Friday, 7 February 2014

How to Make a Wooden Picture Frame

Oh, dear, I chipped the frame taking it off the dolls house wall!

As promised, here are the instructions for making a wooden picture frame. (For the demonstration photos, I've used wider wood, in longer lengths than 1:12 scale so the pictures are clearer to see.)

Mitre box, razor saw and gluing jig

You will need a mitre box for the 45 degree angles in the corners, a razor saw and a gluing jig. Also the picture or embroidery to be framed, glued onto thin card.
As you can see, my tools have had so much use that I've had to tape them up!
  If you are using a very thin wood, or balsa wood, or even cardboard to make your frame, you could cut the angles with a craft knife. And for a gluing jig you could use Lego blocks to hold the pieces together when ready.

More supplies for picture frames
You will also need a mechanical pencil, a steel ruler and suitable wood. Because the scale is so small, every millimeter makes a difference so a mechanical pencil gives the finest mark for where you need to cut the wood.
  Now you must follow that old builders' adage of 'measure twice, cut once'. Measure how long the sides of the frame need to be to fit your picture. Measure again. Mark where the cuts will be with a mechanical pencil. Cut on the 45 degree angle using the mitre box and saw.

Checking the sides match
Now take the pieces and place them together like this to see if they are exactly the same. I don't know how many I've thrown in the rubbish in disgust, or kept taking off a little more, then a little more to try and get the sides the same, as the size of the frame gets smaller and smaller!

Check again!

Now is the time to stain the wood, before gluing, so the wood will take the stain. If you want to paint your frame, you don't have to do it now, you could wait till the frame is assembled and the glue dried.
  Assembling the frame takes time because you need to let the glue dry on each piece before taking the next step. This is really hard for me because I'm always tempted to fiddle with it! Use the gluing jig and walk away!

Glue two sides together. Let dry.

Glue the third side into place. Let dry.
The completed frame, ready for painting.
The angle of the photo makes the frame look slightly lop-sided, but it isn't!
  I hope this tutorial will be useful. Have fun looking for little pictures to frame to hang on your dolls house walls.

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