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DIY vintage picture gallery

I have been wanting to create a vintage picture gallery for quite a while and finally managed to get it done as a project for easy DIY. Although the picture frame is made using 12mm SupaWood, I wanted it to look more like a vintage cottage window frame, with individual panels for favourite photographs.


You don’t have to use 12mm SupaWood for this project, you could just as easily use 16mm supawood, laminated pine shelving, or any other timber or board offcuts you have lying around. The frame for the picture gallery was painted and then lightly distressed to make it look more authentic.



Piece of timber or board approx. 450 x 1050mm
8 of 4mm glass panes - you can have these cut to 150 x 200mm at your local Builders
Pattex No More Nails adhesive and caulking gun
2 of picture hangers and 12mm screws
Plascon Polvin, white - or choice of paint to finish
180- and 80-grit sandpaper


Drill / Driver + assorted bits
Jigsaw + clean-cut blade
Dremel Trio + assorted router bits OR router
Tape measure and pencil



1. Arrange the individual glass panes on the frame. You can use these as a guide for measuring and marking the correct layout that you want for your picture gallery. For our project the panes are spaced approximately 50mm apart, with a larger gap left at the centre.

2. After drawing the outlines, remove the panes and draw another line 10mm in for each pane. Once you cut out and create a rebate, this will be the lip that holds the glass in place.

3. On the inside section drawn for each pane use a 10mm wood bit to drill a hole. This hole allows you to insert the jigsaw blade when cutting out.

4. Place on your workbench with the centre part open and clamp in place. Insert the jigsaw blade into the drilled holes and cut out openings.

If you haven't previously done cutting out with a jigsaw before the trick is to drill 4 holes close to the corners. Cut from hole to hole and once the inside section is removed, go back and drill the edges straight.

5. Around each of the cut out sections for the glass panels, use a Dremel Trio and router bit to cut a decorative edge.

6. You can also use a decorative router bit on the outside edge on the front of the frame.

7. Flip the frame over and use a cutting bit to create a rebate or lip around each cut out section that is 4mm deep. This rebate will hold the glass panes in place.

8. Use 180-grit sandpaper to smooth all the cut edges and wipe clean before painting. We applied three coats of Plascon Polvin, white, over the front and edges of the frame. At this stage you have the option to leave as is or rough up around the edges with 80-grit sandpaper to replicate a vintage finish.

9. Once the paint is dry, turn the frame face down and fit the glass panes into the openings. Apply a thick bead of Pattex No More Nails adhesive to secure the panes in place. Wipe away any excess with a slightly damp cloth and then let this dry overnight.

10. Secure the picture hangers at the top corners using 12mm screws.

Using a PC printer we printed black and white photos and stuck these onto the back of the glass panes with sellotape. You can be as creative as you like for mounting your printed photographs using Washi tape or picture corners to mount... all depending on the final look you want for your picture frame gallery. Now you are ready to hang your picture frame gallery.


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