Craft Tools For Picture Framing

Couple hanging a craft picture frameReasons abound for making your own picture frames—anything from odd sized artwork to an unstoppable creative impulse. Regardless of your reason, this handy resource for the beginner will help get you on your way to a fulfilling picture framing hobby. In no time, you will see that not only is picture framing easier than you think, it also requires minimal investment in Craft Tools, hand tools, and construction supplies to get started.

Standard Picture Frame Molding

As a beginner, you may want to construct your first frame from ‘picture frame molding’ available at most craft or home stores in preset lengths. Picture frame molding has a hollowed area in the back which forms a recess to secure your artwork. If you are not satisfied with a store’s selection, however, you may choose to use conventional crown molding, which we will discuss in more detail for intermediate framers in a subsequent blog.

Craft Tools For Picture Framing

If you have been making crafts or serving as your home’s Handy Man, you could have some of the hand tools on this list. If you are a beginner, however, the following list includes the most common tools you will need to begin:

  • Measuring tape
  • Lumber crayons and sharpener (or pencils)
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Knives
  • Glue
  • Small nails
  • Stain or paint
  • Small brushes.

Your First Frame: Cutting

Use a store bought frame as a guide to make a 45 degree tapered cut on the front side of the molding. Next, measure your art, including calculating the amount of it to be covered by the recess portion of the frame, which should be about ½ inch less. Once measured, mark this on the recessed edge and make a second cut on the molding in the opposite slanted direction so the two pieces will fit together. Continue cutting the remaining pieces of wood to complete the frame, allowing the recessed edges to remain shorter in length to hold the artwork in place.

Your First Frame: Gluing

You will now be ready to put your frame together by placing a small, even coat of wood glue on either end of the frame pieces, two at a time, until the frame is clamped together securely. Use enough pressure to ensure the ends adhere, wiping off any excess glue from the clamping process. Once glued, set the frame on a level surface to prevent warping and let it dry for at least a day.

Your First Frame: Finishing

If you choose to stain the wood, you should do it before gluing since the glue can interfere with the staining process. If you choose to paint, you can do that after your frame has been glued together, filling in any gaps with wood putty if they occur.

Putting It All Together

If you use glass to protect your artwork, set it snugly into the recess area placing the art on top. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the recess so the glass, art and cardboard bit snugly, fastening it in place with tape or brad nails, whichever you prefer.