Introduction: How to Make an Art Frame


This is a basic set up for a DIY art frame, that has a 3D effect. This process will work for most thin to semi-thick pieces of wood that you can find at your local art and craft store.

Table of Contents

Step 1:Grabbing Materials

Step 2:Measurements

Step 3-5: Back Measurements

Step 6-8: Assembly

Step 9: Border of Frame

Step 10-12: Optional Step

Step 1: GYM (Grab Your Materials)

After you have made your masterpiece of art, it is time to grab your materials!

(Note: The size of the materials depend on the size of your art. For this Instructable, the art print was made on a 15x20 sheet of semi-thick paper)

- Pieces of Wood A (12x12x8)

- Piece of Wood B (12x12x8)

- Piece of Wood C (12x12x8)

- Wood Glue (I used Gorilla Wood Glue)

- Tape Measure

- Colored Sharpie (Make sure it is a color that you like, it will be used later to fill in the border of the frame)

Step 2: Measurements

In this step, we will create the Border of the Frame (I went with 1in by 1in for the width of my border).

Materials Needed: Sharpie, Measuring Tape, and Piece of Wood A & B

On Piece of Wood A:

  • - Use the Tape measure to get the desired length
  • - Using the Sharpie, make hash marks
  • - Connect the hashes to make one straight line
  • - On the perpendicular side (side the intersects), do these same steps

On Piece of Wood B:

  • Repeat these same steps with the same measurements

Step 3: The Back Measurements (Step A)

1. We want to get the measurements of the Backside of the Wood, so we have the borders of the frame on both sides of Piece of Wood A & B.

(The purpose of this is so we can see where to align the pieces of wood from behind the art.)

  • First: Line up the Art to the Border of the Frame to make sure it is desired length
  • Next: Repeat Step 2.0BUT on the back of the same Two Pieces of Wood this time

(this is so that we can see the Borders of the Frame from behind the Art)

Step 4: The Back Measurements (Step B)

2. We will create the 3D effect! We will lay the out the frame from behind the Art, and mark where Piece of Wood A overlapsPiece of Wood B, which causes the masterpiece to pop out (like it was 3D).

  • -Lay one of the two pieces of wood on the backside of the Art
  • -Align the Art to the border lines created by the Sharpie
  • -Lay the Second Piece of Wood down (notice: they are suppose to overlap)
  • -Again, make sure to align the Art to the lines of the Border of the Frame
  • -Use the Sharpie to outline where the Two Pieces of Wood Overlap

Step 5: The Back Measurements (Step C)

3. We are almost done with our Back Measurements!

Materials Needed: Piece of Wood C, Measuring Tape, and Sharpie

  • Remove the Piece of Wood A & B from your art.
  • Place Piece of Wood C at the center of your art. To find the center, subtract the size of your Art from the size of your Piece of Wood C.
  • Place your Piece of Wood C on your Art and Outline around the wood

Step 6: Assembly (Step A)

1. Now that we have done all the measurements, it is time to assemble the frame!

Materials Needed: All Three Pieces of Wood and Wood Glue

Grab Piece of Wood A that has both the Border of the Frame Outline and the Overlap Outline

  • On the front side of Piece of Wood A (the side without the Overlap Outline), apply your Wood Glue
  • Then, connect Piece of Wood A to the back of the Art (note: on the back of the wood, you should be able to see both the Overlap Outline and the Border of the Frame)

Step 7: Assembly (Step B)

2. Let the Wood Glue dry (usually takes five minutes).

Grab Piece of Wood B that has the Border of the Frame Outline

  • Apply Wood Glue on Piece of Wood B, keeping in mind that it should align to the Border of the Frame, as well as the Overlap Outline

Step 8: Assembly (Step C)

3. Again, let the glue set in

Grab the Third Piece of Wood (the one without any markings at all)

  • Apply the Wood Glue to Piece of Wood C BUTonly to the areas where Piece of Wood C touches Pieces of Wood A & B

Note: Piece of Wood Cmay not stay down. If this happens, use regular tape or lay something heavy on top of the third piece to hold it down until the glue sets in.

Step 9: Fill in the Border of the Frame

As you may have noticed, you have the lines of the Sharpie sticking out on the sides of the frame. To fix this, all you have to do is color in the border. If you wish to paint the outside of the borders, just be careful not to ruin your perfect masterpiece!

Thank you for looking at my Instructable!

The next few steps will be optional and for the more serious frame builders.

Step 10: Stain Glass Frame (Optional)

Materials Needed: Safety Goggles, Stain Glass, Phillips Screwdriver, Hammer and Glass Glue

This step is optional because it really comes down to what the artist wants. The Stain Glass will be broken, making every piece on the border random and unique. The artist can, of course, cut the glass instead of breaking it. If you choose to break the glass, it is best to put something underneath the glass to control the tiny shards or do it in an controlled area.

WARNING: The next additional step is dangerous. Please wear safety goggles for the entirety of this step, to prevent injury as glass may fly towards your face.

Step 11: Breaking the Stain Glass


  1. Place the Stain Glass in a controlled area (I placed my piece of stain glass on top of a towel). This will allow for easy clean up, and to contain where the pieces of glass go.
  2. The best tool to break the glass will be one that has a firm point. In this Instructable, I used a Phillips screwdriver and a hammer.
  3. Carefully as possible, break the Stain Glass IN THE MIDDLE by placing the Phillips on top of the glass and gently hitting the butt of the screwdriver with the hammer. Breaking the glass in the middle will contain the overall flying pieces of glass. As well, it will produce bigger pieces to place on your frame

Step 12: Art+Stain Glass

This is the very last step, and the one where your artistic muscle finally begins to flex.

Using Glass Glue, we now can begin to glue the shards of glass on to the wood frame. This is wholly up to the size of the shards that you have and where you decide you want to place them