Homemade frame covered with hessian and denim

M-115[1] M-116[1]

Most of us do not have the professional equipment required to make a wooden picture frame. However, you can achieve surprisingly good results using ordinary tools. The trickiest thing to accomplish is a 45°-angled cut. Professionals use a laser-guided mitre saw, but for the purpose of this project you can use a handsaw with a mitre guide. To fasten the joint I used a staple gun and wood filler. Use a hand sander to remove splinters and rough edges.

Recycled items

  • reclaimed skirting boards/roof panels/floor boards

Also needed

  • handsaw

  • mitre box

  • staple gun

  • an assistant (optional)

  • wood filler

  • hand sander


  1. Determine the desired picture frame dimensions and, using a handsaw, cut the wood into four pieces, one for each side of the frame.

  2. With a mitre box and handsaw, cut the ends of each piece at a 45° angle. (Practise using a mitre box on some off-cuts before you tackle the picture frame.) A mitre box allows you to hold the wood firmly and will guide the saw so that it cuts at the correct angle.

  3. Arrange the cut pieces flat on your work surface so that they form the shape of your frame.

  4. Hold the pieces in place while you staple the corner sections of the frame together. (This is where an assistant is very useful!) Turn the frame over and apply staples to the rear of the corners as well. Fill any gaps with wood filler and leave overnight to dry.

  5. Once the frame is completely dry, smooth away any rough patches with a hand sander.

The wooden picture frame is now ready to be covered with fabric.

Extra recycled items

  • MDF wood (the surface area of your frame)

  • fabrics (sufficient to cover the frame and back ground)

  • ribbon

  • baby shoes or sandals

Also needed

  • measuring tape

  • scissors

  • staple gun

  • fabric glue

  • sponge brush

  • fabric glue


  1. Measure the length and width of the inside of the frame, then add 4 cm to each. Cut a piece of MDF wood according these dimensions, then cover it with the fabric. Fasten it with a staple gun.

  2. Using the outer edges of your frame as a template, measure and cut the fabric. Making sure that there is enough fabric on each side to accommodate the thickness of your frame.

  3. Put the fabric aside briefly and with the frame (face-up) flat on your work surface, paint its top surface and outer edges with fabric glue. Paste the fabric, right-side facing, over the frame, allowing enough fabric on each side to cover the outer edges.

  4. Press the fabric down with your hands to secure it and remove any air bubbles. Fold the outer edges around the frame and fasten it to the back of the frame with a staple gun.

  5. Cut the fabric over the frame opening in the shape of a large ‘X’, from top left to bottom right corner, and from top right to bottom left corner.

  6. Turn the frame over so that it is face down. Apply fabric glue to the inside edges of the frame, then fold the fabric neatly onto the wooden frame, ensuring that at least 2 cm is securely fastened on the inside edge. Cut away the excess.

  7. Decorate the frame with ribbon and accessories as desired.

  8. With the frame face-down on a flat surface, place the fabric-covered MDF board face-down, centrally on top of it and secure it in place with a staple gun.

  9. Turn the frame right-side up and affix the shoes to the fabric-covered backdrop of within the frame.

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