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DIY Photo Frames

May 15, 2012   //   by Melissa Coon   //   Blog, DIY, How To  //  5 Comments

For Mother’s Day we made picture frames for my Mom and my sister out of left over wood from various projects.

This fun little project can be completed in one weekend. I’m saying it’s a weekender, but you can probably pull it off in day if you don’t have kids and allow glue to set overnight.

I’m not claiming to have come up with the original construction of these frames. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen them on Pinterest and department stores.  I used this tutorial for inspiration. I didn’t follow it verbatim, which is why I’m writing out more of my details here.

Since our wood was scrap, the pieces varied in lengths. We had to start out drawing a planning diagram.  It was easiest for me to create the plan in Adobe Illustrator, but you can use MS Word, Photoshop or Elements or plan it out the old fashion way with a ruler and paper – imagine that.

Our diagram lists all the sizes of the wood and the supplies we used to assemble the frame.


Before we painted we sanded the edges of the pine board and roughed it up to give it that worn wood look that I SO desperately LOVE! You can paint or stain the wood any color you want. We went with a white wash paint technique. We began by priming all the wood with gray Rust-Oleum® primer. Once that dried, we painted Stewart’s Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint, color Summer Linen over the top of the primer with a dry brush leaving some of the primer showing through for the white wash look.

Here’s a close up of the painting came out.  Don’t you just love it?

To assemble the pine boards we applied wood glue in between two of the boards. We ran a bead of glue across the entire edge of the wood. The pieces we glued were the bottom plank and the middle.

We clamped the pieces together and let them set overnight.

We cut 8.25” x 6.25” birch backing board and painted it with Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint. The color was pool. After the paint dried we sanded the edges with 320 grit sanding block to roughen it up.


We used wood glue to adhere the backing board to three white washed pine boards.  Depending on how unlevel the three pine boards are you may or may not have to clamp it down to get it to stick permanently. I was able to leave a stack of books on it for 20-30 minutes and it was good to go. The glue instructions said to allow the glue to set for 24 hours.

I printed out a 4” x 6” photo. Then cut out a 5” x 7” piece of heavy scrapbook papers to create a photo background border.

This is the Hobby Lobby’s 5”x 7” click frame we used.  We took it apart and removed all of the clips.  First, we glued the scrapbook paper to the fiber board included with the frame and mounted the photograph to the front of that. Then I applied wood glue to the back of the fiber board to stick it to the front the white washed wood planks.

Lastly, we used 2- 1/8” offset clips to secure the glass to the fame. We opted to use longer 3/4” screws instead of the screws that came with the offset clips. We wanted to make sure the screw drilled down into the blue backing board and part of the white was wood to secure the glass to the wood – just in case the glue didn’t hold.

We added a saw tooth picture hanger to back for hanging. That’s it – we are calling this a done deal.

Overall we spent $3 for the 5×7 clip frame, $1.50 for offset clips and $1.50 for the picture hanger. There are left over clips and the picture hangers for other projects.  Total for one is $6. Total cost for two frames is $12.

How adorable is my niece? Too cute for words!


  • Melissa, I love the frames. I am looking for the offset clips. Where did you buy them?

  • Hi Tonya!
    Thanks!!! We are elated you are DIYing these frames – we love them too. I purchased the offset clips from the framing department at the Hobby Lobby near the canvas supplies. The company that makes the clips is Master’s Touch. I used the 1/8″ clips because I wanted to make sure the glass was secure. I couldn’t find the 1/8″ clips on the Hobby Lobby website, but here is a link to 1/4″ clips to give you an idea of what they look like. I spray painted the clips black. Be sure to prime them first. I didn’t do that and the paint is already coming off. Whoops.
    Happy crafting!!!

  • Thanks Melissa. I thought that was where you got them, but I could only find silver there. I will pick those up and work on painting them. Thanks again!!

  • Great! I would love to see how your frames turn out if you feel like sharing. You can link back to your site or email your photos here.

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