DIY Oversized Picture Frame

Hi everyone!! I know it’s been a while since I posted. Between school and an infant who’s becoming a handful of a toddler, there has been little time to work on any of my projects. But it’s winter break now (woot!!) and I’m trying to get as much done as I can.

Recently, I’ve been thinking on how to start displaying our pictures around the house.  I made a couple of super cute picture frames for 8 x 10 prints. They were very easy and cheap to do and you get the tutorial on how to make them here.

Aren’t these cute or what??!!  I absolutely love them.

I also wanted to display some pictures on the wall with a few in black and white. I’ve always liked the idea of enlarging black and white prints and displaying them on the wall. I quickly discovered getting oversized prints in the size I wanted (36″ x 24″) plus getting them framed costs an arm and a leg. Most places sell frames as large as 18″x 24″ and anything bigger would have to be custom framed. Well since I was not willing to spend a lot of money on a picture frame, I decided I could probably build one. I remembered my mirror makeover that I did and the frame I built for it (you can find it here), and I decided to use a similar technique. And I’m glad I did because it saved me a lot of money and I love how it came out, and it fits perfectly with my other projects that I’ve done. To save money on the print, I discovered engineered prints which are really for blueprints but I figured they would work for my purposes and they cost a fraction of the cost at a little over $3 dollars for a 36″x 24″ print.

This was a really easy build with very few tools. To get started you will need:

  • saw (or have your local home improvement cut your wood pieces to size)
  • wood glue
  • staple gun with staples
  • Hammer and finishing nails (1 1/4 inch and 3/4 inch)

Materials you will need:

  • One enlarged engineer print or whatever oversized print you decide to use
  • 2 6ft 1×4 boards (I used the cheapest common board, nothing fancy)
  • 2 6ft 1×2 boards
  • 1 piece of plywood (I used 5.5 mm underlayment and had the nice guy at home depot to cut it down to 36″ x 24″ since this was the size of the print I would be using)
  • stain or paint
  • metal braces (optional)
  • spray paint (optional)

To start, using masking tape, I taped down my print to my plywood.


For the frame, I started by  cutting the top and bottom frame using one of the 1x4s to the same length as the plywood which was 36 inches, and placed it on the piece of plywood. Then I measured the distance between the top and bottom frame and cut the second 1×4 to that size which was 17 inches.


Here I’ve put the pieces together on the piece of plywood to make sure they fit

Once the pieces for the frame were cut, I glued them together and using a staple gun I stapled them to clamp them together. And then placed some weights on them for further reinforcement.


While the glue was drying, I cut my 1×2 pieces that I would be using for the trim of the frame. I first cut the top and bottom trim pieces which were the same length as the 1×4 frame pieces at 36 inches. After the glue was dried on the frame. I glued the top and bottom pieces on the 1×4 pieces. Clamped them once again using staples. and the nailed them down using 11/4 finishing nails.

Once the I secured the top and bottom trim pieces, I measured the distance between the them. This measurement will be the length of the side trim pieces. Mine were 25.5 inches so I cut my remaining 1×2 to that size. Then I glued them on to the top and bottom pieces and repeated the steps above (staples and nails) and let the glue dry.

Once the glue dried, I removed the staples that I had used to clamp the 1x2s to the 1x4s since I didn’t want them on there, then I sanded the whole piece and was ready to stain. I used one of my favorite stains, the Minwax Jacobean stain. After staining I let the wood dry over night.

I had also decided I wanted a bit of a decorative element on the frame and here’s where the metal braces come in. This is totally optional. Since they come in galvanized steel, I spray painted them with my favorite metallic spray paint, the Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.


After the frame dried, I laid the plywood piece with the enlargement on the frame from behind and nailed it down onto the frame using 1/4 inch nails (sorry forgot to get a picture of this).

The plywood piece nailed to the frame


And then I screwed in  the spray painted metal braces to the top corners where the trim and the frame pieces met.

And the frame is done!!

And here is the frame hung over the console  table I built  in our entry way. While the engineering print is obviously not the best quality for photographs, it works well for my purposes for now. Maybe one day I’ll switch it out for a better quality print. But at less than $20 to make the whole thing, I’m quite pleased with it.

Let me know what you think and please like, share, comment and pin. Happy holidays everyone!!


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