These simple DIY picture frames are cheap and easy to build, and they’re a great way to display your photos and printables with rustic, farmhouse style!
Do you ever prepare food ahead to save time later on? Maybe you chop vegetables and keep them in a baggie in the fridge? Or maybe you buy ground meat and then portion it out into smaller bags and then flatten them for the freezer so they thaw faster? (That’s one of the greatest kitchen hacks that Handan taught me when we first started living together!) Or maybe you make whole meals and freeze them so you can just plop one in the microwave on those nights you don’t want to cook? Yep, we all do it, but as bloggers, we sometimes do it with projects. Maybe we meant to post about something but then decided to table it for a later date. Or maybe we just had a few minutes of free time and decided to get a jump on the future by building something we know we won’t be writing about for months. Such is the case with these simple DIY picture frames. I must confess that I built them last year, and they’ve been sitting in the basement collecting dust since before Christmas. Oh, and just so we’re clear, if ever there’s a project I’m building for a far-future post – it will always be Handan’s idea. I can’t plan more than 5 or 10 minutes into the future, and even then, things start to get a little fuzzy.
Anyway, why the confession? Why not just run with it? I mean, it’s not really a big deal, right? In fact, it’s good planning!
Well, this is why:
Now, this post will be closely followed by a fall printables post that you’ll see we’ve mounted in these frames. I don’t think I could seamlessly join the two groups of pictures without risking you spitting coffee at your screen, so best to alert you now.
Yep, the man who finished putting printables in these frames last night is much less of a man than the jolly jiggler who built them.
Curious? Read about the transformation here.
Let’s get back to the frames. Coming on the heels of the vintage buffet makeover and the dining room makeover, these simple DIY picture frames mark the return of Simple Stupid. And lemme tell you, after that dining room project and with the laundry room renovation nearing completion, I need a little simple in my life right now. Stupid, I got covered already.
To make these frames, you’ll need some 1 x 2 lumber, wood glue, a brad nailer, a square and a clamp. I used a router to recess the back, but it is not necessary, and I’ll tell you how to proceed without one.
Last year, Handan gave me a long list of frame sizes she wanted me to build. She wanted them to be rustic-looking and simple and rather deep – almost like a shadow box frame. She was thinking of putting a bunch of Christmas stuff in the frames, but that didn’t pan out, so the frames sat in the basement collecting dust until now.
These frames can be made for any size. The ones I’ll be showing you here are 18 x 12 outer dimension and 16 1/2 x 10 1/2 inner dimension.
I cut two long pieces to 18 inches and two short pieces to 10 1/2 inches.
I put wood glue on the end of one of the short pieces.
I joined it to one of the long pieces and checked for squareness.
Then I shot three brad nails, and that secured the joint until the glue dried.
I repeated this process on all four corners.
The frames were built, but not yet finished.
The recess is 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch.
If you don’t have a router, just skip that step, and don’t give it another thought.
Once my frames were routed, I sanded them all over. This is important, as it gets rid of the mill shine on cheap Home Depot lumber. Since these frames are meant to be rustic and farmhouse, I rounded all the edges and corners.
Here are some of the other simple DIY picture frames I built for Handan. Hopefully, she’ll be filling them all this year!
When it came time to stain them, Handan wasn’t around, so I didn’t get any pictures, but really – I think you know how to stain, right? Good! I thought so! Choose whichever stain you like. I used Varathane Briarsmoke. It’s a nice mellow brown without any red tones.
For the backing, I used a piece of 1/4 inch plywood, but MDF would work just as well. I cut the pieces to fit into the recessed area I routed and attached them with our usual framing tool, a Logan Dual Point Driver.
If you skipped the routing, then your backing piece will need to be cut to the exact outer dimensions of your frame, and you’ll need to stain the edges. Then you’ll simply nail the backing to the frame with small nails or a brad nailer.
Here are the finished simple DIY picture frames with our free printable Pottery Barn inspired fall signs.
Before you leave, here are a few more easy fall projects for you:
Pottery Barn Inspired DIY Fall Signs With Free Printables: CLICK HERE or on the picture below to download our free printable Pottery Barn inspired fall signs.
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