Tutorial: DIY Open Wooden Photo Frame

Some of you may know that I love making things to decorate my home with. It gives me the space to be creative, and I generally save money while doing so as buying things are so expensive these days! One of the problems I have is empty wall space, and loads of photos. Now I could just buy a few frames and be done with it but where is the fun in that?

I have been thinking of ideas for ages, and have finally come up with a plan. This wooden frame is made for four jumbo ‘normal printing’ sized photos/pictures, and I made it this way to be able to switch up the photos from time to time. This way, I won’t get bored of having the same picture up all the time, and when guests come round, there might be something new for them to look at. I also love working with wood, so that was my material of choice, plus it’s so enjoyable to work with.

If you are interested in making this, look around for wood before you buy some. Ask around to see if anyone has spare pieces of wood lying around, you might be surprised. This will save you money, and you might just find some beautiful wood. I scratched around our home and found the wood I used for the frame. And it doesn’t take long at all to make, and it’s really simple! If you’re a beginner at making wood things, this is a great first project!

What you’ll need:

  • Wood (2 pieces about 22cm, and 2 pieces cut to 55cm). You can choose the width of your wood, depending on what your preference is. Mine was
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Staple gun (this is useful but not needed)
  • Drill with wood drill bit
  • String of your choice. I had some extra hemp string, so I used that.
  • Picture hooks
  • 4 Bulldog clips
  • 4 Pictures of your choice

What to do:

  1. If you haven’y already, prepare the wood by sawing it in the correct pieces. You should have 4 pieces, 2 that are long and 2 that are short. The shorter ones were 22 cm each, and the longer ones 55 cm each. But you can adjust these measurements according to what you would like to display (larger or smaller prints, children’s drawings,etc)
  2. Drill a hole in the middle of each of your shorter pieces of wood, this will be to put the string through.
  3. Sand your wood down until it’s smooth and looks good.
  4. Glue the pieces together carefully, and let it dry for at least 4 hours. While drying, the wood will need to be clamped in some way to strengthen the joint, I just did this by holding it in the right position for as long as I could, and that worked fine.
  5. If you have a strong enough staple gun, staple the joints together at the back of the frame to strengthen it. I had access to one but it wasn’t strong enough for wood, so I didn’t use it.
  6. Once dry, put your string in, adding a large knot on either end to keep it secure. Make sure it’s taught in the frame.
  7.  Clip your pictures with your bulldog clips. You could try find some really artsy ones if you would like!
  8. Use your picture hooks and mount on your wall.
  9. Enjoy it!

I hope that this inspires you to make something, even if that’s just printing out some photos to show off in your home. This is a really fun and easy project, enjoy making it!


  1. Hilary Clutten

    7th November 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Well done Kristin you have inspired me to make a long awaited picture frame! Thanks

    1. Kristin Hofmeyr

      7th November 2017 at 3:49 pm

      That’s wonderful! Enjoy making yours

  2. Ida McBride

    7th November 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Very cool project, Kristin! I’ll keep it in mind should I want to hang some pics. xo

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