Fireplace Mantel Picture Frame

“Variety is the spice of life”.  That’s what one of my good friends would always say.  My wife Desiree must subscribe to that philosophy as well, because she is always wanting to change things up in our house, rearrange the furniture, etc.

Over the years we’ve accumulated memories captured in photos that we wanted to display above our fireplace mantel in a picture frame, that would allow Desiree to switch them out whenever she wants. We found out what size photo enlargements were available from Costco, and then I made a frame to fit any of the pictures we decide to blow up.

I cut the pieces needed for the picture frame out of some leftover MDF trim material I had using a miter saw and routered out a notch on the inside corner of these pieces to accept the picture mat and photo.

Then I glued the four pieces together at the mitered joints using wood glue and a band clamp to hold it all together until it dried.  (You should be able to find a band clamp like this for about $10).

Next I cut some pieces of MDF trim, left over from a batten board job, to go around the outside edge of the picture frame.  Here, I’m dry-fitting the pieces to make sure all the joints are tight.

Then I glued and nailed the trim to the outside edge of the picture frame using 18-gauge brad nails.

After the glue dried, I spray painted it black.

We bought a neutral colored picture mat so that it would work with any of our photos.  This is the first picture we chose to enlarge and insert.  Desiree took this one at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada during our road trip last summer.  (We saw some beautiful places during that trip, and I’m guessing at least a few of the pictures we took would be fireplace-mantel worthy).

I inserted a piece of plexiglass into the frame to protect the picture and mat.   Here’s how the finished custom picture frame looks on our mantel:

Now it’s just anyone’s guess how long this photo will be left above the mantel before being switched out for another.  After all… “Variety is the spice of life”.

One Reply to Fireplace Mantel Picture Frame

  1. Ben Johnson says:

    Stunning! That picture is beautiful. I always take pictures of people; I think I’m going to try more scenery after seeing your inspiring pictures. Bravo.

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