Introduction: Soffit Picture Frame

About: Everything I make is done with love and imperfection.

I had these two gorgeous fish prints for over 5 years. They've always stayed in their plastic wrap and cardboard backing because I couldn't afford to frame them properly and wanted to wait until I could.

When I moved to my current place, I felt that I didn't want to have plastic covered art on my walls. I scoped out the framing scene... and still couldn't afford the hundreds of dollars. Most poster frames didn't fit the shape of the posters, but I found a large clip poster frame that did.

So now I had glass covered art... but it still looked tacky without a frame. Wandering around home hardware one day, looking for materials I had a stroke of genius. I was looking at soffiting. U-shaped, metal soffiting. I flashed back to helping my father to re-side our house after a major reno, and this idea was born!

I have another picture to frame - so I thought I'd share my process.

Step 1: Materials and Tools


  • frameable item - this could be the large clip frame (photos 2&3) that I used. These come in all sizes and are super cheap. I looked into the cost of cutting my own plexiglass and board to screw together, but it was more than the dollar-store frame.
  • U-shaped soffit (photo 1)- this comes in various widths - I chose 3/4"
  • Paint or spraypaint
  • Glue
  • Hanging mechanism


  • tinsnips
  • measuring tape
  • square

Step 2: Measuring and Cutting to Size

Measure your picture frame. Here I have a 12x12" frame.

Measure out 12" of soffit and cut with the tinsnips. I found it works best to cut the back side first (photo 2), then the front (photo 3) and then bend the metal slightly to cut the bottom (photo 4).

Step 3: Corners

In order to make the corners, you want to have 2 pieces that are straight, and 2 pieces that have angle cuts (photo 1). You don't want to angle cut both pieces because it never lines up exactly perfectly.

If you look at the windows of a sided house, you will see that they use this technique (and this was the source of my inspiration)

I put the two pieces together and marked where they intersect (photo 2). I drew a straight line from that point to the bottom end of the soffit, and cut off that pieces (photo 3).

Once I did this for 2 of the pieces, I put it together and made any adjustments necessary (photo 4). This may include corrective extra cuts, bending pieces to fit together, etc.

Step 4: Finishing

To finish this off, I painted my frame. For the fish photos I used a matt spraypaint, but here I am using an acrylic paint. It doesn't really matter because both scratch off of the metal so you have to be equally careful when putting the pieces together.

Once dry, assemble the pieces around the frame and strategically glue at the back at all of the corners to hold it together.

You must hang the photo by the backboard, not the frame, as the frame isn't stable enough. I tied string to the clips and hung it this way for the fish prints, but this one sitting upright on my desk at work so I didn't bother.