The material and supplies.

To build this old and rustic “marine” frame, you will need some material and supplies…

seascape framed picture

- lumber wood in the rough of various widths or boards from pallets…
- lumber of 1.5"x0.5"
- wood strip 0.5"x0.5"
- cardboard (paperboard from cereal box), patterned paper
- a jigsaw for cutting… (less 8€)
- some screw clamps (or small nails)
- a miter box or a picture framer saw (not absolutely necessary)
- small Bullet head nails , fast Pattex adhesive…
- some acrylic painting.
- a cutter, a metal ruler

It will also be necessary to cut a glass pane with dimensions of your package (you can do some…?)

Obviously, dimensions given are not critical and you will adapt them to your particular case… It will be enough for you to follow the same methods of calculating : the important is to have the principle of making.

Calculations… not of what complicated !

We leave the object to be framed… here, a photograph with the format 5.2"x7.2".

First, it is initially necessary to cut a mat in paperboard. Its opening will be smaller than the photograph… 0.2" less in all directions… is 4.8"x6.8"…

We thus choose 2" of margin… the mat must measure 8.8"x10.8".

The margins of the wood frame are 3.2" wide… this frame should measure roughly 15.2"x17.2"… But as we build it out of laths of various widths, it is necessary to retain dimensions which approach some more.

Start by the making of the wood frame !

Cut some 15.2" cm lengths in your boards and assemble to check that you exceed 17.2" cm width . Cut also 2 lengths of 16.8" of 0.5"x1.5" strip.

making of frame lumber


On your desktop, lay out side by side your 1.5"x0.5" lumber. Check carefully their alignment . You can not tighten them the ones against the others, that will reinforce the “fisher hut” style .

Now paste in Pattex fast glue the two 0.5"x1.5" lumber and pose them on your assembly with 2cm edge (see the photo). Incompletely insert some small nails to tighten these cleats during joining.

These are the strips which will solidarize the boards of the marine frame.


Let dry at least 4:00. You have time, during drying to make the mat for your photograph.

How to build the mat ?

In cardboard (or ordinary paperboard…) cut out the mat to dimensions 8.8"x10.8".

Trace the opening : the margins must measure 2" in all directions…

To open the image-window , I advise you the cutting tools MAPED but if you do not have any at your disposal, a cutter and a metal ruler will make the deal well more especially as here the cuts are right.

Cut out the central rectangle carefully.

Pass then to the covering of your mat. Choose a printed paper according to the harmony of colors which you chose: here, I remain in blue ! Navy obliges!


passepartout french mounting


Pose the mat on printed paper and cut around while leaving a margin of 1.5". Paste your mat now and pose it on the covering sheet .

Smooth carefully to avoid any air bubble.

Turn over your work. Cut to 45° the angles inside and outside the window using the square.

Paste the mat and fold back the flaps.

mat and its backing

Cut now in stronger paperboard the “backing paperboard” with same dimensions which the mat, is 8.8"x10.8". Fix your photograph on it.

If you have cut a glass pane to same dimensions (8.8"x10.8") you can complete the “package” (the package composed of : the pane, the mat and his bevel, the art and the backing...).

Finishing your framework…

Remove now the nails which maintained the cleats and turn over your framework.

Start by fixing, all around, a cleat of 0.5"x0.5"… it is better if you make miter cuts of at each end… but it is not essential!

Stick these cleats with the fast woodworking glue and maintain with screw clamps or with some incompletely inserted nails.

joining lumber for frame

Pose your mat on the assembled cleats and center by taking account of the margins envisaged of 8cm…

Once places from there, trace the opening to be applied to the pencil (a little smaller than the mat).

It is now necessary to open the central window with the jigsaw. Bore a hole in the center to start and cut out while following the layout.

jigsawing  frame window

A small grater or sandpaper blow on cutting will eliminate from possible small glares.

The intern edges of the frame

The window that you have just opened within the frame is not perfect… You will mask his edge by sticking cleat… slightly smaller than the opening… so as to create like a false rabbet behind.

For that, cut 4 rods in 0.5"x0.5" with the miter box to dimensions of your opening: a bit of glue and one or two nails to maintain in place, let dry. Your frame is finished !

When drying is complete, remove the nails and sand slightly.

achieved rustic frame

Painting and completions

Start by giving a first acrylic coat of diluted “white broken” paint . Let dry and sandpaper slightly… It is the priming coat.

After drying (it is rather fast with the acrylic resin) give again another coat of paint… let 's dry one hour or two then, with a paper rag soaked with a little light blue painting, make traces, a little everywhere on your framework. Wipe so as to avoid excesses.

painted rustic frame

Let dry a little… then, with a brush, spread out one very fine coat of white paint on the frame. This last layer will attenuate your nuances of blue in transparency and will moderate the unit.

Do not too polish the completion : it is a question of keeping to this frame a “rustic” style, very, very “gross” and he must as much as possible preserving his “fisher hut” looking.

rustic frame layout

Install on the back two eyescrews, tighten a string or a wire between these pitons and… hang your frame on the wall… you did it !!!


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Making Picture Frames in

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Other Pages

How to make a wood picture frame