Build Picture Frames from the Scrap Pile…

Easy to Build Frames for Any Skill Level

As I was poking around in my scrap pile the other day, I came across a few good pieces of oak. Since I built the frames for mirrors and a cork board, why not build a couple of picture frames, too?

Build Picture Frames from the Scrap Pile SANY0578 copy

Materials & Supplies:

  • Scraps of wood
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig & Screws
  • Drill
  • Wood Glue
  • Router & Rabbeting Bit
  • Hammer & Chisel
  • Sander & Sandpaper
  • Glass & Cutter
  • Framing Tab Gun (<– affiliate link!)
  • Finishing Supplies

Let’s Get Started!

Determine the height and width of your frame.  I decided to use up the entire length of the scraps so my frames measure 10-1/4″ x 13-1/2″ and 15-1/4″ square overall with the glass measuring 8″ x 9″ for one and 8-3/4″ x 10-3/4″ for the other. The photo sizes will be odd but I can always crop the photos to fit!

Drill two pocket holes in each end of the shorter boards but remember to leave room for the rabbet so the router bit doesn’t hit the screws! Assemble using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

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Cut the rabbet with the router and chisel the corners square. (Here is a link showing basic chiseling – even though it is about robots – go here)

Build Picture Frames from the Scrap Pile 3

Sand thoroughly starting with 80 grit sandpaper, to 120 grit, then to 220 grit. Stain and finish as desired. I used my favorite Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in Sunbleached and Ultimate Polyurethane in Matte.

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Most home improvement stores have a glass-cutting area and can cut the glass to the size needed. I cut the glass myself. It is very easy to do and a glass cutter can be purchased at any home improvement or hobby store. If you cut the glass yourself, please do it cautiously! Safety glasses and gloves are a must!!

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To cut the glass, I used my clear quilting rulers to “mark” the line. Score the glass with the cutter ONCE (do not go back over it). Move the glass to the edge of your work table (with the score line just over the edge) and snap the glass downward. It should break in a nice, clean line.

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To cut a small amount off, use pliers to break that portion. It should break in a clean line, as well.
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Layer the glass, the picture, and a thin piece of cardboard in the frame and use the Framing Tab Gun to secure them in place. Add a sawtooth hanger to the back for hanging…

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There you are! These frames cost virtually nothing but time! Aren’t they great?

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Have questions about how to build picture frames? Leave a comment below!

Originally posted 2012-05-08 08:00:17.


  • Electrician In Brisbane says:

    That is super creative. Creating something from scraps is always impressive in my book, it shows how imaginative we really are. Great stuff.

  • Angie says:

    I have a bunch of pine boards that I want to make into picture frames. What steps would you recommend using a jigsaw and dremel trio router bits to create the inside beveled edge instead of cutting down the boards to thin scrap size? (more of a plunge center cut and route/rabbet)

    • CherTexter says:

      Wow, I never thought to do it that way! That is a great idea! Clamp a board on top to use as a straight edge when cutting the center out (you may not have to do it that way but I certainly would because I cannot ever cut a straight line!). If it is a very long board where several frames can be cut, it may be easier to cut the centers out first, then cut the board apart into each frame. Hope this helps and share a few pictures when you are finished, I would love to see them!!

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