How to make a rustic frame

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Framing your favorite pic

When you’ve got a great picture, you need a great frame to set it off.  By using reclaimed materials, you can upcycle any offcuts you’ve already got to create a unique handmade frame to the exact size & look your picture needs. 


• Plank of wood x1 (for length size, see step 1), any type of wood will work.

• Glass (pre-cut to suit the size of your picture - we chose A4)

• Hardboard x1 (to suit the size of your picture)

• Panel pins or brads, min. 40mm

• Wood glue

• Picture backing fixings x4 (they should come with screws)

• Picture wall hanging fixing (you may need more than 1 depending on the size of your picture, they should come with screws)



• Miter saw

Circular saw or hand saw

Router (with a straight router bit & parallel side fence)

Drill driver or screw driver

Nail gun or hammer

• Clamps

• Set square (adjustable, with 45 degree angle)

• Tape measure

• Pencil

• Safety glasses


Makes one frame to fit an A4 size picture.


To calculate out how much wood you need, add up all the lengths around the piece of glass to get an overall length. Then measure the width of the wood and multiply it by 4, and add this figure onto the overall length.

2. To cut your hardboard to the correct size, trace around the glass on your hardboard, then use your circular saw to make the cut (see how to make a saw guide if you want to make easy & accurate straight cuts).

3. Next, you need to create a channel along the length of the wood for your picture, hardboard & glass to sit in.  To find out how deep the channel you need is, use an adjustable set square to measure the depth of the glass, hardboard & picture together.  Set the depth of your router (see manufacturer’s instructions on how to set up your router) to this measurement.  The router’s parallel side fence also needs to be adjusted to a 5mm cut.  Then clamp the wood to the bench, and route the channel.


Tip: You could buy a cheap clip frame to get your glass & hardboard so you don’t have to cut the hardboard yourself.

4. Set your miter saw to 45 degrees, and trim one end of the wood (it’s important that the obtuse angle is on the channel’s corner).  Then measure one of the short edges of your glass and transfer this measurement from the angled cut along the back of the channel & make a mark.  Make a 45 degree cut that goes through this mark in the opposite direction (use your laser guide on your saw, lining it up with the right-hand side of your mark).  Trim the end of this piece to 45 degrees in the opposite direction.  Repeat this for the other short piece, and re-measure & repeat for the long edges.


Tip: When setting up your miter saw, use a 45 degree set square to ensure it’s accurate.


5. Check that your glass & hardboard fit into the frame by dry assembling it flat on a surface.  Once you’re satisfied they fit, apply glue to the joints, then clamp the pieces to your workbench.  Drive nails into the side end of each length of wood, so the nail goes into the adjacent piece of wood.  Repeat for each corner. 

6. Place the glass & hardboard into the frame again to ensure everything is square.  Allow the glue to dry.  Drill the 4 picture backing fixings and the wall hanging fixing(s) into the back of your frame.  


7. Mount your picture, hardboard and glass into the frame - and voila, one custom-made frame ready to show off.

Important safety info: Always use appropriate safety equipment for the tools & processes you’re using.


Like quick projects to customise your home?  Try our simple to make rustic log coasters.