Introduction: Recycled Wood Picture Frame

Instead of throwing away old furniture or drift wood, recycle it to make beautiful picture frames.

Step 1: Find Your Recycled Wood of Choice

I recycled an old futon and cut of any of the ends that had hardware embedded in them and used the most untainted parts I could I find. Fortunately all the pieces I used were the same width. I made roughly 6 pictures frames from this recycled old futon that was just hop, skip and a jump away from adding to a landfill.

After that measure out your picture of choice and enter the values into the spreadsheet I included. It will output the exact lengths of the picture frame pieces and the depth of the rabbet cut depending on what type of backplane (cardboard, wood, thick paper, etc.) you are going to use.

Step 2: Rabbet Cut

Find the longest piece of continuous wood to cut the rabbet indent cut for the interior part of the frame. The piece must be long enough to contain all four sides of the picture frame (refer to step 1 for the picture frame calculations). You can hand cut the rabbet indent cuts or you can use a router or table router. Set the depths and width according to the spreadsheet and cut all the way across the piece of wood in one full continuous cut.

Step 3: Cut Wood Piece

Mark out the lengths of the side pieces and make the 45 degree angle cuts with a mitter saw or hand saw with a jig. Having exact 45 degree angle cuts is paramount. Place the pieces together to see if the picture frame looks as you would expect.

Step 4: Glue and Clamp

Glue the corners together with Elmer's wood glue and clamp everything together. Racket strap the frame together and clamp down the corners (Or place weights on the corners if you can't reach them with a clamp).

Step 5: Add Supports

Once the glue is dry (roughly a few hours or more) drill tiny holes in the corners through both side pieces to place in a bamboo stick for added frame support.

Step 6: Integration and Testing

Find a glass or acrylic sheet and backplane that fits your photo size. Place all the pieces together. The backplane can stay on with pieces of metal or with old keys they work great to hold the backplane on. Now you have your homemade picture frame, (If you are good on the router you can add accents to the interior parts of the frame).