DIY: Lighted Tri-Fold Photo Frame Project

The lighted tri-fold photo frame stand is a perfect do-it-yourself (DIY) project. The completed tri-fold frame can be used for special occasions, such as birthdays and weddings – whether you give it as a gift or commemorate the occasion by using it as a décor piece. We are proud to offer this easy DIY craft project because it is fun to do and inexpensive to make.


Materials Needed:

FRAMES: To begin, select 3 lightweight photo frames (wood frames are preferable, however plastic frames may also be able to be used). Note that the project works best if the frames are the exact same type; however differing style frames of the same height and width could potentially be used. The important factor is that the frames are all the same width. We purchased the 5” X 3-1/2” frames shown from a local dollar store.

ADHESIVES: The photo frame glass panels will need to be glued into place with epoxy or silicone adhesives. Make sure the adhesive you select can be used with the materials to be glued together. Note that in some cases, it may be necessary to glue the hinges to the frame assemblies. If such is the case, we recommend a high strength, fast drying (5 minute) epoxy that can be used with a variety of materials (wood, metal, glass, plastic, etc.).

HINGES: For the project shown, we used Klockit stock #39148 decorative hinges. Other small hinges could also be used (#39147, #39091, #39212) depending on the style of frame you have selected. The frames you select may not allow hinge screws to be used. If such is the case, consider securing the hinges with epoxy adhesive.

LED TEALIGHT: The photos can be illuminated from within the tri-fold frame assembly with Klockit’s LED tealight: Stock #58000 – with remote control; Stock #58009 – without remote.

Step 1:

Carefully remove the photo backing card and any paper inserts, and discard. The glass panels may also be removed at this time. With the glass panels removed, bend the backing tabs of the frame against the backside of the frame assembly.


Step 2:

step-2-2Glue the glass panels into the rear “step” (or rabbet) of each frame assembly. We used a glue called Weldbond to secure the glass, but an epoxy or silicone adhesive will also work. Most importantly, the adhesive should be recommended for use with glass and finished wood. If you are working with plastic frames, make certain the adhesive is recommended for use with plastic and glass.

Apply a thin bead of glue to the interior rabbet of each frame assembly. Try to keep the adhesive set back from the photo opening edge of the rabbet to minimize excess glue seeping onto the front surface of the glass panel. Re-mount the glass panel and make certain it is centered in the opening. If need be, remove any excess seepage of adhesive and allow proper drying time.

Step 3:

Lay the frame assemblies side by side as shown below. The center frame should be spaced (gapped) from the outside frames by about 1/16” or slightly more. The bottom edge of all 3 frames must be perfectly flush. Apply strips of masking tape to temporarily hold all 3 frames together in proper orientation. This will help to keep the frames from shifting out of position as you work to secure the hinges.step3

Position the hinges onto each frame assembly. The hinge barrel should be facing up and centered over the gap between each frame assembly. The upper hinge barrels should be in line with the lower hinge barrels so that both are vertically plumb in relation to the frames. We located the hinges about 1” in from the top/bottom ends of the frame assemblies. Note that the 1” recommendation is subject to change depending on frame size and hinge selection.


NOTE: Depending on the selection of your frame assemblies, you may not be able to use the screws included with the hinges. In many cases, frames will not be thick enough to accommodate the length of screw supplied with the hinge. If this should be the case, you may epoxy the hinge to the back surface of the frame. Trace a light pencil outline of the hinge, and use a utility knife to score the area within the hinge leaf outline on the backside of the frame. This will help to promote a strong glue bond between the frame and hinge.

Step 4:

step-4Once the hinges are secured (or once the epoxy has dried), you may clean the glass panels and prepare your photos for mounting. Trim photos to the size of the opening on the rear surface of each frame. The photo should overlap the rabbet on all 4 sides, so make certain the photo subject is more or less centered in the photo.

Photo paper and standard photos can be used, however you will want to ensure there are no manufacturer logos or similar prints directly on the back of the photo paper if you plan to back-light photos. Standard paper can be used, but note that it will tend to appear a bit grainy when backlit. Vellum is another possible material that can be used for backlit photos, commonly found at printing shops.

Step 5:

step-5Place the photo against the backside of the glass panel. Center the photo in the frame opening, making certain the photo overlaps the rabbets the frame glass is glued to. Secure the photos to the frame with a couple of pieces of transparent tape on all four sides. Transparent tape makes photos easy to remove in order to change them from time to time.

Repeat this process for mounting the remaining two photos.

Step 6:

Finally, place the LED tealight within the frame assembly as shown below. Bring the two “free” edges of the outside frames together around the tealight, and make certain the tealight is centered within the assembly.


Questions on this DIY project?

Please post your question in the comments section below. Or you can send your question(s) to

Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 14 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written/illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.

History of the Storm Glass Barometer

So you want to know the history behind the storm glass barometer. How does it work? Read on to learn more!

A storm glass barometer is a device used to measure atmospheric pressure. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe popularized the storm glass barometer using principles established by Evangelista Torricelli. Torricelli is credited as the actual inventor of the barometer, but it should be noted that he invented the mercury barometer. Goethe, who might have understood the dangers associated with handling and working with mercury, decided water was a safer alternative that worked just as well.

How does the storm glass barometer work?

The storm glass has a sealed body and a long spout. The long, narrow spout is connected to the sealed body below the intended water level, and extends to rise above the intended water level at the top. When the sealed body is filled halfway with water, air pressure is trapped within the body and is held constant.

The spout, however, is open to the outside air pressure, which is always changing. When the air pressure is low, the air inside the sealed body is heavier and pushes water up the spout – as a result, the water level in the spout rises above the water level in the sealed body. On the other hand, when the air pressure is high, the outside air is heavier and the water level in the spout will be pushed down – as a result, the water level in the spout drops below the water level in the sealed body.

So what does this mean? Well, low air pressure is less stable and often leads atmospheric instability causing “stormy” or rainy weather. High pressure creates a “dome” of stable air and can be associated with clear, calm weather. When water moves up the spout, this signals the onset of rainy or stormy weather with the coming of less stable air. Barometers even have the ability to indicate the onset of potentially severe weather – watch for a rapidly rising water level.

How accurate are storm glass barometers?

Storm glass barometers are very sensitive and will indicate changes in atmospheric pressure almost immediately.  In fact, storm glass barometers are sensitive enough to register the slight air pressure difference between the attic and basement of a three-story house. Developed in the mid 1600’s, it is quite amazing that barometers are still widely used as means of reliable weather forecasting today. In fact, a barometer can even be as accurate, if not more so, than your local news station weatherman or certified meteorologist.

Free woodworking plan available

Click here to download our new woodworking plan that will guide you to create a modest base to display our world storm glass barometer.

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

Free Desk Set Woodworking Plan

While Klockit offers some very unique products, the World Storm Glass Barometer is one of my personal favorites. We recently released a new woodworking plan that will help you create a modest, but decorative, base to display the storm glass barometer.

Add a micro-mini clock insert, pen, and nameplate to your completed wood base to make it a functional desk set that’s sure to spark conversations. It’s also the perfect project to share with younger woodworkers, as it can secretly intermingle a bit of history and science into the fun and rewarding aspects of woodworking.

The best part? It’s free! Click here to download the woodworking plan.


Ready to get started?

Click here to download the woodworking plan that will guide you to create a base to display our world storm glass barometer.

Questions? Please leave them in a comment below.

Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 13 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written/illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.

Free Woodworking Plan: Spinning Gypsy Fortune Teller Base

Last month, we introduced the novel and entertaining Spinning Gypsy Fortune Teller (#42018). This month, our team is proud to introduce a free woodworking plan for the fortune teller that w42018ill construct a simple base plate to serve as a display.

The wood base plate described in this plan can be made from most any type of wood desired. The finished size will be 5” X 5” X 3/4″.

Step 1:

Begin by marking vertical and horizontal center line marks on what will be the face surface of the wood blank. The intersection of these lines (at center) will denote the location of the 2-1/8” recess where the fortune teller will be seated within.

General base plate dimensions are shown below. Please refer to Step 2 for profiling recommendations to accent your base plate. Note that a 2-1/8” diameter forstner (or multi-spur) bit can be used to create the counter-bore.


Step 2: Profiling

Various router bits can be used to create a desired profile that will provide accent to the base plate wood piece. You can find seven illustrated examples of common profiles below.

When using router bits to create profiles, we recommend completing the profile in numerous passes in order to maximize personal safety and the longevity of the bit. Make certain to wear the recommended protective equipment as detailed in the manufacturer’s manuals. Last but not least, we also recommend experimenting with profiles on a scrap wood piece before diving into the base plate itself.

Style 1:

prof-1This profile would be machined on a table saw or with a raised panel beveling router bit. Table saw machining will require the plate to be secured to a shop made jig (which is secured to a sled) so that the plate can be safely beveled standing up.


Style 2:

prof-2This profile would be machined with a cove router bit. While we illustrate a 3/8” radius cove, note that cove bits come in a variety of sizes.


Style 3:

prof-3The profile illustrated is a bull-nose profile. We illustrate a 5/8” bull-nose radius, leaving a 1/16” thick ledge at the top/bottom of the wood piece.


Style 4:

prof-4The profile shown is an ogee profile. We illustrate a ¼” double radii ogee profile.



Style 5:

prof-5This profile shows a 45 degree bevel created by a chamfer bit. In this example, 3/8” of the entire 3/4″ thickness is beveled 45 degrees.


Style 6:

6The profile shown is one example of various classical bit profiles which are available. Classical bits usually combine coves, round-overs, ogees, and/or beads to create a compound profile.


Style 7:

7-styleEither profile can be created with a round-over bit (also referred to as a beading bit).  Depending on the height setting of the bit, either a simple round-over or round-over with ledge can be created.  We illustrate a 3/8” radius round-over in both examples.

Step 3: Finishing

Once all machining has been completed, sand the block with medium (#150) and fine (#220) grit sandpaper in preparation for finishing. The block can be stained and finished however you would prefer; it may also alternatively be primed and painted to suite desired décor. There are additional options to enhance and/or personalize your base plate, including nameplates, small ball feet, and micro-mini clock inserts.

Once complete, set the spinning gypsy fortune teller within the 2-1/8” counter-bore to proudly display the fortune teller and your handcrafted base plate.



Please post any questions about this woodworking plan in the comments section below. Our team promises to answer them within 24 hours!