Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

How-to instructions: corner photo frame

May 6, 2013
Woot! Check out our awesome, homemade, self-designed corner photo frame.

Months ago, I found this photo online. I saved it and figured, when it came time to decorate, the internet would be full of instructions for how to make it ourselves. But when I decided to tackle this project a few weeks ago, I couldn't find a single instance of anyone who had actually made the frame. All I could find was this no-longer-available photojojo product and a horribly reviewed frame on Overstock.

We improvised. And it worked!

Step-by-step instructions:

I decided not to bother with glass and to make the frame edges out of wood (I also considered using matte board). At an arts and crafts store, I bought four pieces of bass wood, measuring 36" long, 3/8" high and 1/2" wide.

We wanted to mount the frame on the wall between the kitchen and the hallway. The hallway includes a utilities closet so the frame could measure at most 6.5" long on that side. I decided to make our frame asymmetrical to allow for bigger photos on the kitchen side. I taped paper to the wall to figure out the best dimensions for our space.

I used Photoshop to lay out various photos arrangements until we found one we liked. I tweaked the photo sizes slightly from the wall design to make sure I wasn't cutting off any important elements. We picked atmospheric photos from places we've visited, rather than photos of us or simple landscapes. After finalizing all the measurements in the next step, I ordered the photos from Snapfish with a matte finish.

One of the hardest parts was figuring out the exact measurements of the photos and the pieces of wood. For the photos, I included an extra .25" on each side that bordered the frame (that way I could attach it to the frame more easily and had a little leeway if my measurements were off). Here's my cut list for the wood, as well as a diagram showing how it all fit together.

2 - 9.875"
2 - 7.375"
2 - 7"
2 - 6.5"
6 - 5.5"
2 - 5.375"
2 - 4.5"
4 - 4"

It's hard to describe how to measure the wood, but I took into account how the wood intersected at each corner and included an extra 3/8" on the lefthand pieces to account for the overhang where they meet at a right angle.

I measured the wood to the desired sizes and cut it down with a hand saw. Then I stained each piece with Minwax Red Mahogany wood finish.

The other difficult part was assembling the frame given the three-dimensional design (this is where Ben came in). We started by attaching the photos to the wood with glue (and reinforced by tape). We didn't worry about locking the photos into a right angle (especially since our wall isn't exactly 90 degrees) and we didn't attach the five levels together.

The wood is laid out in such a way that the middle frame covers the frames above and below it, and they cover the ones above and below them, respectively (so the middle is the largest in 3 dimensions). That made it kind of a jigsaw puzzle to put together; we couldn't just go top to bottom. A combination of wood glue, paper glue, scotch tape, sticky tack, and multi-arm coordination got it all lined up nicely and securely attached to the wall.

On the left: our finished product. On the right: the inspiration.

- Steph


  1. I just found the inspiration online and was dissapointed to not be able to find it (or at least not for anything affordable). Google'd 'how to make" and here you were!
    What a genius idea! Here I was thinking of constructing an actual frame and you guys came up with a way simpler idea. This looks totally approachable I'm so excited to start, thank you so much!

  2. thank you for this DIY! i love the idea and was disappointed also that it could not be bought. Thanks to your instructions Ill just make one myself also!


All comments are moderated before publishing. Comments with links (unless directly relevant to the post) will not be approved. No spam, please.