$3 DIY Rustic Frames

Hey All,  Corey here from Sawdust 2 Stitches.

Easy and inexpensive Pottery Barn style DIY rustic frames -- any size!

Have you ever wanted to create a large gallery photo wall, or perhaps have a very large focal piece frame,  but the price  just seemed unreasonable ?  ME TOO!   That is why I started making my frames!   These  frames are very  simple and cheap to make, and they have that rustic Pottery Barn look that  I love.  For example I made an 18″x 24″ frame for about $3 in materials!   As you can tell I loved them so much that  I made a ton!Rustic frames  sadust2stitches for remodelaholic

DIY Rustic Frame Tutorial

Supplies Used:

  • 1×3″
  • lattice strip
  • wood glue
  • Spray adhesive
  • muslin (Fabric
  • Paneling 1/4″
  • Mod Podge
  • Stain
  • picture hangers

Tools Suggested:

  • Miter Saw
  • Nail Gun
  • Foam Brush

First determine the size you would like.  For instance with an 18″x 24″ frame,  I  cut (2)  18″ and (2) 24″  pieces of 1×2″ board with 45 degree angles on all ends.    The 45 degree angles will create a finished mitered corner.

corners sawdust2stitches for remodelaholic.com   There are several options when securing the pieces together.  If you own a jig, you can use pocket holes,  or with a nail  gun it is fairly simple to shoot into place.  If you don’t have the arsenal of tools there is another option.  Wood Glue.  Wood glue, can be very strong.  The biggest drawback,  is that  you will need to allow proper dry times. Repeat the process on all corners. rustic frames sawdust2stitches for remodelaholic.com Once the four corners are secured,  sand the frame, so that and joints are smooth. If there is a gap, fill it with a stain-able wood filler.

( Allow it to dry, and then sand again.)

 I wanted my frames to have a little bit of bulk and depth so I added an edge to it. I used a piece of lattice.  Lattice is a thin strip of wood, that is about 1/8″ thick and 1.5″ wide. ( It is typically found with the fencing materials.)

 When cutting these pieces, again  cut on a 45 degree angle, only this time cut the 45  on its side. (Pictured below)

rustic frames 45 angles sawdust2stitches for remodelaholic.com    Once all the trim pieces are cut, proceed to attach to the 1×2″ frame.

rustic frames sawdust2stitches remodelaholic.com Give it a quick once over with a sander to create a nice finish.  At this point apply either  paint or stain,  both can create a gorgeous rustic look. I opted to use Jacobean Stain by minwax.

 For the mat/backing I chose to use  a thin MDF paneling.  This stuff is cheap ( About $10.00 for an entire 4×8′ sheet,  I made my entire gallery wall using one sheet.)  Most  hardware stores will cut paneling for you if you do not have access to a table saw.)  Cut the paneling slightly smaller than the frame (But bigger than the picture opening 🙂

 In order to create some texture, I decided to cover my boards with a thin fabric.  First  I  sprayed my boards with adhesive.

backing rustic frame sawdust2stitches for remodelaholic.comI had pre- cut  muslin in the same dimensions as my boards,  I simply smoothed the muslin fabric over the board.  (Muslin is VERY cheap, and some of them have a very cool  rough linen texture that I LOVE! )

smooth on muslin sawdust2stitches remodelaholic The adhesive  works well to create a nice smooth  surface.

muslin backing sawdust2stitches for remodelaholic.comNext you are ready for your image!   I chose to find stock images online and have them printed. (You can have LARGE images printed at office supply stores for cheap!  That is what I did.  I just  had them printed in black and white.

 I used the spray adhesive directly on the back of my images and then smoothed them onto the fabric covered  board.

For added texture apply a layer of mod-podge. It will give it the “canvas” look, and will give the picture a more durable finish.  I have had mine hanging up in our home for 3 years with no problems!  In order to hang the frames  just add your choice of picture hanging hardware.picture hanging kit (You should choose according to the size of your frame.)
This is one of my very favorite  walls in my home.   These frames are honestly the biggest “bang for your buck” projects.  They  completely customizable to any size, space, color etc.Apothecary sawdust2stitches for remodelaholic.com( You can learn how I made the apothecary  here.)

Here is an example of a  frame on a much larger scale!  (Just use 1×4’s in place of the 1×2’s and replace the lattice with 1×2’s)

Large frame sawdust2stitches for remodelaholic com(You can read more about this craft cabinet here.)

 The possibilities are pretty much un-limited. So,  do you have a space in your home that you can’t find the perfect size decor ?  Consider your problem solved!

 Thanks for reading, and take luck!

Corey with Sawdust 2 Stitches


More DIY wall art and frame tutorials:

Floating Frame 1 - for Remodelaholic
build a floating frame for a canvas by Home Made by Carmona
apieceofrainbow-r1 (10)
diy concrete frame by A Piece of Rainbow
how to build a large chunky frame for a chalkboard-53
extra large thick chunky frame by Remodelaholic
Website | + posts

Corey is the voice and grunt labor behind Sawdust 2 Stitches, she freely professes, that she has a problem... She CANNOT leave well enough alone.
She can typically be found hunched over a sewing machine and/or covered in sawdust. All in the effort to create a perfect balance of aesthetics and practicality in her home.

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  1. These frames are great! You did a great job. I was curious, how did you secure or place the image (canvas wrapped paneling) into the frame?

    1. Sorry Nikki, I must have brushed over that part, I used a finish nailer and 1/2″ nails, but you can easily just use a heavy duty glue! Thanks for reading!

  2. Awesome wall! Great tutorials! Everything about this wall makes my face smile.
    What color is the wall painted?
    What is the measurement between each frame hung on the wall?

    Thanks for sharing

  3. A suggestion here for how to hang your new frames. I used to work for a framing company and would go into the clients’ office/home to do the hanging unless they wanted a security install as in public spaces like lobbies.

    Use hanging wire on the back of your frame. Then use two (2) hooks on the wall hung level and placed about 1/2 to 1/3 the width of your frame apart. Use a level to place them and as a straight edge to mark line where you want to install the bottom of your hooks. Once you have installed the wire on the hooks, check the installation for balance and for level. Unless something intentionally moves the frame, chances are it will never get cattywhompus on you like it might with one hook.

  4. So do you router the back to insert

    What do you do for the face to protect the art? Do you not router the frame in the back to put a protector like glass for the front and a backing of some kind. i don’t want dust all over my art so i would think that a glass face would be necessary for this and then a solid backing.Thoughts?

  5. i love these frames and will def be making these!
    Kinda of topic.. where did you get those curtains in the room with the craft cabinet?