Stapling a picture frame

Perfectly framed

There’s a wide range of finished picture frames available, but it’s mostly limited to rectangular shapes. If you are looking for a more original frame for photos, sayings or even small figurines etc., it’s best if you make it yourself – it’s surprisingly easy to do.

The material required for this is quite straightforward. What is needed above all is creative ideas: picture frames in unusual shapes – for example a house, a triangle, a skyline etc. – are perfect as a unique wall decoration or as particularly personal gifts.

And it doesn't always have to be images that are framed. You can also use letter templates or adhesive letters to write quotations and other sayings in the frame area – or the residents’ names for a personalised house sign next to the doorbell.

This is what you'll need:

  • thin plywood panels (thickness approx. 3 mm)
  • decorative mouldings or simple wood strips (up to max. 10 mm thickness)
  • wood paint or varnish with brush
  • wood saw / mitre box
  • jigsaw
  • folding rule, ruler, pencil, sandpaper
  • picture hooks for wall mounting
  • hand tacker for fastening (e.g. NOVUS J-17)
  • A-fine wire staples, 10–12 mm long
Stapling a picture frame

And here's how it's done:

1. Mark out the desired frame shape on the plywood panel. Include the width of the decorative moulding in the calculation.

Cover picture frame with fabric
Step 1: Mark out dimensions

2. Saw out the desired shape from the plywood panel.

Making your own picture frame
Step 2: Sawing

3. Measure the length of your frame sides exactly and saw the required pieces of moulding on the basis of the measurements obtained. Where there are acute angles, make sure that the mitre cuts fit exactly.

Tip: Sand down the edges of the board and moulding so that no wood splinters off.

Stapling picture frame, tips
Step 3: Mitre sawing

4. You can paint the individual components according to your taste or cover them with chalkboard sheet.

Picture frame as present
Step 4: Cover with self-adhesive sheet or paint

5. Place the pieces of moulding together in the correct shape and then place the cut plywood panel on top. The back of your picture frame is now on top. Staple the plywood panel to the pieces of moulding.

Our staple tip: The staple should "disappear" to 2/3 in the moulding (example: if the panel is 2 mm thick and the moulding 6 mm thick, a staple with 6 mm legs is best).

Stapling a picture frame
Step 5: Staple on the moulding

6. Design your frame the way you want it: stick photos in it or inscribe it with witty sayings.

Making and stapling a picture frame yourself
Step 6: Decorate

Our tip: Cover the plywood panel with a patterned fabric and staple it in place, then add the decorative moulding. That way, you have an attractive focal point even when the frame is empty.

We hope you enjoy designing your picture frame!

You can find step-by-step instructions on our YouTube channel, too.