While a frame doesn't exactly make or a break a picture, it can go a long way toward bringing attention to a photograph and serving as a piece of art itself. What's more, you can create unique picture frames using scraps of wood left over from other projects.
Starting out, it's easiest to use similarly shaped and sized wood for all sides of your frame. However, once you get the hang of what you're doing, you can experiment with using different types of wood for the different sides.
If you're making a frame for a specific piece of art or photography, know ahead of time if the object being framed will be presented on a mat or not, and plan to size the inner dimension of the frame accordingly.
Cut four pieces of wood that will comprise the frame, with enough length to account for additional 45-degree cuts on either end to allow the pieces to fit together. You'll need a miter saw or another tool capable of making these precise, clean cuts. Before attaching the pieces, you'll need to decide if you want to make a groove along the inner edge of the frame using a router to allow the frame to hold a glass front. Initially, though, you may just want to make a frame that won't use glass and see how you like the results.
Use wood glue to affix the frame pieces together, and clamp together until dry. Next, reinforce the frame by using framing staples or "V nails" to secure the pieces to each other. Now you can sand, finish or decorate the frame to your liking.
You may need a little hardware to finish the job, such as glaziers' points that will hold the glass in place, or screw-in hangers that will allow you to hang the frame on a wall (though you can build your own "kickstand" so the frame can be displayed upright on a shelf or other horizontal surface).
Depending on how you like the results, you can determine which photo to feature in the frame.
To learn much more about recycled craft projects, read on to the next page.