Tips for Crafting Your Own Picture Frames

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Perfectly accentuate your photos in completely individualised picture frames. We’ve gathered together some ideas how you can create self-made picture frames with simple means. You won’t need your own workshop to implement these DIY ideas. With a little skill and the right materials, you’ll be able to wow people with your self-made works of art.

Lace and Fabric – Wonderfully Playful

A picture frame crafted with lace, buttons, and even a self-sewn cuddly toy

For this DIY picture frame idea, you can buy a completely normal picture frame that isn’t too large in size or you can add some pizazz to an older picture frame you have lying around the house. Suitable formats for this idea are from 10×15 cm to 20×30 cm. You’ll also need some other materials like lace, fabric, buttons, as well as superglue or a hot glue gun. Materials like printed floral paper or shells also work nicely.

Pay attention to the colour coordination of your materials and take into consideration what kind of photo you want to display in your DIY picture frame. You can buy lace in many different colours and widths. It’s best to use a basic tone and choose the colours of your other craft materials accordingly. Pastel shades work especially well for baby photos. You can also choose a colour that is more eye-catching or romantic, for instance neon or red tones. Let your imagination know no bounds.

If you choose to use paper and lace, it’s best to first glue the paper to the picture frame. You can then place the lace on top of it in a protruding fashion. Then, you can add other decorative elements like buttons, shells, etc. When you’re finished, you can give your beautiful picture frame away as a gift or use it to beautify your own home.

The Picture Blackboard

A small blackboard with a wooden frame hanging on a rustic door

An idea that is somewhat different from the rest is the self-made blackboard. First, search for a nice picture frame in a format of your choice. Smaller formats are more suitable for being displayed on something like a table while larger formats are better for hanging on the wall. Replace the glass pane of the picture frame with a thin wooden panel. You can get one cut out to your specifications at your local home improvement store if need be. Then, coat this in blackboard paint. After that, place the dried wooden panel in the frame and secure it from behind with small nails or with the picture frame’s clamps. You can then take your self-made blackboard and add your own photos or other decorations and also write your own messages with a piece of chalk.

Add a Touch of Nature with Twigs and Shells

Decorate your self-made picture frame with materials from Mother Nature

You can also create a beautiful self-made picture frame using materials like twigs, shells, dried rowan berries, miniature pine cones, and other dry materials from nature. For this DIY idea, you’ll also need some thin wire, a hot glue gun, and a simple picture frame with smooth borders. You can also use a picture frame with larger dimensions, but be careful not to overburden the frame with too many decorative elements.

You’ll first need to bind together the twigs in the appropriate length and width with wire and then affix these to the frame with the help of the hot glue gun. You can then attach the berries, pine cones, shells, or other natural elements to the twigs with either wire or glue. You can use various natural materials depending on personal taste and the current season.

These natural picture frames are perfect for displaying photos that have black and white or sepia tones. Landscape photos also go very well together with this picture frame created with natural materials.

The Driftwood Picture Frame

A picture frame crafted from old wood

You can also make a one-of-a-kind picture frame from driftwood you’ve collected at the beach or just from other wooden materials that are lying around the house. For this idea, you will need some more equipment and a bit of craftsmanship, but the end result is worth the effort. You’ll need a decent saw, mitre box, sand paper, and wood glue.

You’ll need to either use pieces of wood that are the correct dimensions or cut larger pieces down to size. After that, you’ll need to mitre, sand, and assemble them. You can decide for yourself if you’d like to display your photo with or without a glass plate in the picture frame. Most local glaziers can create individualised glass plates that will fit your one-of-a-kind frame.

You can find a detailed construction manual for building your own picture frame here:

A Vintage Look

A vintage picture frame

If you’re a fan of the vintage look, it’s relatively easy and uncomplicated to transform a simple wooden picture frame into something completely different. All you’ll need is some white acrylic paint or crackle glaze / finish (this will produce a cracking effect in the paint) and some sandpaper. First you’ll need to sand the wood with the sandpaper. Then you need to paint the wood with at least two coats of white paint and let each layer dry separately. You can do this purposefully unevenly and even let the brushstrokes show until you finally have your desired effect. After that you can make small nicks in the paint with a tool like a screwdriver or even a simple pair of scissors. Finally, all you have to do is sand everything a bit with your sandpaper (especially on the corners and edges). Now you have your own vintage picture frame ready to hang on the wall. Don’t forget to add a photo that also enhances the vintage theme!

Miniature Picture Frames for Miniature Photos

A square picture frame with four colours and two red and white hearts made out of wood

You can create your own miniature picture frames for your smaller photos. Cut out four strips of wood in the same length (from 10 – 15 cm) depending on how large your photo is. Then sand them down with sandpaper and add some colourful paint. Arrange the four strips into a square and glue them together. Let the glue dry and you can already add a photo to your self-made picture frame. This DIY picture frame also functions well without a glass plate or back. With the help of a small hook you can display your brilliant picture frame on the wall.