Make this easy DIY photo frame
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I want to share another handmade gift idea that you can make for a special person in your life. I’ve seen variations of this frame for sale in the past and I always thought it would be fun to try to make one myself. I finally did it and I’m certain you can too! Come along to learn how to make this easy DIY photo frame.
Great Gift Idea
These frames are the perfect handmade gift for Valentine’s Day or really any occasion! They have the right combination of personality and functionality. It’s also very easy to make multiples when you have all your supplies out. Consider making a few for gifts for your significant other, family, friend, teacher or coach. Then include a meaningful photo. This is a great craft project to make with your kids too!
Create a Custom Message and Design
You can personalize every detail of this gift for the recipient. Pick a decorative paper to match their room decor or their personality. Or choose a design specific for a holiday, milestone birthday or anniversary, etc. There are so many beautiful scrapbooking papers, wrapping papers and handmade papers available these days to fit any occasion. It’s actually hard to narrow down the choices.
A Budget-Friendly Craft Project
If you already have the tools and craft odds and ends in your stash, this project can be very inexpensive to make. My word for 2020 is RESOURCEFUL, so I challenged myself NOT to buy anything and I tried hard to work with what I had. I used scrap wood from the garage, old buttons and old holiday ribbon I had. I did need to buy 2 scrapbooking sheets of paper (.25 and .99 cents per sheet at JoAnn Fabrics) and one little clip and one clothespin. They come in bags, unfortunately! 😂 (Each bag was approximately $2.50, on sale) Oh well, I tried. Now I challenge you!
Where to Buy a Small Decorative Easel
Miniature or small scale easels are available in most craft stores and on Amazon.com. They come in all kinds of finishes from clear plexiglass to metals and woods. Below are a handful of options that I found.
The white easels I am using for my frames in my photos are mini chalkboards that I bought in the dollar bin at Target a couple of years ago. You could spray paint the wooden ones above any color! Use your imagination, and remember to also look beyond easels to any type of stand with a ledge. You may have something in or around your home, or in your drawers already. That’s where I found mine. 😂
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Below are all the frame materials you will need. Some of the supplies are optional depending on your plan, so read closely.
Craft Project Supplies Needed
Clip & Matching Screw or Small Clothespin
Mod Podge, HERE (affiliate link)
Foam brush or roller
Piece of Wood
Embellishment, Button or Pin, etc.
Wire, not pictured
Adjustable Temperature Hot Glue Gun, HERE (affiliate link)
All Temperature Glue Sticks, HERE (affiliate link)
Philips Screwdriver, optional
Brayer or Roller, not pictured, optional
Xacto Knife, optional
Drill, not pictured, optional, HERE (affiliate link)
Sewing Scissors, not pictured, optional
I hope you enjoyed choosing your frame color, theme, and embellishments.
Below is my step-by-step tutorial. Ready to begin? Okay, let’s go!
Preparing Your Piece of Wood
1 Cut the piece of wood to your desired size. My frame board measures 8.75 x 7 inches. To determine the right dimensions for your board, consider where you will display the frame and also the size of the easel you will be using.
Sand the wood on all sides to create a smooth surface for the finished piece and to prevent splinters. Next, spray or brush on your paint. You can use a varnish or nothing at all. Allow adequate drying time for any finishes. Be sure to read the paint or varnish instructions.
Decoupage with Mod Podge
2 Cut the decorative paper to fit just shy of the dimensions of your frame’s front surface. You can use paper scissors, but if you are looking for a straight cut it’s best to use an Xacto blade with a straightedge on a safe cutting surface. That being said, this is your design so it can be jagged, ripped or however, you want it.😉
Turn your paper over so the back is facing up. Get your paintbrush slightly wet, blot it off, then dip into ModPodge bottle. Spread the back of the paper with a medium layer of paste. Next, brush a layer of Mod Podge on the front of the frame. Smooth it with your brush. Work fast as it drys quickly. Place the paper in place and quickly adjust if necessary. Use a brayer roller to gently smooth out the paper. You may see the paste squeeze out the sides when you roll. This is normal. It dries clear so just wipe away any excess with a damp cloth or wet paper towel. IMPORTANT: For the best results, wait for 15-20 minutes to dry before the next step.
Now, brush one coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper, on the front side of the frame. Let dry a little, then, if you choose, do another coat. (See Mod Podge Rocks on YouTube for great video tutorials.)
Attaching the Ribbon and Clip
3 Grab your drill and a small drill bit. You’ll need to create tiny holes through the wood to allow the wire to feed to the back. Drill the 2 holes, (vertically aligned) that will hold onto the ribbon. You could nail or hot glue the ribbon on, but I prefer the wire method because it is more secure and easy to adjust later if you need to replace the ribbon, etc.
4 Next, get your final photo or just a temporary photograph that is the same size that you intend to use. Attach your clip to the top center. Lay it on the frame exactly where you want it. Mark the spot where the hot glue or screw will go with a pencil stroke. Hot glue the clothespin in place. Glue is not as secure as a screw but it works fine if you are very gentle putting photos in or out. If you are using a clip instead, drill a hole where you marked it. Thread the screw through the clip then twist it into place with a Philips screwdriver.
5 Snip a 4-5 inch length of wire. I used floral wire, but any kind of thinnish wire will do. Cut a strip of ribbon long enough for your frame, plus a bit of extra for safety’s sake. Shape and scrunch the ribbon in the middle so it lays nicely, then tightly wrap the wire around the center and twist in the back to secure. Now, thread both sides of the wire through each hole and twist together in the back to hold the ribbon tightly in place. On the front, flatten the wire with your finger. Cut both edges of the ribbon so they are straight, smooth and symmetrical.
Hot glue your embellishments on. Get creative and consider using buttons, old jewelry, fabric trims, craft pieces, or a combination of all of these items. I used three old buttons stacked up and hot glued together.
6 Your frame is complete. Pop a photo in the clip and mount onto your easel.
I hope you enjoy this project. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comment box below. I am happy to help!☺️
Please let me know if you make this DIY frame or any project from the blog. You can tag me @bebraveandbloom or use #bebraveandbloominspiration. I love to hear what you are making.
Thanks for visiting!
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