My son is graduating from high school this year, so I made a Class of 2017 Picture Frame and Tassel for him out of wood. Check out my video for this project and click here to visit my website and download the free PDF template.
Tip! Need to change the year? Just use MS Word to print out the correct year and cover it up on the template.
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Step 1: Attach Template to Wood
Pick out a cool looking piece of wood and attach the template with spray adhesive. I use 3M General Purpose 45. Spray a light coat and let it dry about 30 seconds, then apply.
CAUTION! Our school's tassel is about 9.5" long, so I made the opening 10.75" tall. Measure your school's tassel and adjust the template if necessary.
Get the template at the link below:
Step 2: Cut the Outline
I used my band saw to cut the outline of the frame, but you could use a jigsaw or scroll saw as well.
Step 3: Make the Interior Cuts
Drill small starter holes in the picture opening, tassel opening, and each of the letters and numbers. Use a scroll saw to cut these out. A jigsaw with a small blade would work too.
Step 4: Glue on a Mitered Frame
The opening is large enough for a 5"x7" photo. Cut some small strips of contrasting wood to make a mitered frame that is about 1/4" smaller on all sides. Glue it on so that it creates a lip that will hold in the glass and picture.
Tip! My template has dotted lines on it indicating where the frame should be positioned.
Step 5: Attach a Base
Glue the frame onto a wide base of contrasting wood. Let the glue dry, then countersink two screws for extra strength.
Tip! Make sure you pre-drill for the screws in a location where the screws will not protrude into a number or the tassel opening.
Step 6: Apply a Finish
Apply a finish to the project. I used gloss spray lacquer to get into all of the nooks and crannies, plus it dries fast. Shellac spray is also a good choice. Spray several light coats.
Step 7: Insert a Cuphook
Pre-drill a small hole in the top center of the tassel opening. Screw in a cuphook to hold the tassel.
Step 8: Add the Picture
Insert a 5"x7" piece of glass or clear acrylic. Insert the picture, then insert a backer board. I use 1/4" plywood for the backer board. A few globs of hot glue is an easy way to hold the picture in, plus you can always remove it if you want.
Tip! Don't want to cut glass? Get the glass from a 5"x"7" dollar store frame.
Step 9: Hang the Tassel
Hang the tassel on the cuphook and you're done! Congratulations to all of the 2017 graduates and their parents for a job well done!