Pallet Wood Picture Frame

This past Christmas, I made a few gifts for family and friends. This is one of the better ones. For my sister’s fiance, I made a rustic picture frame out of pallet wood. I also printed a photo of them together from our visit to Virginia last year to put in the frame.

The picture frame hanging on a brick wall

I started with two pallet boards that still had some nails in them. I measured, based on the size of the photo, and cut the four sides with a 45° miter. I had to go back and adjust those miters quite a few times because of how inaccurate my hand-me-down chop saw is.

Always give yourself extra room for adjustment – you’ll be thankful later. That’s especially true if you’re using random and cheap tools in your driveway… #DIY #BudgetHobbies

Rabbets and miters.

Rabbets and miters.

Next I cut a rabbet on the inside back edge of all four pieces. I made these cuts on the table saw. In the future, I’m going to cut the rabbet before cutting the sides. It will be safer to cut this way and probably a bit more accurate.

The rabbet is where the glass, photo, and backer will sit when the frame is assembled. I didn’t use glass, but I did use a piece of cardboard for the backer.

gluing the miters

Extra glue on the end-grain miters is always a good idea.

Since I wasn’t using any fasteners, my glue joints had to be strong. End-grain tends to suck up a lot of glue and can weaken the joint because of it. I was using an end-grain to end-grain miter joint, so I spread glue on all the ends and gave them a couple minutes to soak in. Then I added a bit more glue and clamped them all together.

More last-minute presents. – #Woodworking #DIY #Pallets #PalletProject

A photo posted by Andrew Miguelez (@andrewmiguelez) on

I got to use my ratcheting band clamp from Harbor Freight and it worked wonderfully. It was so cheap but it really did a nice job. I snugged it up, made some final adjustments to get the faces all even, and then I really tightened it down.

To clean up the glue that squeezed out, I rubbed sawdust into it and then wiped it away. This also helped to fill some of the gaps in the joints.

After the glue was dry, I gave the frame a final sanding. I don’t have a picture of it, but I taped the photo to the center of the cardboard backer, placed it in the frame, and hammered in a few brad nails to hold it in place.

Scotty the girl cat approves

My sister’s cat, Scottie, seems to like the frame too.

I’m looking forward to making another frame out of pallet wood. I’m probably more excited to make a miter jig for my table saw. Hopefully I won’t need to use my chop saw for the next one.