Oversized Wood Picture Frame: How to Properly Join the Corners

Follow these steps to properly assemble an unassembled wood picture frame.

Our unassembled frames will arrive to you neatly packaged from our facility to your doorstep. Once opened, you'll find inserted in our current catalog, your invoice and assembly instructions. Next, attached firmly to the top of your frame packaging, you will find your frame hardware. From there your frames will come neatly packaged in pairs, wrapped in bubble wrap. Our frames are pre-routed for your convenience. We also pre-insert your frame inserts for joining. By doing this it takes the guesswork out of which insert goes with which frame. Before joining your frame, we recommend removing your frame inserts. You can do this with a slight tap of a hammer.

wood frame sections

The tools required to get that job done right are: a framer's hammer or mallet, white glue, and some paper towels. We also recommend using safety glasses to protect your eyes.

Step one:
On the clean work surface using cardboard or kraft paper, carefully apply your glue evenly to one section. Then firmly press the two sections together to create one corner.
apply glue to one section and rub two sections together

From here you will take one of the provided inserts flat side up and press into the routed opening. With your safety glasses on, carefully tap the insert in with a hammer. Then wipe clean with a damp paper towel.

place provided inserts into routed openings and tap in with a hammerwipe up excess glue

Step two:
Repeat step one on the remaining two frame sections, paying attention to the corresponding lengths. With your safety glasses on, carefully tap the insert in with a hammer. Then wipe clean with a damp paper towel.

Step three:
Carefully apply glue on the exposed ends of one corner. Then take your two remaining inserts, flat side up, and firmly press into place. Then with your safety glasses on, carefully tap in with a hammer. Then wipe clean with a damp paper towel.

Simple and easy as 123.


AubreyK | 2/18/2015 10:03:24 AM | 12 comments
They are strong enough for most framings. However, large pieces of glass or mirrors that are framed will need support at the corners.
2/23/2015 9:30:54 AM

American Frame

We always find visuals so helpful - especially in the picture framing business!
2/23/2015 9:16:22 AM

American Frame
Thanks Bill!
2/23/2015 9:15:30 AM

American Frame

Glad you could follow along!
2/23/2015 9:14:34 AM

Are the corners as strong as if you'd nail them instead?
2/20/2015 3:31:55 PM

Thanks for the detailed explanation - makes so much more sense now. And the pictures really help.
2/20/2015 11:31:41 AM

Thanks for the detailed explanation. You guys really make DIY framing easy… and FUN!
2/20/2015 10:00:04 AM

Thanks for the explanation and pictures - makes it seem so much easier with a visual.
2/19/2015 10:27:39 AM

American Frame
Glad you found this helpful!
2/18/2015 3:29:20 PM

American Frame

We do this because there are different sized inserts for different frames. If multiple frames are ordered, it would be hard to figure out which inserts go with which frames.
2/18/2015 3:28:43 PM

Why do you put the plastic inserts in if you then want me to take them out? Seems like an extra step that is not necessary.
2/18/2015 2:55:34 PM

You're right this sounds simple enough. Now I won't be afraid to order my large frames unassembled. Thanks!
2/18/2015 11:18:51 AM

About this blog

Mike Cromly
So, who’s Mike? He is the man behind the mission of getting your picture frames produced and out the door quickly, correctly, with custom frame shop quality. Once your order is placed, it is in the hands of Mike and the many people he has trained over his 35+ years with the company. A natural teacher, he loves to tinker and experiment. Of course he has a nice office, but we rarely find him there. Working in the plant and improving our processes is his passion. Outside of American Frame, Mike is an outdoorsman, avid fisherman, devoted family man and Ohio State Buckeye fan. Mike's Twitter
For more tutorials and articles, take a look at our other blogs - A Good Frame of Mind or At Your Service

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