How to Build a Picture Frame From Recycled Wood

Recycled Wood

You can build a picture frame using recycled wood from an old barn, used furniture or a weathered piece of wooden siding. You can find recycled wood items at your local architectural salvage yard, thrift or antique stores. Old barn boards have a beautiful patina that fits in well with your rustic, Americana or country décor. Building picture frames or anything else with recycled materials is an eco-friendly way to decorate your home.

Place your recycled barn board on a flat surface. Old barn boards can be several different sizes, but typically you will find 7 to 12 inch wide boards that are ½ to more than an inch thick. Any size board will work for a picture frame. If the board is wider than you'd like, you can trim it, but the cut portion will look slightly different from the board that was exposed to the elements.

Measure and mark off two 8 inch sections and two 10 inch sections. Make straight cuts with your miter saw to separate the four sections. Set your miter saw at 45 degrees and trim both corners of each piece at an angle. When you place the two 45 degree angles together, you will have 90 degree corners on your picture frame.

Route a small notch along the bottom of each barn board. The notch will hold the glass in place in the frame.

Assemble the four sides of your frame and lay them face down on a flat surface. Attach a metal brace across each corner where the angled lines meet. This will secure your picture frame together.

Spray one side of the backboard with spray adhesive and cover it with felt. Let the adhesive dry. Clean the glass and place it in the frame. Insert your picture and then the felt covered siding.

Attach one ribbon across each corner of the back of the picture frame so that they will keep the felt backing in place. Secure the ribbon into the wood with upholstery nails that are easily removed.


Apply a coat of wood sealer to the barn wood before you add the glass.


Wear safety glasses when operating the saw.

About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.