Reclaimed Wood Picture Framing

The use of reclaimed wood has grown in popularity in recent years. As well as helping the environment through recycling, by making picture frames from reclaimed wood you will be getting a much superior product to timber than is newly manufactured.

Reclaimed wood is extremely dry, so it will not bend and twist over time. Another reason reclaimed wood is better than new wood is that, when trees had to survive in thicker forests, they grew denser and stronger. Also, newer wood products come from trees which grow more quickly, rather than ones which take centuries to mature. For all of these reasons, trying to make new wood look old and distressed will never quite work. Your best bet is to make picture frames from reclaimed wood if you want to achieve a genuine antique effect.

How to Make a Picture Frame from Reclaimed Wood:

Measure the picture you want to frame before choosing your reclaimed wood. Write down the length and width of the picture. Take 1/2 inch from both dimensions, if doing so will not ruin the picture you want to frame. It will make the framing neater when the picture is positioned if you can do so. Choose a length of recycled wood that is wide enough for the frame you want. Make sure the piece you select is several inches longer, at least, than the total perimeter measurement of the picture.

Use a miter box to cut a 45 degree angle at the end of your length of wood. Cut other 45 degree angles in alternate directions along the piece of wood. The shorter side of the first piece you cut should equal the width of the picture you want to frame. The shortest side of the second length of wood must be equal to the length of the picture. The next two pieces are the same as the first two. Finish the last length with a 45 degree angle in the opposite direction to the previous cut.

Use a strong wood glue to fix together the four pieces of wood to make your picture frame. Clamp the pieces together with a strap or band wood clamp.

Stick the picture to the middle of an 1/2 inch piece of MDF. The MDF board should be slightly shorter along the width and length than the outside of the picture frame.

Use wood glue or nails to attach the MDF to the back of the picture frame. Ensure the picture is positioned centrally when the frame is turned up.

You will probably find when you make picture frames from reclaimed wood that it is more expensive and time-consuming than using new wood. By the time you have found it, cleaned it and made into usable pieces you will find the cost and time involved escalates. However, you will be doing your bit for the planet by picture framing with recycled wood, as well as creating a lovely, one-off object that you can diplay and treasure for years.