framing 4 yourself

What Tools do I Need to Put Together a Picture Frame?

Our hobby is unique because you don’t need to be an expert – or even handy – to create a one-of-a-kind art installation. All you need are a few simple instructions and the right tools (you may even have a couple of them lying around the house).

But if you want to advance your skills, Framing 4 Yourself has all the tools you need: from saws to sanders, joiners to mat cutters. Before supplies arrive, please look at our list of the best tools for picture framing to ensure you can complete your project.

The Basics

If you’re building a wood picture frame, you’re going to need wood glue and a hammer.

Framing 4 Yourself recommends using Titebond wood glue, specifically designed for hard and soft woods. It’s fast to set, and most importantly, incredibly strong. The last thing you’d want is for your frame to start falling apart at the corners.

A screwdriver is necessary if you’re putting together a metal picture frame. You push the two corners together for simple metal projects and insert L brackets with screws. Once that’s completed, use the screwdriver to tighten everything up, and your beautiful custom picture frame is complete.

Miter Saw

If you’re planning on buying wood picture frame mouldings in lengths, you’re going to need a miter saw.

We recommend the Ryobi power miter saw and an 80-tooth carbide saw blade, specifically designed to make extra fine cuts on picture frame mouldings. Miter saws are known for making quick, accurate angular cuts. With an attached LED cutline indicator, the Ryobi power miter saw makes cutting precise angle cut mouldings simple and painless.  

We do not recommend this saw for metal. Unless you have a professional saw, we recommend ordering custom cut metal frames.


After purchasing a miter saw, a precision sander is the next piece of equipment to look into. Framers suggest purchasing a sander because there is always the possibility of a jagged cut or uneven lengths after using a miter saw. Sanders help smooth out corners and even out your cuts.


[F4Y] Framing Guide – Downloadable

After gluing the two wood corners together, you will need something a little bit stronger to hold your picture frame together. That’s why professionals use joiners that connect corner pieces with V-nails to ensure everything is kept together and won’t fall apart.

V-Nailing is the driving of a” V” shaped nail into the back of the wood. Once the v-nail is inserted, the two corners of the picture frame are joined.

Framing 4 Yourself recommends the Logan Studio Joiner as an economical solution that is perfect for beginners and hobbyists.

Not to worry if you don’t have a joiner or are not ready to add one to your framing tools, most of Framing 4 Yourself’s custom cut wood frames come with routes in the back. This allows plastic pegs to be inserted into the frame for a secure hold at each corner.

For more joiner options, check out our joining tools selection online.

Mat Cutter

Of course, cutting a mat with a razor or box cutter is possible, but you’re risking inaccurate angles and the precision takes a lot of time and strength. That’s why Framing 4 Yourself recommends purchasing a Logan Mat Cutter, as it saves you time while providing a more accurate, smoother cut.

There are two handheld mat cutters for beginners: the Series 2000 and the Series 4000 handheld mat cutter. The Series 2000 is a push-style cutter, while the Series 4000 is a pull-style cutter.

More advanced framers should look at the Logan Simplex Classic Mat Cutter, Logan Simplex Elite Mat Cutter, and the Logan Platinum Edge Mat Cutter.

For more information, check out our mat cutters comparison article here.

Framing 4 Yourself is here to help you find the right tools for your framing project.

No matter your skill level, Framing 4 Yourself has the tools you need to complete a custom picture frame. If you need clarification on which mat cutter, miter saw, or any other tool is right for you, send us a message at, and one of our experts will be happy to help.

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