Hey there… my wife’s very talented grandfather painted a portrait of our goldendoodle Berkeley a while ago, and I’ve been meaning to build a custom picture frame for it. It was much trickier than I had expected… and a great way to practice routing and mitre cuts.

Here’s how the final build turned out:

DIY Custom Picture Frame – A painting of my dog Berkeley

Next time, I think I’ll rout the front facing edges to create a more decorative look.

I hope you enjoy the free DIY plan and happy building!

Here is the overall blueprint for my frame which will hold a 9 x 12″ painting. As you follow the step-by-step guide, refer back to this blueprint.


DIY Picture Frame Blueprint

Step 1: Rout and cut the inside part of the frame

Routed edges for frame

Use a 1/2 x 1/2 rabbit bit and router to rout a rabbit into the long edge of the 1 x 2 board. This will become the inside part of the frame which will hold your glass, picture, and mounting board.

Next, use a mitre saw to crosscut the 1 x 2 x 5ft board in half to create a 1 x 2  x ~30″ piece “A” and a 1 x 2 x ~30″ piece “B”.

Step 2: Create two short and two long frame pieces

Long and short frame pieces

My frame needs to hold a 9 x 12″ painting. That means that I need to create two short frame pieces 9 1/16 in length and two long frame edges 12 1/16 in length.

2.1 First, take “A” and mitre a 45 degree angle from the left with the routed edge on the inside of the frame. Next, measure 12 1/16″ on the routed edge and mitre a 45 degree in the opposite direction to create your first long frame piece – “A1”.

2.2 Next, take the remaining “A” piece and create another 45 degree mitre from the left side with the routed edge on the inside of the frame. Measure 9 1/16″ on the routed edge and mitre a 45 degree in the opposite direction to create your first short frame piece – “A2”.

Repeat steps 2.1 and 2.2 above for “B” creating long edge “B1” and short edge “B2”.

Step 3: Glue and clamp frame in place
Frame pieces glued and clamped

Frame pieces glued and clamped

Apply glue to the edges of all pieces.

Use corner band clamps to secure the frame pieces.

Let dry for 24 hours.

Step 4: Prep for staining

I used 120 grit sand paper to lightly sand the frame, particularly around the edges to smooth the surface and open its pores for staining.

Step 5: Apply stain and poly

img_3652Apply 2-3 coats of your desired stain. I used Verathane’s “Natural” wood stain – it worked great.

I’m also a fan of wipe-on poly from Minwax – it is very easy to apply and adds protection to your frame.

Step 6: Fit picture and backing board

img_3644Take your backing board and measure a square that is 9 1/16 x 12 1/16. Use the X-acto knife on a suitable surface to cut the backing board to fit the size of your frame.


img_3646Position the picture and backing board in the frame. Grab your glazier points and line them up.

Take a putty knife and push the glaizer points into the wood to secure the backing board in place.


img_3648Find the center of the top of the back size of the frame and lightly push or hammer a sawtooth hanger in the center. Be careful not to damage the wood by pressing too hard.



Step 7: Admire your new frame

That’s it… you’re ready to hang your new frame on the wall.


DIY Custom Picture Frame – Finished product

I needed my frame to be 9" wide x 12" long.

Item Size Quantity
1x2 Board 5ft 1
If you start with a 1 x 2 x 5ft board, there is no cutlist.

Please follow the step-by-step how-to and cut your pieces along the way.

Please share your feedback or post your questions on how to tailor this plan to your specific space below. Happy building.

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