Faux Window Frame With a View

Eamon Walsh
by Eamon Walsh
18 Materials
5 Hours

I needed a way to brighten up a dark, empty wall in my home so I designed and installed a faux window frame to display vacation destination photos in a way that makes them appear to be a beautiful view outside of my home. The window frame design is made more realistic by added paneled doors that frame the panoramic photo like shutters. Find and order a poster-sized photo of your favorite view and try this DIY faux window frame project to bring light and beauty to the area of your home that needs it the most!

You Will Need:

  • Lumber (Decide the size for your window and measure and make cuts accordingly)
  • Poster-sized photo print out
  • Glue and nails
  • Wooden plugs to fill screw holes
  • 6 Hinges
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint (gloss white)
  • Chop saw
  • Table saw
  • Nailer
  • Tape Measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Jig saw
  • Electric sander
  • Paintbrush
  • Pocket hole jig and pocket hole screws
Measure and Cut Wood for Frame
Step 1: Measure and Cut Wood for Frame

I cut two pieces of 1x3 for the sides of the frame and then a 1x5 for the top and 1x2 for the bottom. I cut the top wider in order to house the crown molding cornice piece later on.

Assemble Frame
Step 2: Assemble Frame

I used a pocket hole jig and pocket hole screws to attach the four boards together at the joints for my window frame. I used a combination of wood glue and pocket hole screws to create a sturdy frame. Insert two screws on your bottom joints and three screws on the top and apply wood glue to attach the frame.

Create a Recessed Area for Photo and Backing Board
Step 3: Create a Recessed Area for Photo and Backing Board

I joined two pieces of wood to create a recessed area to hold the backing board and photos. The back piece was ½ inch narrower than the front piece in order to create a recessed area to inset the backing board and photos. Join the pieces using wood glue and nails.

Create French Cleat for Hanging
Step 4: Create French Cleat for Hanging

I cut a piece of wood at a 45-degree angle to create a french cleat to attach the frame to the wall. I used my table saw to cut the two pieces; one to attach to the back of the frame and another piece with a corresponding edge to attach to the wall. You can use any kind of hardware to install the frame to your wall but I chose to create the french cleat in order to hang the window very tightly and close to the wall.

Step 5: Cut and Add Cornice to Window Frame

I bought a piece of crown molding to create a decorative cornice on the top of the window frame. I mitered the corners at a 45-degree angle and attached it with wood glue and a nailer.

Attach Faux Window Sill
Step 6: Attach Faux Window Sill

I used a 1x3 to create a window sill at the base of the window frame. I measured and cut the board to allow the sill to extend out by 2 inches on either side of the frame and rounded off the external corners with my jig saw. Attach the window sill piece with wood glue and screws. 

Build Doors
Step 7: Build Doors

I cut side, top, and bottom rails to create paneled doors for the front of the window frame. I used pocket screws on the joints to create the doors and placed two screws in each corner with glue, then one screw and glue on each of the center rails. I covered the pocket hole screw holes that would be visible when the doors are opened with wood plugs.

Step 8: Sand and Paint

I filled in the nail holes and then sanded both the frame and the doors. I used a belt sander to lightly sand the wood plugs on the door and used a palm sander to smooth the rest. After sanding, I applied a coat of water-based primer. Once my primer was dry, I gave the entire frame a light sanding and then applied two coats of a water-based gloss white paint.

Install Hinges and Doors on Frame
Step 9: Install Hinges and Doors on Frame

After the paint was dry, I installed three satin nickel cabinet hinges on each door and frame using screws. Choose hinges that appeal to you for your project and install for doors that open and close.

Add Photos to Frame
Step 10: Add Photos to Frame

I photoshopped photos onto a sheet of plywood cut to size to act as the backing board inside my frame in order to get an idea of what I wanted to display inside. Place your favorite vacation photo or printed stock photo in a poster-sized print inside the window frame to create the view of your choice.

I’m thrilled with how the faux window photo frame adds the appearance of a beautiful view to a windowless space in the home, instantly changing its entire atmosphere. This could be finished with glass to even further create the illusion of a window. When you’re not able to be in your favorite place in the world, try this project to create a way to bring that view to you. Whether you use stock photos of a place you long to visit or your own photos from an amazing trip, you will be amazed by the light, depth, and the illusion of a larger space the faux window brings to the room.

Have you displayed your favorite vacation photos in a creative and beautiful way or built a faux window to add a view to a room without one? Share your tips and photos of your best faux window and photo display solutions at Hometalk!

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Cry22488062 Cry22488062 on Apr 20, 2020

    Beautiful and. . . . .what website do you sell on??

  • Crc54168128 Crc54168128 on Oct 26, 2021

    Can I buy one just like this one already finished?

  • Lula Porter Lula Porter on Apr 20, 2022

    Have you thought about adding a backlight?

    My dream is to make a 'real' window in my dark living room with a flatscreen tv connected to an outdoor camera and surrounded by a frame like the one you made. Imagine using a remote to turn off the window light. Or have a stranger think they could step outside using the door beside the 'window' and find the master bedroom.

Join the conversation
3 of 49 comments
  • Jackson Jackson on Apr 17, 2023

    I absolutely love this.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Apr 17, 2023

    This would absolutely brighten a small windowless bathroom, or closet, pantry, or hallway. GREAT idea!

    • Patricia Bruce Patricia Bruce on Apr 17, 2023

      Or kitchen above a sink. My sister embroidered a canvas with flowers & trees, put it in a frame & gave it to our Gramma who had moved into an apartment. She always enjoyed looking out her window when washing dishes. That did the trick for her. I LOVE what you did.