Frames are great for adorning your favorite photos, but they can be very expensive. Making them yourself instead of buying them is the best way to get nice frames that fit your photos perfectly without breaking the bank. A frame is the perfect gift for a loved one. In addition, you can make several to decorate the walls of your house.
Method 1 of 5: Use cardboard or cardstock
Step 1. Cut a piece of cardboard or cardboard and shape it into a rectangle
This will be the size of the frame. Depending on how wide you want it to be, make it slightly larger than the photo on each side.
Step 2. Cut a rectangle in the middle of the cardboard
This rectangle should be slightly smaller than the photo.
Step 3. Paint the frame
Paint it a single color (or paint patterns and shapes). You can use markers, crayons, pens, or colored pencils to decorate the frame.
Step 4. Glue on some paper ornaments
Cut out paper shapes (stars, hearts, animals, letters, symbols, etc.) and glue them onto the frame.
Step 5. Get creative with your decorations
Use scraps of fabric, buttons, beads, glitter, stickers, or whatever else you can imagine. Glue these ornaments over the frame and any other patterns you can think of.
Step 6. Make the back of the frame
Cut out a rectangle from another piece of paper. This rectangle should be slightly smaller than the frame so that it easily covers the center.
Step 7. Glue this new rectangle to the back of the frame
Glue it firmly and gently on three of its sides, making sure to leave one side open so you can insert the photo.
Step 8. Put the photo inside the frame
Slide it through the side that you left open at the back of the frame.
Step 9. Done
Method 2 of 5: Use Popsicle Sticks
Step 1. Decorate the sticks
You will need six or seven large popsicle sticks to make it look better, but you can also use smaller popsicle sticks. Cover them with Japanese tape or another type of patterned tape, or decorate them with markers, colored pencils, or paint.
Step 2. Glue the sticks together to form the frame
Place two sticks vertically. Separate them about 5 inches (12 centimeters) and glue a decorated stick horizontally over them. Then glue the next decorated stick next to the first one. Make sure you don't let the glue seep through the cracks. Continue until the two vertical sticks are completely hidden by the decorated sticks.
Step 3. Decorate the frame
Glue wooden shapes, beads, paper, buttons, ribbons, or whatever else you can think of on the front of the frame.
Step 4. Attach your photos
Small photos work best for this type of frame. If you use a passport-size photo, you will have more space to decorate. This way, both the photo and the frame look good. Use glue, tape, or a pin to attach your photos to the frame.
Step 5. Use a magnet
Glue a strong magnet to the back of the frame. Center it horizontally and near the top so you can place it on your refrigerator or any other metal surface.
If you want you can use a hook instead of a magnet, but since this frame is small and light, the magnet makes it the perfect addition to your refrigerator or school locker
Step 6. Done
Method 3 of 5: Use twigs
Step 1. Gather 4, 8, or 12 twigs
The number will depend on how thick you want the frame to be. They should be about 1 foot (30 cm) long and 1/4 to 1/2 inch (0.6 to 1.3 cm) in diameter. Choose twigs that are relatively straight and do not have many splinters, deflections, or other unsightly characteristics.
Step 2. Prepare the twigs
Make sure they are the same length - about 11 inches (27.9 cm) long. Remove the leaves or chips. Wash them if they are dirty. Then divide them into four groups (of 1, 2, or 3), and distribute each group to form the frame (with one group for each side of the photo).
- In each group, place the twigs next to each other (rather than grouping them one on top of the other) to create a larger frame.
- Make sure your photo fits well into the center of the rectangle that the twigs form.
Step 3. In one corner, tie the twigs together using a string
Use a hot glue gun to glue one end of the pita to the back of one of the corners of the frame. Also, you can use hot glue to initially fix the twigs together in the clumps. Lay the pita diagonally across the front of the corner. Then lay it horizontally across the back of the intersection. Lay it diagonally across the front once more. This time, the pita should fill the other diagonal (so if the first time you went from the upper right corner to the lower left, this time you should go from the lower right corner to the upper left). Wrap it over the backrest in an upright position. Again, wrap it diagonally, then horizontally, then diagonally, and finally vertically. At this point, the front of the corner should show two pita wraps across each diagonal, so the pita should form an “X”. The back should have a wrap along each side of the intersection, so the pita on the back should form a thin square. Secure the end of the pita using hot glue.
- Keep the twigs flat and together on each side. Make sure the string is snug throughout the knot so the sides of the frame are secure.
- If you want to experiment with other aspects, try making other types of wraps to tie the corners. Make a square or diagonal wrap, or experiment with a wrap of your own.
- Repeat this procedure for the other three corners. Once you are done, you should have a strong and secure frame.
Step 4. Glue the photo to the back of the frame
If necessary, crop the photo to fit. If you don't want to glue directly onto the photo, or if you want to be able to change the photo in the frame, glue a larger piece of paper to the back of the frame. Attach this piece of paper on three of the sides and slide the photo through the open side.
Step 5. Glue a piece of pita to the top of the frame so you can hang it up
This piece of pita should be 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) long, depending on the size of the frame. Glue the pita in each of the top two corners using the hot glue gun. With this, you will have the possibility to hang the frame.
Step 6. Done
Method 4 of 5: Use wooden slats or rods
Step 1. Configure the photo if you want
You can paste the photo directly to the wooden frame. If you don't want to glue directly onto the photo, or if you want to put a border around the photo, simply tape it onto a high-quality sheet of paper or cardstock.
Step 2. Get two matching wooden slats or rods
Use thin 1 inch (2.5 cm) slats, or 1/4 to 1/2 inch (0.6 to 1.3 cm) rods. They should be approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) longer than the width of the photo.
Step 3. Paint or varnish the ribbons or rods the color you want
Because of the simplicity of this frame, varnishing the wood often looks better. However, you can also paint it in a solid color or decorate it with different paints if you wish.
Step 4. Glue the wood to the top and bottom of the photo
Center the photo horizontally, and make sure the wood is perfectly straight and level on top. Glue the wood over the top of the photo so it is visible underneath. If you find that you cover the photo too much, place another sheet of paper under the photo and glue the wood over it instead of the photo.
Step 5. Lay a string over the top piece of wood
Get a piece of string to hang the photo. It should be 8 to 12 inches (20.3 to 30.5 cm) long, depending on the size of the photo. Place small hooks on the back of the wood between the edge of the photo and the edge of the wood. Tie the rope on these hooks.
If you don't want to use hooks, just glue the rope to the wood using hot glue. With this, the rope will be secure enough, and it will not be noticeable from the front of the frame
Step 6. Done
Method 5 of 5: Use old magazines or papers
Step 1. Buy or make a basic frame
Cut out a piece of cardboard as large as you want the frame to be and cut an opening in the center for your photo. The framework can be as simple or creative as you like. You can make the basic rectangle, or cut a large windowed base for two or three different photos. Add card stock to the back of each window to hold the photos. Glue the cardstock on three sides so you can put the photos in and out of the frame.
You can also buy a plain wooden frame if you don't want to make one
Step 2. Gather several old magazines or papers
The colors and gloss of the magazines are perfect for this frame, but you can also use old newspapers, cardboard, or any other scrap paper you have lying around.
Step 3. Cut the paper into strips
If you are using magazines, simply cut each page in half lengthwise. If you are using newspaper, cut strips about 4 inches (10 cm) wide and 10 inches (25 cm) long.
Step 4. Use a wooden dowel to roll a strip of paper into a tube
Place the dowel in one corner of the paper, at an angle of almost 45 degrees. Roll the corner of the paper around the rod. Hold the paper tight and use the rod to roll the paper into a tube.
As you roll it, the edges of the rod will be covered with the paper. Do not lose sight of them because otherwise it will be more difficult to remove the rod from the tube. Just slide the rod to the side to make sure it sticks out far enough out of the rolled paper
Step 5. When you get close to the edge of the paper, glue along the edge so the tube doesn't come apart
You can simply place a drop of glue on the opposite corner from where you started; this will prevent the tube from falling apart. However, if you later cut the tube, you risk cutting the glued part. To avoid this, glue the entire outer edge of the tube. This way, it will stay rolled no matter when you cut it.
Step 6. Repeat the previous steps and roll enough tubes to cover the frame
You will need more than you think, so be sure to roll up several tubes before continuing.
Step 7. Cover the basic frame with Mod Podge glue
You can use another glue to hold the paper tubes in place, but Mod Podge glue is effective, safe, and easy to use, making it a great option for this frame.
Step 8. Lay the tubes along the edges of the frame
This will give the edges a clean, smooth look, and you won't have to worry about perfectly trimming the ends of the other tubes.
Step 9. Fill the frame with the tubes
Cut the tubes to be the same size before attaching, or trim them to fit as you snap them into place. For a simple frame, place all the tubes vertically on the frame, next to each other. This will give the frame a simple, classic look.
- Try laying the tubes diagonally or perpendicular to each other, or you can even use them to create patterns. For example, add a small square of tubes and place it 45 degrees from each other to create a diamond in the middle of the frame. Bend the tubes to form the corners, or let them stick outside the edge of the frame. Get creative - the arrangement of the tubes will define the look of your frame.
- Make sure to place the tubes close together so that no holes will form in the frame.
Step 10. Cover the tubes with a layer of Mod Podge glue
Once you've finished filling the frame with the tubes, add a layer of matte to hold them together and in place. Also, you can add a shell topping to make the frame stronger and stay crisp and shiny.
Step 11. Let the frame dry
Once the matte has completely dried, place your photos inside the frame.