Large Swirly Frames

How to Make a Large Swirly Frame

I saw these huge swirly frames in the local craft store. The wheels were turning and I had all sorts of ideas on how I could use them… until I checked the price! $79.99 was way more than I was willing to pay and even at half off (which is usually what they are advertised at) was still a little steep for me. I figured I could make my own for a fraction of the price and today I’ll show you how to make a large swirly frame!

how to make a large swirly frame SANY2121 copy


  • 1 – 2′ x 4′ sheet of 1/2″ MDF (will yield two large frames and two small frames)
  • Pattern for frame
  • Jigsaw (a bandsaw works really well for this project, also!)
  • Drill with a 1/2″ bit (or large enough to make a hole for the jigsaw blade to fit into)
  • Router with a decorative bit and a rabbeting bit

I bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of MDF for $20 and had it cut down to 2′ x 4′ pieces. It is much more economical that way (for me, anyway) plus, I have plenty of material left over to make more frames.

Start by drawing out your frame. I used my Silhouette Cameo program to enlarge a curvy gift tag, then cut it out with brown kraft paper. You can also draw the basic rectangle for the frame, then add the “swirls” to the outside.

how to make a large swirly frame 2039

Trace the design on the MDF.

how to make a large swirly frame 2040

I used a 1×3 board (lined up with the outside edge of the curves) to draw the inner part of the frame that will be cut out but decided it was too small, so I used a 1×4 instead.

how to make a large swirly frame 2041

how to make a large swirly frame 2042

 I used the drill with a 1/2″ drill bit to drill holes just inside each corner of the inner part of the frame so I could cut it out with my jigsaw. I used the material that was cut out of the center of the frame to make a smaller frame using the same methods – I didn’t want to waste any material!!

how to make a large swirly frame 2043

I used the bandsaw to cut out the curvy part of the frame (because the jigsaw and I do not agree on anything most times!). I used the router to cut a rabbet on the inside of the frame for glass or whatever I decide to put in there, then used the decorative bit to rout the outside edge of the frame.

how to make a large swirly frame 2049

how to make a large swirly frame 2050

 I painted them Mark Twain Gray Brick by Valspar… Kinda looks like chalkboard paint, doesn’t it?

how to make a large swirly frame 2122

how to make a large swirly frame 2123

I really love this tutorial on how to make a large swirly frame but I haven’t yet decided how I’d like to use the frames – photos, jewelry organization, magnet board, chalkboard, etc., or maybe just hang as is… What do you think? 

Got a project you’ve completed using my plans? Share photos with me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com or designsbystudioc {at} gmail {dot} com. I would love to feature your work on DbSC!

Sharing with My Repurposed Life, The Real Thing with the Coake Family

  • What great frames. I love these frames and haven’t been able to spend the money on them yet. Love your idea to make your own. I would love if you would share this at my link party.

    Take care,


    • CherTexter

      I’m there! Thank you so much for inviting me and stopping by!

      • Thanks so
        much for coming by and linking up! I hope to see you again next week.


        • CherTexter

          Thank YOU so much! Stop by again soon!

  • Courtney Schulist

    These are super cute and would spruce up any picture wall.

    • CherTexter

      Thank you very much and thank you for stopping by!

  • Erin Yarbery

    I saw the same frames at the craft store but couldn’t make myself spend the money. So now you’re saying I just need to invest in a bandsaw? No prob. lol 😉 You’re crafting skills are awesome, by the way.

    • CherTexter

      Thank you so much! A bandsaw is not totally necessary – a jigsaw will work just as well. The jigsaw and I just don’t get along that well but the bandsaw and I do! Thanks for stopping by!!

  • These are too cute! Love your creations!

    • CherTexter

      Thank you so much, Sarah!

  • Kim

    I’m always so impressed with your creations, Cher! You make me want to hijack the garage and all of my husband’s power tools! These are just darling!

    • CherTexter

      Thank you so much, Kim! I totally appreciate that!!

  • Ashlee Prisbrey

    I need to get a router, I love that it add’s to the frame (and that’s really the only way to get the rabbet right?)

    • CherTexter

      Hi, Ashlee! In this case, yes, a router would be the only way to cut the rabbet but whatever the material will be used in the center of the frame (i.e. glass, chalkboard, cork, etc.) can be secured to the back of the frame using mirror clips or turnbuttons used for screen doors! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Pingback: How to Cut Circles Using a Bandsaw()

Designs by Studio C is your DIY connection to How-To information, DIY projects and free furniture plans. Have questions about the plans? Contact me at!
Some posts on DbSC contain affiliate links. What this means is that if the link is clicked and a sale is made, I will make a small profit. Product links and sponsored posts are what help keep DbSC going - thank you for the support!