Floating Picture Frame – Step-by-step Tutorial

Floating Picture Frame

Learn to build a beautiful floating picture from in this step-by-step tutorial.

The video below provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to build a beautiful hand-crafted floating picture frame with basic tools. This is a beginner to intermediate level project that can be completed in an afternoon or two. As with all projects, there are many ways to accomplish each task. In this video I do this probably the most complicated way. But it is easy to simplify if by buying material to the exact dimensions, such as 3″ x 1″ Oak and 1″ x 1.5″ or 1″ x 2″ pine or poplar from the big box stores. Also, the rabbet that I cut to create the built in spacer is not required. I have done it both ways, and I actually prefer to leave that feature off because Canvas painting on stretcher frames are often not perfect. In that case, you can skip a few steps and focus on the miters and dowels. The dowels do add a nice touch visually, and they also add a lot of strength to a joint that might otherwise fail over time or under unexpected stress/impact.

Also, please check below the video to links to the tools I use in this floating picture frame tutorial.

Check out my other post on installing a zero-clearance throat plate in your table saw to improve your cut quality!

Tools and materials used in this project:

Wixey makes some great tools for woodworking. This height gauge is really useful if you have a wood shop. It can be used for setting up machines, measure parts and transferring measurements.

This magnetic feather board is great because it is so quick to set up and adjust. No fooling with the T-track. Just set it where you want it and turn on the magnets. This only works if your saw gas a steel or cast iron top.

These zero clearance tape strips from FastCap are an easy way to improve your cut quality, and they are cheap enough that you can replace them when they wear out. They can be used on your table saw as well.

Good glue is important. Titebond a reputable brand that makes glue for most applications.

Good sandpaper is important too. It cuts faster, lasts longer and clogs less. The higher up front price pays off in the end in time and money.

I can definitely feel it in my lungs if I don’t wear dust protection in the shop.  I used to use dust masks but these face shields with replaceable cartridges perform much better, and also allow you to use different cartridges for painting etc…

I also us dust collection whereever possible, especially on the table saw and electric sanders because they create and kick up a lot of dust. Don’t rely on the filter that comes with your shop vac. Upgrade so something similar to the one linked below. Make sure it fits your shop vac.

For fine woodworking you need quality drills to make clean holes. Regular drill bits will create too much tear out at the hole entry so get some good brad points similar to the one below. Lee Valley also makes a nice set. https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/power-tool-accessories/drill-bits/102440-utility-brad-point-drills-metric-sets

If you don’t have a good square, get one. Having said that, the one I use in the video is just a little cheap one I use for marking and transferring measurements. I wouldn’t rely on it as an actual square, even though that is what it’s sold as.

These brackets are good for hanging heavier pictures. I think a 4 pack at HD was about the same price as a 50 pack on Amazon. Very similar quality.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.