With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I want to share an easy handmade gift idea for a special person in your life. Learn how to make this easy DIY photo frame!
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.
Why You Will Love This Project
These frames are the perfect handmade gift idea for Valentine’s Day or really any occasion! They have the right combination of personality and functionality.
You can personalize every detail of this gift for the recipient. Pick a decorative piece of paper to match their room decor or their personality. Or choose a design specific for a holiday, milestone birthday, anniversary, etc.
So many beautiful scrapbooking, wrapping, and handmade papers are available to fit any occasion. It’s actually hard to narrow down the choices.
It’s easy to make multiples when you have all your supplies. Give gifts to 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! Check out this post for more Valentine’s Day Crafts For Kids.
Below are all the frame materials you will need. Depending on your plan, some of the supplies are optional, so read closely. Some products contain affiliate links.
Clip & Matching Screw or Clothespin
Mod Podge affiliate link
Foam brush or roller
Piece of Wood
Embellishment Button or Pin, etc.
Wire not pictured
Adjustable Temperature Hot Glue Gun affiliate link
All Temperature Glue Sticks affiliate link
Philips Screwdriver optional
Brayer or Roller not pictured, optional
Xacto Knife optional
Power Drill affiliate link, not pictured, optional
Sewing Scissors, not pictured, optional
If you already have the tools and craft odds and ends in your stash, this project is inexpensive to make.
My goal is to be more RESOURCEFUL. For this project, I challenged myself to work with what I had and not buy anything.
I used scrap wood from the garage, old buttons, and an old holiday ribbon I had.
I bought two scrapbooking sheets of paper (.25 and .99 cents per sheet at JoAnn Fabrics), one little clip, and one clothespin. They come in bags, unfortunately! (Each bag was approximately $2.50 on sale) Oh well, I tried. 😁
Below is my step-by-step tutorial. Okay, let’s go!
Preparing Your Craft Wood
1 Cut the piece of wood to your desired size. To determine the right dimensions for your board, consider where you will display the frame and the size of the easel you will use.
My frame board measures 8.75 x 7 inches.
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.
2 Cut the decorative paper to fit just shy of the dimensions of your frame’s front surface. You can use paper scissors, but it’s best to use a Xacto blade with a straightedge on a safe cutting surface if you are looking for a straight cut.
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 it into a ModPodge bottle.
Spread the back of the paper with a medium layer of paste. Next, brush a Mod Podge layer on the frame’s front. Smooth it with your brush. Work fast as it dries quickly. Place the paper in place and quickly adjust if necessary. Use a brayer roller to smooth out the paper gently.
You may see the paste squeeze out the sides when you roll. This is normal. It dries clear, so 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 two 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 Meanwhile, get your final photo or just a temporary one the same size 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 use 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.
Embellishing your Frame
5 Snip a 4-5 inch length of wire. I used floral wire, but any thinnish wire will do.
Cut a strip of ribbon long enough for your frame and a bit 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 it.
Thread both sides of the wire through each hole and twist them 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 to be straight, smooth, and symmetrical.
Hot glue your embellishments on. Above all, have fun and get creative! 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 it onto your easel.
Easel Stand Variations
Some product links below contain affiliate links.
Miniature or small-scale picture 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 the 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 look beyond easels to stand on a ledge.
You may already have something in or around your home or in your drawers. That’s where I found mine.
More DIY Craft Projects
For more arts and crafts ideas, browse all of the craft project ideas.
I hope you enjoy this project. Certainly, if you have any questions, 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. I love to hear what you are making.
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