How to Make a Customized Photo Frame

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– Step 1: Determine the size of the inner window of the frame

– Step 2: Measure and cut the framing strips

– Step 3: Assemble the framing strips

– Step 4: Make the bottom of the frame

A pretty picture deserves a custom-made frame! As long as you have a mitre box and a frame press, the manufacturing technique is very easy, requiring only a little dexterity. Once you have acquired the basic equipment, each frame will cost you very little.

This post tells you how to make a custom photo frame to the exact dimensions you want.

When making a frame, the main difficulties are:

– Cutting the frame rods into a perfect bevel at 45°.

– Cutting the bevelled corners in the right direction to obtain 4 pieces of cleats ready to be assembled to form a frame.

– Then hold the cleats tightly together while the glue sets.

To achieve this result, you will have to use a mitre box and mitre saw on the one hand, and a frame press on the other. If you have never used this type of material before, this is a good opportunity to get started!

Materials needed to make a photo frame

Mitre box

Starting from $4

Wood glue

About 9 $/kg




$3 approx.


About $5 the 3 sheets

Ruler 60 cm

$10 approx.

Manual mitre saw

Starting at $25

1. Determine the size of the inner frame window

If you have a 15 × 12 cm photo and you want to leave a 3 cm margin all around, the inside window of your frame should measure:

– Length: 15 + 3 + 3 = 21 cm

– Width: 12 + 3 + 3 = 18 cm

2. Measure and cut the framing strips

Choose a framing rod to your taste, already painted.

– Provide yourself with a mitre box and a mitre saw.

– Make the first cut at 45° at one end of the frame.

– Turn the rod over so that the second bevel is cut in the right direction.

– Using a ruler, measure a length (in our example 21 cm) and make a mark on the bevel using a sharp black pencil.

– Then make the second cut at an angle: you must obtain a strip with an inside length of 21 cm, the outside length being more than 21 cm.

– Cut a second stick with an inner length of 21 cm, reversing the direction of the cuts in relation to the first stick.

– In the same way, cut 2 baguettes with an internal length of 18 cm.

Note: if you make the wrong direction of cut – like most beginners – you can always cut your wrongly cut cues to make a smaller frame.

3. Assemble the frame sticks

– Sand the bevelled edges you have just cut with very fine sandpaper and then coat them with wood glue.

– Assemble the 4 framing rods.

– Place each of the 4 corners of the frame in a corner of the frame press, and tighten the rope, strap or ribbon of the press using the system provided for this purpose.

– Hold the frame for a few hours in the press until the gluing process is complete.

4. Make the bottom of the frame

– Measure the outside dimensions of the frame: length L and width l.

– Using a cutter, cut a rectangle of featherboard with a length equal to L – 0.5 cm and a width equal to W – 0.5 cm.

– Using wood glue, glue this cardboard to the back of the frame.

– When the glue is dry, glue a gummed fastener on the back of the cardboard.

Tip: It is best to glue your photo to the bottom of the frame with repositionable glue, which will allow you to change your photo without any problem.

Your frame is finished and ready to receive its picture. Don’t forget to share your experience below!

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