Wooden Shim Interchangeable Picture Frame {custom family silhouette printable}

Wooden Shim Interchangeable Picture Frame {custom family silhouette printable}

I have had some wooden shims left over from the custom natural wall art piece I did awhile ago and thought I would put them to good use. Even though shims are not top quality pieces of wood I love the grains, textures and variety of colors that you can find in each inexpensive pack.

If you have done a previous project with shims, this frame makes perfect use of the cut odds and ends left over. Plus since it is a custom piece – you can make it as large as you wish creating a personalized piece of wall art at a fantastic price!

Materials Needed:
Wooden Shims
{a pack of 8 inch shims is only around $1.30 at your local hardware store –
scrap pieces can also be used for this project}
A Piece of Plywood
Hot Glue
Wood Stain or Paint
Mod Podge or DecoArt Decoupage
A Printed Picture / Scrapbook Paper

Being by cutting a piece of scrap plywood to your desired size. {mine measures 12in X 14 1/2inches} Keep in mind that the height of the plywood should be tall enough so that when all the rows of shims are placed on the board, you have enough room for the entire shim in the last row – you do not want to have to cut any of the shims length wise.

Start placing the cut shims on the plywood in a random pattern. If you are using scrap shims make sure any cuts that have been made are straight so they butt up against each other nicely.

If you are using new shims, simply trim them with a chop saw or cut with a hand saw.

Cut a template from a piece of card stock or paper to use as a guideline for the photo space as you are arranging the shim pieces.
{as this point the shims are just laying on the plywood to configure the layout – they are not glued}

Once the layout is good it is time for paint or stain. I wanted a rustic patchwork look so I used a couple different Minwax stains I had on hand. To prevent any of the stains from bleeding, each piece was stained prior to gluing down – I left them laying on the piece of plywood so the layout would not get messed up. The shims can also be painted as well.

Be sure once all the shim pieces are stained or painted that you go back and stain {paint} the outer edges of the piece of plywood that will show as well.

Remove all the shims from the plywood {keeping them in order so you know where to place them when it is time to glue them down}.

Trace around the card stock photo template, directly on the piece of plywood, to create guidelines for your photo space.

There are two options for adding photos – one is a versatile space so you can interchange photos and the other is a permanently attached photo.

For the interchangeable option, {shown above} simply cut a piece of scrapbook paper, sized to the photo template, and decoupage it to the plywood. Brush a layer of decoupage medium to the plywood and another to the back of the scrapbook paper. Position the scrapbook paper onto the plywood and lightly apply pressure to smooth out any bubbles. Brush the top of the paper with another layer of decoupage and let dry.

The other option is to apply a photo directly to the plywood. I simply printed a photo right from my computer onto a piece of card stock and cut it down to size. Then I followed the same decoupage process as above to adhere it to the plywood.
{do not worry – the decoupage will not make the ink run}

Once the decoupage has dried, glue down all of the shims with a hot glue gun.

If you choose the interchangeable frame, you can print any picture right from your computer {or use a regular photo} and adhere it to the scrapbook opening with glue dots or a glue stick. When you want to change the photo simply peel away the photo and replace it.

I thought it would be fun to make a custom family silhouette for one of my frames using Widdly Tinks {found here} Widdly Tinks is a free site where you can make all sorts of neat widgets, countdowns and tickers.

Once you customize the family silhouette it will generate an html code for you to use. You can then place it on your blog and copy the image using the print screen option on your computer – then just print it out on card stock.

If you are thinking about holiday gifts already – custom photo pieces are perfect for anyone on your list – or if you are like me, I simply adore any personalized piece of wall art for myself!


  1. What a wonderful way to use shims! From looking at the completed piece you would never think shims!!

  2. Cute idea…thanks for sharing. Take Care, Carrie

  3. Wow Stephanie! This is so fabulous but what do you do that isn’t?!

  4. Love it!
    Off to search through the basement looking for shims…

  5. You are so creative, what a wonderful idea!

  6. I LOVE THIS!!!

  7. So creative. I love the rustic feel of it.

  8. I love this idea! Your frame turned out so cute – I love that you used shims – so creative!

  9. My goodness! That is awesome! I want one!

  10. I love this! Thank you for sharing.

  11. LOVE this. Great job.

  12. Love this! What a great idea, you are so creative! Thanks for sharing, Cathy

  13. This is amazing!!! I am visiting from Tatertots and Jello and I am a new follower! I would love if you would come link this up to my Delicately Constructed linky party!!
    Hope you have a great weekend and I see you around soon!

  14. You are so creative, what a wonderful idea! Ag

  15. I came across your blog on Tater Tots and Jello! I love this picture frame idea!

    I’m hosting a link party…”Fusion Fridays” {Open All Weekend!}

    I would love it if you would come by today and link up!

  16. LOVE this! Very rustic and pretty. 🙂

  17. I LOVE this! What a great gift idea!

  18. Very clever!! I love it! Good job!

  19. Wow! Very resourceful; good job!


  20. You are so creative, what a wonderful idea!

  21. Love it!! So very creative!


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