper
  • Finishing Coat or Varnish
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame

So How Do We Start To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Above is a diagram of the measurements for making a basic picture frame. As mentioned, you can make it to a different size if you wish, following the same method. To work out the internal dimensions for your own picture frame, measure the size of the picture along the inner edge of the rebate, then subtract 6mm from each end to give the measurement along the woods inner edge. Then add on a very small margin for good clearance.

This particular picture frame design has a chamfered profile to it, but you can choose any variation on style that you wish for yours. The depth of the rebate is decided by the thickness of the frames glass and backing. Once you have cut the backing to size, use it as a template to have the sheet of glass cut to the same size.
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Cutting Out Pieces To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Step 1

Begin by cutting the four frame edges roughly to the correct length before creating the rebate / rabbet. Make sure that they are slightly overlength at this stage. Then use a bullnose plough or a rebate plane to cut the rebate to the correct depth in the bottom edge.

Step 2

Then turn the piece of wood over and plane a chamfer on the inner edge. And then set a bevel gauge to 30 degrees, marking the angle at each of the ends, and use a small block plane tool to accurately trim down the line to the correct measurement.
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Cutting The Joints To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Step 3

Now, remember to check the angle of the chamfer as you are working, especially at the corners where the frame edges will meet.

Step 4

Then make a 45 degree angle cut using a mitre saw at the end of each piece of the frame. You will need to refer to the diagram at the top to calculate your internal measurements.
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Fitting A Picture Frame Together

Step 5

Then mark this measurement onto the inner face and square a line across the face. Line up the mitre saw with this line and cut each of the pieces to the correct length.

Step 6

Next, use the mitre frame clamps to hold the frame assembly together while you make sure that the mitred edges are all a good fit. Then make any adjustments needed if necessary. Use the small block plane to do this. Then apply PVA wood glue to each face and reassemble the frame, and tighten the clamps.

Please leave a comment below if you are learning how to make a basic picture frame.
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Making Sure The Picture Frame Is Square

Step 7

Now, fasten each of the corners with a couple of panel pins to lock everything together more permanently. If you are using a very hard wood like oak, I would advise drilling some small pilot holes to prevent splitting in the small mitred joints.

Step 8

Before the glue is fully set, place a web clamp around the whole frame. This will help to keep the whole thing as square as possible. Then tighten the ratchet clamp using a spanner. You can check that it is square using a set square. And leave it to dry thoroughly.
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame

Finishing The Make A Basic Picture Frame Tutorial

Step 9

Once the glue is completely dry, clean up the edges of the picture frame and gently sand them smooth. Finally apply a finishing coat or varnish of your choice.
How To Make A Basic Picture Frame
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