Introduction: Simple But Unusual Modern Picture Frame

About: I'm a lot of a philosopher, a good deal of a musician, a fair bit of a geek, a bit hippie, and in my free time I like to build stuff. I like to think that I have enough good taste and imagination to come up wi…

Having artists among friends is a brilliant thing when you're arranging your new flat. I commisioned a painting from a friend of mine, but it didn't look very good when it was just on a stretcher - it's too dynamic and it needed a frame. I wanted something that would correspond with the painting itself and I came up with this fairly simple but very characteristic and stylish design.

It's easy to make - took me two days only because I had problems with a poor paint that didn't want to dry up. It's also quite materials- and tools-efficient - very little is needed for quite a good effect. Here's a list of what you will need (the measurements were determined by the size of my painting, but are easily modified):

- Wood:
- 2x 880x20x10 (stretcher)
- 2x 1280x20x10 (stretcher)
- 2x 980x32x18 (construction frame)
- 2x 1380x32x18 (construction frame)
- 2x 850x90x10 (outside frame)
- 2x 1250x90x10 (outside frame)
- Screws
- 2 thin flat 'slices' of metal (I used old overdoor hangers)
- Paint & varnish
- Drill
- Jigsaw
- Pliers
- Files and sanding paper

If you like the painting itself and would like to contact the artist, write me, he may consider other painting requests!

Step 1: Stretcher

That step is really easy - just join the 4 boards together as shown on the picture. Stretch the painting you have on it. Some precision is needed though - make sure that after the stretcher is assembled it's not warped - it should lie flat on the floor.

Now stretch the painting on the stretcher.

Step 2: Preparing the Outside Boards

Now you need to prepare the good-looking part of the frame. First cut the inside corners of the outside boards as shown on the picture.

Before joining anything together, paint and varnish all the frame elements.

Step 3: Join Some Elements Together

Now comes the hard bit - join the construction frame parts with the outside boards in a way that will give you the desired angle.

First, match the construction boards with the outside ones as shown on the first picture (note that the construction boards will be joined by their narrower side, i.e. 18mm). The construction boards should be more-less in the centre of the outside ones' width, and a little off the centre in lenght - that's because on one side the construction boards will be made 18mm longer by the perpendicular construction boards (see first picture). Don't join the boards together yet, but make markings to match them right in a moment.

Now take the stretcher with the painting, put the construction board around 5cm away from it's side and adjust the angle for the join with the outside board. It should be around 15 degrees, but best check. Best do that on a table, then you can move one side to hang over the tabletop making it possible to put a screw through the construction to the outside board, as shown on the picture (before best drill a small hole for the screw). Then turn the thing around, another screw on the other side - it should hold with those two, but I put another one in the middle. You can also use wedges to keep the angle - I thought I'll do that myself, but then doing it the way described was so easy that I didn't bother. And yes, you can see a little of the screws now, but they're in a place where nobody ever looks anyway.

Repeat with all boards.

Step 4: Hangers

Before you joint the whole together, you'll need to make hooks which will allow for attaching the painting to the frame. I simply used old over-door coat hangers, they're just perfect lenght. A little work with pliers and you can make them into perfect hooks. Alternatively, use any flat metal piece of comparable size. The picture shows how you need to bend it (the hook is in red).

Make two of those on two sides of the painting. Since the painting will be hanging against the wall, it cannot fall from such a simple hook, and thanks to this simplicity the frame and the painting can be easily disjoint if you should need that - you can do that very easily if you just move the whole away from the wall.

Step 5: Finally - Join Everything Together and Enjoy!

The last step is dead simple - just join all the construction boards together with screws, as shown on the picture. Now just attach the picture to to hooks and voila!

Final notes:
The frame might be a little wobly at the end, i.e. it's not terribly rigid with just one screw in every corner. This does not matter at slightest though, because on the wall nobody will even touch it.