How to Make a DIY Decorative Frame for Your TV

February 15, 2022

Custom DIY wood TV frame tutorial for ANY television.

This easy frame for the TV is another one of those DIY projects that I've wanted to tackle for quite some time! 

I know, I know...a frame for the TV? But I think you'll be surprised at the difference it makes.

This works for most recent flat screen TVs, but there are a few things to consider that I'll cover in this post. 

DIY wood frame around TV

I finally worked on this because my husband purchased a bigger television for our family room. Our old one was a dinosaur and he and my son had been talking about a larger size for years. 

My only request was that it be a "Frame" TV -- I've admired them forever and knew one would look amazing in our family room! 
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The Frame TVs are made with a more matte screen and a much thinner frame around the edge. 

The best part is you can load your own digital art and photos or purchase options online (I'll talk more about that in a moment). 

The Frame television also comes with a mount that allows the TV to sit right against the wall so it truly looks like real art. (Although for now we're using our old mount, we were trying to get this thing up before the Super Bowl.) 😂

This Samsung Frame TV goes on sale all of the time, so watch for that if you're interested!

Overall this thing is a decorator's dream come true. :)

It comes with a simple black frame, but there are a TON of decorative frame options online for this TV that dress it up and really make it look like a piece of art. 

But WHOA...the prices for those are caaarazy. I was looking into this modern wood-looking frame for our TV, and even though it's probably the thinnest and least ornate, it was still priced at nearly $200!

I knew I could make something for a fraction of that price.

Gather your materials 


I gathered my wood trim first. 

This part is completely up to the look you want -- I wanted my DIY frame to cover a couple things specifically.

I used this corner trim from Lowe's for my project because it overlapped the front of the frame on the TV:
picture frame molding TV frame

Seeing that black along the edges at all took away from the framed art effect, in my opinion. 

Plus, I want my TV frame to cover the sides of the television as well, at least a little. 

If you don't see the sides of your TV much and just want to cover the front surround, this project will be even easier! 

When you pick out your trim there are two things you want to check (especially for a project like this). 

First, lay the pieces out on the floor and make sure they aren't bent. Pick them up and look down each one to make sure they are straight: 
tips for picking out wood trim 

You'll be surprised at how many pieces are wonky and bent. 

If I'm nailing them to a wall, it's easier to fix minor bends. But for something like this that was going to hang freely, I needed them as straight as possible. 

Also, if you'll be staining like I did, make sure to check the grain on each piece. 

Even though these are both pine, they would look different when stained because of the grain: 
how to pick out wood molding

It would be slight, but noticeable. 

This isn't something I always look at -- if it's for wood shelves that aren't right next to each other, I don't worry as much. 

But for this frame where the sections will be touching, I wanted the wood grain to be similar. 

If you're using basic wood strips, this next part will be much easier!

Since I was using this decorative trim that was very thin, I had to come up with an alternative to nails for the assembly. 

I went with these simple metal corner braces: 
metal braces for wood frame

I made sure that the size of the bracket matched the back part of the wood trim.

And because my trim was so shallow, I grabbed some 3/8 inch screws to use for the installation: 
short screws for frame

If you're wood trim is thicker than this, you can use a variety of ways to make your frame: 
  • Staples -- staple the corners together (I recommend using wood glue as well.)
  • Glue with clamps -- wood glue will work, but make sure to clamp them while drying. If glue is all you use, be careful as you move the frame around since it wobbles a bit. 
  • Nails -- wood glue and a nail gun are your best bet! 
  • Braces or brackets -- this is what I used because my trim was a bit delicate. Even glue wouldn't help much because the wood pieces don't have much contact area.

How to assemble your TV frame

Measure both the width and height of your TV to get the lengths for your trim pieces. 

I had to miter my corners (cut them at a 45 degree angle) because of the trim design, but you could forego this if you're using simple flat or square wood pieces. 

My compound miter saw is the go-to, but a trusty miter box and hand saw would be perfect for this project. 

Either way, ensure you have perfect corners just like the TV!

To do that, you can use an L square ruler like this one, or this awesome corner clamp I picked up for this project (it will come in handy for so many!):
corner clamp for molding

This thing is awesome because it holds the two pieces of trim tight together at the perfect angle. 

This corner clamp will be especially helpful if you're using glue, staples or nails! 

If my molding had just a bit thicker, I could have hidden the brace inside like this: 
corner clamp for frame

But I had to use the thickest part around the edge. I forgot to take a photo as I was working, so here you go: 
frame molding for TV

Ha! 

Here's a cutting tip if you use a molding like I did for this project -- because it's uneven underneath, you'll need to prop up the more shallow part with some scrap wood: 
cutting molding with uneven bottom profile

If you just lay it flat on the saw, it won't meet up at a perfect angle in the corners. 

This trick evens it out as you cut: 
how to cut uneven molding

I used the small screws to attach the braces to the backside of the molding in each corner.

Drilling a pilot hole is VERY important, especially when working with more delicate trim like mine. Then I drilled the short screws in very slowly to avoid the wood splitting.

This tutorial on cutting and installing molding is so helpful if you're new to molding projects!

  

Finish your frame with stain or paint

After all four corners were connected, my frame was complete! 

I tested it out on the TV and had to adjust the length of one side just a bit, but then it fit like a glove.

I wanted the frame to be a lighter wood like the one we were looking to buy, so I stained it in Special Walnut by Minwax, then put a coat of polyurethane on top: 
special walnut on pine frame

I filled in the mitered corners with my favorite stainable wood filler, but because I used the natural color I didn't even have to stain over again. It blends right in.

The great part about this project is you can customize this however you want! If you want something more ornate you can use a thicker, more detailed molding.

Use spray paint and Rub 'n Buff wax to create a more traditional old world look, or paint or stain like I mine for a transitional/modern design. 

Finishing touches


My frame fit snug around the TV, but I added a command strips at the top and bottom of the frame for a little extra security since we angle our TV down just a bit: 
command strips on TV frame

Thin strips of Velcro would work well for this as well! 

This DIY frame is sturdy when it's up on the TV, but take care when removing it or readjusting. Anything this thin and large will need some care when handling. 

Here's a look at the difference this wood frame made around the TV: 
Black frame on TV

DIY frame TV tutorial

It's barely noticeable, but I had to accommodate a small sensor on the bottom of the TV. 

You'll want to check your TV for a sensor anywhere around the edge. This TV doesn't have a sensor for the on and off function, but it does have a motion sensor that turns the art on and off. 

I notched just a bit out of the frame for that, but I'm not sure I'll need to keep it. As we use the TV I'll determine if we want the motion sensor on or not. (If we don't, I'll probably attach a new bottom piece of molding.)

You can either cut a bit out of your trim like I did, or use a drill bit to make a hole in your frame at the location of your sensor. 

My TV frame doesn't completely cover the sides, but the black surround on the TV disappears anyway: 
wood frame sides on TV

I've had so much fun trying out the digital art images I found -- this Etsy store has an amazing selection of gorgeous Frame TV art! 

This cloud art is one of my favorites: 
wood frame around TV

You can change the mat size and color for any photo. I like this medium sized mat a lot: 
DIY wood stained frame for TV

But this skinnier version is pretty as well: 
landscape art Frame TV

The mat gives it a more traditional look, but you can have the image fill the screen for a more modern design. 

Some of the digital art has a mat already, so there's no need to add one:
best source Frame TV art

Of course,  you can upload family or personal photos to display as well.

The DIY wood frame on the TV is the perfect finishing touch and I LOVE IT! 
DIY wood frame for Frame TV

A pretty TV?? It's like my decorating dreams have come true! :) 

Here's the same view with our old TV: 
tall fireplace furniture layout

I plan to add this DIY frame to another TV in the house as well -- this tutorial isn't just for the actual Frame television! 

One thing to consider: I would caution against covering any vents around your TV.
Older flat screens had that more than newer versions. If you're just attaching the lightweight frame to the front of your TV, or using small trim like I did, that won't be an issue. 

Now to decide if I want to cover our center speaker. Hmmmm. 

Funny thing is, I don't notice it nearly as much now with the new TV. It seems to disappear more than before and I think covering it may bring even more attention to it. 

We will see! 

My wood frame for our television was $35 -- $30 for the molding and $5 for the screws and braces.

I saved about $130 by making this myself!

This "art" TV has already fooled one of our guests who thought we had removed the TV! 

If you have any questions about this DIY frame for your TV, let me know in the comments.


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Comments

  1. Wow. That frame makes an amazing difference. Good job, Sarah!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this! I didn't even know this was a thing. This would be the only way I would put a TV above my mantel. Does the TV need to be turned on to be able to see the digital image?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's on, but on a "low" mode -- it uses very little power. You can set a timer for when you want it to go off, or by the amount of light in the room, or by motion. It's pretty cool!

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  3. I agree, never knew this could be done so well. I hated the idea of a tv over the fireplace but this is a game changer. May have to give in to the hubby if he can replicate what you did with the frame!

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  4. Amazing. Always so impressed with the things you do.

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  5. I want to do this!!! Thank you for great instructions. I haven't figured out how to upload the digital art yet. Did you follow a tutorial? I love your beautiful home and your great design ideas!

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  6. Hi! I want to make this frame for the tv my husband just bought me for my birthday. I went to both home Depot and Lowes and could not find any corner moulding like you used. Do you have any other information on the type you used?

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    Replies
    1. Hello! You can search it using this: ReliaBilt 1.125-in x 8-ft Pine Unfinished Wall Panel Moulding
      Hope that helps!

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