Make Your Own Quick Change Wooden Shim Picture Frame

Make Your Own Quick Change Wooden Shim Picture Frame

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by DecoArt to see if I would be willing to contribute a project to their new catalog. I’m of course a fan {previous DecoArt projects} so I got to work and put together this Quick Change Wooden Shim Picture Frame.
 I have worked with wooden shims in the past and love their versatility not to mention how inexpensive they are – you can pick up a whole pack for less than $3. The concept for this frame is actually a little twist on the previous Wooden Shim Picture Frame I made last year – just with some added Americana color and a quicker alternative to changing out the photos.

Materials Needed:
Piece of Plywood {cut to 12 1/2 inches X 12 1/2 inches}
Wooden Shims
Acrylic Paints
Wood Screws
Inexpensive Picture Frame
Sawtooth Picture Hanger {optional}
Suggested Tools Needed:
Tape Measure, Circular Saw, Hand Saw or Chop Saw, Sand Paper, Paint Brush, Hot Glue Gun, Screwdriver
Begin by cutting a piece of plywood to use as the base. When calculating what size to cut the plywood, consider the size of the picture frame you would like to hang in the center. Also keep in mind the number of shims that will be needed to cover the plywood – the piece should be large enough to fully glue down each shim.
For this particular tutorial a scrap piece of plywood was cut with a circular saw
to measure 12 1/2 inches X 12 1/2 inches.
A 4×6 picture frame and longer, 15 inch, cedar shims were used to make the calculations.
Once the plywood is cut lay out the cedar shims. Mark and cut each shim to size.
I used a chop saw, however a hand saw can also be used to cut the shims.
Since shims are typically not made from high quality wood, each one should be sanded to remove any stray splinters and soften the edges.
The next step is to finish the shims. This can be done with paint or stain.
For this tutorial Americana Acrylic Paints by DecoArt were used in three shades:
Sea Glass DA297-3, Ice Blue DA135-3, and Blue Mist DA178-3
Once dry adhere each of the shims to the base plywood using hot glue.
The final step is attaching a wood screw to hang the picture frame. Be sure to use a shorter length screw so it does not protrude through the plywood base – 1/2 inch is long enough.
Using the frame as a guideline, center and attach the screw – then hang the picture frame.
The frame can easily be taken down to swap out the picture, then simply hung back up on the screw.
I like to lean these types of frames on shelves…
…however to hang on the wall, a sawtooth hanger can be added to the back of the plywood base.
I really like the addition the painted shim lined base adds to
a simple, otherwise plain,  picture frame.
Special photos make great gifts and picture frames, like the one used above, can be picked up for just $1 – making this one inexpensive personalized present.


  1. This frame is gorgeous. I peeked at last year’s shim frame and love that one too. What beautiful Christmas gifts these would make.

  2. Thank you for this! I have leftover shims from another project that will be perfect for this. Perfect secret santa gift! 🙂

  3. This is lovely. I really like the colours you used.

  4. What a great idea! Did you alternate the shims to compensate for the narrowing of them…. or all wide on one end?

    • Thanks – They are all placed with the wide end all on one side. I used the longer shims which covered the board fairly well without the significant incline typically found with shims. I did sift through the package though to find ones that seemed to be pretty much the same size for more uniformity.

  5. Very cute and the dog looks so proud in the picture.


  6. Beautiful, I really like your art

  7. Really beautiful. Congratulations.

  8. What a great idea. I bought something similar to this several years ago, and I wish I had seen this before I did. This is just SO cute. How on earth do you come up with all of these ideas, Stephanie Lynn? You are a modern day marvel. I stand in awe.



  9. Bonnie Thompson :

    Dear Stephanie,

    I am looking for some cedar (or other wood , if I can’t get cedar) wood shims to replace the large roof of my bird feeder. Would you have this to sell? I would probably need 200 or more. (I’d be more definite if I’m going to purchase them. )

    Please let me know if you could supply this.

    Thanks so much,
    Bonnie Thompson



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