Barn wood frames' appeal lies in the texture and character of the aged wood. They surround your photograph or painting with rustic shades of gray and brown that only natural aging can produce. They work as well in a rustic cabin retreat as they do with Western decor. You can add barbed wire or miniature horseshoe trim to the frame or simply let the texture of the wood speak for itself. The possibilities are endless. You can even get children involved in locating suitable boards, gluing the pieces together, positioning the artwork and adding accents that make your frame special.
Choose four pieces of barn wood that each measure 4 inches wide by 24 inches long. Select pieces that have aged to a rough texture but not cracked completely through. If necessary you can cut the boards to length, but try to avoid boards that you would need to rip to the correct width. That would detract from the frame's appearance because the sawn edges would show.
Apply wood stain to the portions of the boards that weren't exposed to the elements and thus didn't age evenly. Wiping on a light covering of stain with a cloth highlights the grain and adds an aged effect. Allow the stain to dry completely.
Lay the pieces on a flat work surface, arranging the four boards to form an 8-inch-square opening.
Apply wood glue to the back sides of the two horizontal pieces where they intersect with the vertical pieces and press them into position on top of the vertical pieces. Place a flat, heavy object on the frame until the glue dries. Refer to the glue manufacturer's instructions for drying time.
Remove the weight from the frame. Turn the frame over and screw two 1-1/4-inch wood screws into each of the four corners where the wood pieces intersect, approximately 1-1/2 inches apart.
Place your photograph or artwork between two 8-by-10-inch clear acrylic panels, after you have removed the panels' protective covers. Center the artwork, keeping in mind that the frame's visible opening measures 8 by 8 inches.
Place the panels on the back of the frame, allowing 1 inch of overlap on the top and bottom pieces. Do not allow the artwork to shift.
Drill four holes into the acrylic covers and the frame with a 3/16-inch drill bit. Center the holes at the corners where the acrylic overlaps the frame.
Screw 1/2-inch wood screws into the the holes to secure the acrylic to the frame.
Attach a self-leveling picture hanger to the back of each of the vertical boards.
Attach any decorative touches that you would like to add, and hang the frame.