How to Make a Photo Display Board

Introduction: How to Make a Photo Display Board

About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.

My Hubby and I are Grandpa and Nana to 15 grandchildren with 2 more on the way.  We remodeled the living room last summer and we left one wall blank, until we found the perfect way to display pictures of our Grandchildren.  We found what we were looking for at a Craft Boutique, but not at a price we were willing to pay.  It was a photo display board, which my Hubby declared we would make ourselves.  So here is the Instructable on how to create your own Photo Display Board.  So let’s get started, shall we?

Step 1:

Supplies:  (Not everything listed are shown in the picture)
1 sheet 1/2” deep cabinet quality plywood (4ft x 8ft +/- $25)
Table saw
½ inch corner round router bit
½ groove router bit
Air nailer with finish nails
Air compressor
Wood glue (+/- $5, we had left over from other projects)
Tape measure
Black paint (Your local home supply store has 8oz samples of house paint for $3, your color choice)
Sponge brush
Nail set punch
Vinyl words (your choice of words to discribe your boardand color)
Wood filler

Step 2:

With the table saw cut a board 25”x36”.  This will be your board back.

Cut 3 strips 1inch wide and 25 inches long.

Cut 3 strips 1 ½ inches wide and 25 inches long. 

Note the spacing of the strips on the board back.

Step 3:

Five of the long strips will need a ½ inch groove cut into them.  This groove will face the board, and be a place where the edges of the photos will rest, holding the photos in place.  Using the ½ inch groove router bit cut a 1/16 of an inch deep groove along one long edge of 2 of the 1” wide strips and a ½ inch wide, 1/16 of an inch deep groove on both long edges of the of the 1 ½ inch wide strips. (This should leave a ½” higher area down the middle of these three strips.)

Step 4:

While the router is still out switch to the ½ inch corner round router bit then round all the long edges of all 6 long narrow strips (the edges that will show on top of the board).  Sand until smooth.

Step 5:

Mark with your pencil, on the main board, where you want the narrow boards to go. Get out the air compressor and nail gun. (You can use an electric nailer or a hammer and nails; I’m just telling you how we did it.)  Put a thread of wood glue down the middle of the back side of each narrow strip, and then nail them down in this order;

Step 6:

Top most, the 1” strip that has no grooves.  Next, do the bottom 1” strip, with the groove toward the top. The next three 1 ½” strips (the ones with 2 grooves) are spaced 6” apart up from the bottom one.  Place the final one, with the groove down, 6” from the one below it.  The top Space is for some decoration or embellishment.

Step 7:

Get out the nail set punch and drive the heads of the nails, a little deeper into the wood.

Step 8:

Use the wood filler to fill in the little holes you created.  Once they are dry, sand them smooth.

Step 9:

Paint the whole front, top, sides and bottom of the board.  Black goes best with our walls and other frames, but you may paint it any color you like.  Let dry.

Step 10:

We decided to put a clear satin finish on the paint in order to keep it nice.  Let this dry.

Step 11:

I got my personal electronic cutter out and cut out of white vinyl, the word, “Grandkids” and transferred it into the top most space.  What you do to embellish this space is your choice. 

Step 12:

We have set this board up for 5x7 pictures, with the very bottom row being for 7x5 pictures.  We have let our family know this.  If we get 4x6 pictures we will matt them on 5X7 cardstock so that they will fit.

Here we are all set up and ready to be hung.  The nice thing is that it takes very little to change to new pictures.  Old ones will be put in a scrap book and the latest ones will always be one display. (As you can tell, we are short some pictures, that part is a work in progress.)  Enjoy!

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    You know, the best thing about this project is that you can take a simple project and use it as an excuse to bring out your entire arsenal of power tools. Less experienced would just have glued a piece of lattice edge moulding to a board and call it a day. I guess you could have also spaced it bigger so the channels hold in a strip of plexiglas or glass to flatten out the pictures and not be dependent on getting a specific size picture.

    Grandparents are such an inspiration.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! We are so glad to have it done. My Hubby loves wood working. Our first Christmas together, he got me a scroll saw. I have to keep reminding him that it's "MINE". We do have fun working on these projects. The plexiglass is a great idea, just never occurred to us. Thanks for the comment and the suggestion.