DIY Rustic Scrap Wood Picture Frames Spotlight Favorite Photos

I am always on the look out for new and creative ways to decorate my home. Family photographs are very important to me and my family, but picture frames can often have a very traditional feel.

 wood picture frames

I found a way to shake things up a little with these simple and rustic picture frames that I made from scrap wood. With just a few items, I was able to create some fun picture frames for our treasured family pics! Read on to learn how I made this DIY rustic wood picture frame!


Materials Needed to Make This Wood Picture Frames

  • Scrap wood (pallets work great!)
  • Metal tacks
  • Stain
  • Cardstock paper

How to build these wood pictures frames:

Materials Needed to Make This Wood Picture Frames

Step One: Measure and Cut

I decided to use wood pallet pieces for the frame project. First, I had to determine the size of the frames I wanted and cut the pallet pieces down to those sizes. I used three wood planks for each picture. Each frame is 14 inches by 6 inches.

They will be able to accommodate 4″ x 6″ or 5″ x 7″ photos without much of an issue, and still allow enough of the wood to show as a border. The key to using wood pallets is sanding them down a little, which ensures that they keep their rustic appeal without being too rough. Once that was done, I was ready to stain them.

How to stain wood

Step Two: Stain the Wood Picture Frame

Wearing plastic gloves, I used a towel to apply my favorite dark walnut stain. Brush the stain from side to side, in the direction of the wood grain. Because the pallets are made from rough wood, you will need a fair amount of stain to fully cover the wood, which absorbs a great deal of the stain. If you have streaks or runs, quickly wipe them away. Working with wood stain can be very simple as long as you move quickly to correct any errors.

Staining wood process

I love the grain that came out of these pieces of wood. Only using one coat of stain allows you to highlight the beautiful grain and imperfections in the wood. These will look very rustic, but the other finishing touches planned for this frame will make it look more sleek. It is all about finding that balance.

Back of pallet frame

Step Three: Secure the Back of the Wood Picture Frame

Once the three pieces were dry, I cut smaller pieces of wood and nailed them vertically to the back of the frame. This connects and stabilizes the wood pallet pieces. It is a really simple way to attach multiple boards.

Scrap wood with dark stain

The deep walnut stain shines beautifully!

DIY picture frame

Step Four: Mounting the Picture

My initial plan was to keep things simple and just display the pictures on the board. However, I felt that it needed something more. If you are making these at home, you can choose to add another component or leave it as is. That is the wonderful world of DIY!

Adding frame to picture

I cut a backing for the picture from gray construction paper. This serves a matting around the picture, enhancing the layout. I knew I would prefer this idea.

Tacks for picture frames

I already had these simple tacks that are used for cork boards.

Hammering in tacks

I placed the tacks in each corner of the backing paper, pushing them into the wood as far as I could. Then, I used a hammer to gently tap them in the rest of the way.

Adding frame to wood pallets

These tacks do double duty by securing the backing paper to the wood frame and adding a small detail and touch of fun to the frame.

DIY wood picture frame

Step Five: Glue the Picture

You have several options for securing the photo to the paper. You can use glue, tape or more tacks. I used tape on the back of this photo so that I can easily change out the picture out and keep the backing paper attached to the wood frame. This allows you to easily update the pictures in your home.

Wall art picture frame from scrap wood

The dark walnut stain warms up the look of these frames and offsets the lighter decor in my home.

Dark walnut wood stain

The small tacks make this feel like a polished and fully finished design.

Closer look to the wall picture frame
Simple and rustic scrap wood picture frame

These simple and rustic scrap wood picture frames were very easy to make, and allow you to easily of swap out pictures in your home. By printing a few pictures here and there, and changing them out, lets the snapshots of your life become works of art in no time. These wall frames can also be a great solution for displaying kids art work, invitations or Christmas cards. They are so versatile!