Home decor

Easy DIY Picture Frame


The days of paying high prices for picture and poster frames are over.



I only shop at sensibly priced stores

and was shocked at the prices of frames roughly 22″ by 26″…..

I’m talking about flat black frames with a white matte.


We can do better….

and even if we have trouble mitering corners.

No worries.

The days of those embarrassing, ill-fitting miters are over, too.

That’s right.


For a flat-type frame….you’ll need:

Lattice molding – sold by the linear foot

Wood glue

Plywood for the backing – I used 1/4 inch

Wood filler

Sandpaper – 100-150 grit

Adhesive to apply artwork to the backing – Spray adhesive suggested

Paint for the frame

Paint brush

Miter box or saw

Step 1:  Obtain a backing and cut it to the desired size.

These frames are going to sit on a 3 and 1/2 inch ledge with other items layered on top…so they need to be as thin as possible.  I used the back side of some left-over beadboard..which is about 1/4 inch thick.  And, mine were big….22 by 26.


Step 2:  Place artwork over the backing and attach.

This step will be different for different projects.  Some artwork can be stuck to the backing using spray glue or other desired adhesive.  I used old maps so I could polyurethane the maps to the backing to create a waxy look.  I did cut down the size of the maps, but left at least 6 inches overhang all the way around (to wrap to the back in a later step).


Then, I poured polyurethane onto the center of the map and spread it with a brush.  Once the paper began to pucker, I used my hands to rub the poly around in order to smooth out unwanted bubbles, bumps, and wrinkles.  The dry poly will give the look of a faux matte similar to Modge Podge.  So just FIY….for use now……or later.


I know…….it looks like a real mess.  But, have faith……


See how the center is covered, but the edges are dry (below)?


Lay flat and allow to completely dry.  How long…. depends on the temperature and humidity, but mine took a few hours.

Step 3:  Attach artwork on the front (and back)

If your artwork is a perfect fit to the backing, then you are one step ahead of me.  I was concerned that I couldn’t get a clean cut using scissors, so I chose option #2.  The wrap…

Once the poly was dry, I wrapped the map around to the back and taped it down.  Trimming or wrapping would work for me because my pics will set on a ledge, but if the picture is hanging on a wall…..trimming to the edge of the frame might be a better option.   This way the frame is more apt to hang flat against the wall.



Step 4:  Miter cut and attach the frame

By now, all DIYers should have the artwork attached to the backing and are ready to cut the frame.


Are you really prepared to amaze your artwork admirers with perfectly cut mitered corners?

Of course!…….. And, hopefully, that’s exactly what will happen.

But……. just.. in… case they aren’t perfectly cut….

I have a trick for you.  Wink.  Wink.

So, go ahead……

……bravely launch into the deep ……..

……and miter cut your hearts out.

I got your back.

Start by measuring the length of the frame sides and cut 45 degree angles at each corner.


I’m not kidding.

Even if the miter cut

turns out like this (right)….



Not to worry.

Step 5:  Fix those wayward miter cuts

First…. glue the frame to the artwork/backing ensemble and allow to completely dry.  I always weigh down the edges to make sure the frame is completely secure and to prevent bowing of the backing or the frame.


Once the glue is dry, repair the miter by filling the spaces with wood filler.  I use wood filler instead of caulk because wood filler can be sanded.  If there is a big gap, apply one coat and let dry.  Then apply a second coat.  Allow to completely dry.  Even after it has dried and been lightly sanded, it could still look like a scary mess……

….but it’s not.

….I promise.


This is almost totally repaired after only one application of wood filler and a light sanding.  I will add a tiny bit more in one corner…smooth it out…and allow to dry.  Then sand lightly…very lightly…. a second time.


Step 6:  Paint

Tape up the artwork and paint the frame with your favorite paint and color.  I used chalk paint in charcoal black (below – right).


Step 7:  Display and enjoy

This style is good for a basement or youth room…. especially since it will likely change as the youth matures.  But, for now, it is fun, whimsical, and original.



…….and with the money I saved on the frames and artwork….

…….I get to buy a silk dress.

……..I’m serious…

…….It was actually that much in savings….

…….Can you say



Until next time,

Please…..don’t forget to PIN……

Easy DIY Picture Frames

Happy building,


How to Make the Oversized Letters (instructions here)


  • Reply Nancy January 29, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Suzie, I really like the finished product! Thanks for the insight into pulling this together..

  • Reply Jayne January 29, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Looks great! I’m doing something similar with paint stick. Yes…paint sticks!

  • Reply Melanie January 30, 2015 at 12:25 am

    I not only love the picture frame but also the pillow!!! lol

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog January 30, 2015 at 12:45 am

      Haha….the apple green one I made from a shirt….or the whimsical one? My guess…is the whimsical one…. I thought it was hilarious!

  • Reply Gail574 January 30, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Suzie, you AMAZE me!!!!! I love these frames & the idea of using a map!!! So perfect for a guy’s bedroom. I LOVE your blog & you explain everything so well that even I could do it, well “maybe” even I could do it!! 😉 You have truly been blessed by God with a beautiful gift.

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog January 30, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      TY so much. And, I KNOW you can do it….have faith in yourself…..and remember “I got your back”…..I promised you…right there in the blog.

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog January 30, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Thx….yes…it all belongs to Him. I am grateful for the chance to share.

  • Reply melaniealexander January 31, 2015 at 2:32 am

    I am super impressed that you were able to make your own frames. I totally agree that picture frame costs are through the roof! I have some things I need re-framed and I may take the plunge and try doing it myself now too. Thanks for the walk-through 🙂

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog January 31, 2015 at 3:22 am

      TY so much. Yes. Take the plunge! You can do it. And if the cuts are off….no worries. Just have some of my old buddy wood filler on standby. It truly does cover a multitude of cutting sins. Good luck!

  • Reply Shirley Wood January 31, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I really like your framed map for one thing but love the miter cut tip! I don’t want to miss mentioning that funny pillow on the bed! LoL Stopping by from On Display Thursday.

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog January 31, 2015 at 3:34 am

      I am so happy that the miter cut tip is helpful. The wall ledge that the frames rest on was made with only two miter cuts and three screws. I really do try to keep things simple. And, about the pillow…. is that a hoot, or what? Yep…make it fun. Thanks so much for stopping by. I have several more building projects underway. And, I promise to use as few miters as possible. lol.

  • Reply DIY Wall Ledge – Part II – The Finish and the Fake Wall | The Chelsea Project January 31, 2015 at 4:27 am

    […] I removed the framed pictures, measured how much space I had to work with, and made my own artwork to fit.  I wanted the fake wall to be the first layer, the side-by-side pieces of artwork second, and the M on top as the third layer.  This meant that the framed artwork would have to measure in at about 1/2 inch.  Oh, wow….I needed a miracle.  And, that’s when it dawned on me…. to create the frame out of 1/4 inch plywood and lattice molding.  These items were absolutely the flattest things I could find.  Make artwork instructions here. […]

  • Reply DIY Angled Wall Shelf | The Chelsea Project February 2, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    […] So far, I’ve made oversized letters, a 48 inch long wall ledge, mitered picture frames, […]

  • Reply Toni | Small Home Soul July 16, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Those frames and the maps look great! I love that you build your own frames and used beadboard for the backing, you are always so clever my friend.

    • Reply theChelseaProject July 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      Thanks so much, Toni. It’s always a use what you have situation with me.

  • Reply Carolann July 17, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Wow! You did an amazing job Susie! I just love this. I need to try to create one like it. It’s a masterpiece!

    • Reply theChelseaProject July 18, 2016 at 7:18 am

      Thanks CArolann. You’re so kind.

  • Reply Sam@Raggedy Bits July 20, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Such an awesome project! Looks amazing!! I also LOVE your giant letters and pillow! LOL!

    • Reply theChelseaProject July 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks Sam. You are so swwet. Appreciate so much. I’ll spiff up the letter post and linkup next week.

    Thanks so much for your comment!

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