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How to Make Baroque Frames

Julia Salgado

Although its origins lie in a period of Italian art that began in the late 1500s, the term Baroque was not coined until the 19th century, when it was used as a catch-all term to describe the extravagant and decadent art and architecture that came from that period. In terms of interior design, Baroque represents over-the-top grandeur and splendor, with ornate carvings and large, attention-grabbing furniture. To recreate this style in a homemade piece, it is advisable to use a pre-molded dado rail, usually designed as a wall trim. Many of these trims are ornately decorated and will provide a Baroque twist to your frame.

Step 1

Draw a rectangle onto the plywood the size you want your photo frame to be. Cut the shape out using a coping saw. Measure one of the two shorter sides of the plywood and cut two pieces of the molded dado rail to this size, then measure one of the long sides and cut two more pieces of the rail to this length.

Step 2

Use a protractor to measure a 45 degree angle on each end of each length of dado rail. Then use the coping saw to make diagonal cuts, turning each length into a trapezium shape. These shapes will then fit together to form the frame. Hammer double-tipped nails into the corners of the frames for extra support and apply glue adhesive to both surfaces before pushing the corners together. Repeat this on all corners to form the frame.

Step 3

Spray the frame with a wood primer and then paint the frame in an antique metallic or rich wood color. While this dries, cut two strips of wood from a sheet of thin plywood, the length of the long sides of the frame and half the width of the molded dado rail. Cut a third strip to two thirds the width of the frame. Line these three strips up so they are flush with the left, right and bottom edges of the plywood board and glue them into place. This battening will allow you to slide in a photograph along with a sheet of glass to go within the frame.

Step 4

Line up the corners of the battening on the board with the corners of the painted baroque frame. Apply wood glue and press the frame against the battening. Leave to set and then tack two hanging hooks onto the back of the board, about one third of the way down the picture frame.