Homemade Picture Frames

You can save money and personalize picture frames by making your own. This guide is about homemade picture frames.

Homemade Picture Frames
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A walk down the framing aisle of a department store reinforces the known expense of designer frames. Some small but beautiful frames costs $16 or more. However, they are easily made by both adults and children for minimal prices. The basic layout of the frame is tricky to make from scratch, but luckily plain frames are sold for $2. Purchase a basic frame at the store or a flea market and use its frame, hanger, and glass as the base for your new designer frame.

Naturally Beautiful

Try to bring some nature into your home with a frame. Children can collect non-perishable findings from the woods or yard, and with the help of a parent they can glue it to their frames.

Collect pieces of bark from a fallen tree and, using either hot glue or a thick craft glue, line the entire frame with it. Try either breaking it into smaller pieces or using larger ones to create two different looks. Then, add some other findings to a corner of the frame, making a corsage-like appearance. Add acorns and walnut shells, a small thick twig, or some pinecones to the collection.

Whether you're walking on the beach or rolling your pants up to walk in the stream, collect some small, smooth pebbles or small seashells. Then, create an entire frame of the stones and shells or decorate a plain frame with only a few of them. If you coat the frame in glue and then press it into some play sand, you'll have a nice beach scene on your frame.

After the spring storms have broken branches and scattered them around your yard, collect them while keeping an eye open for the perfect twigs to make a new picture frame. Break the twigs into the perfect length for your frame and glue them, side by side, over the entire frame. Either make the twigs follow the path of the frame or break them into tinier pieces and place them horizontally across the frame in an atomic clock style.

Feathery Fashion

With a bag of exotic bird feathers, a plain frame can become a fashion statement. Glue the feathers in an attractive pattern on your frame, following its original shape. Another option is to glue small feathers along the side and bottom of the frame and then add longer feathers to the top of the frame. Arrange them so they stick up like the fancy masks seen in costume stores and create an arched top to your frame.


Create a quilt pattern on your frame. First, cut some leftover fabrics into small one inch squares. Then, glue them onto the frame, overlapping them along the way. Try a formulated quilt pattern or a random crazy quilt pattern.

Nautically Knotted

Have an extra few feet of thick rope? Glue the rope in various fashions to the frame. Either follow the square path of the frame or swirl it around the edge. Add a few creative knots to the corners or at the base for visual interest.

If rope isn't your choice and ribbons give a more glamorous look that you love, try the same approach with scraps of satin ribbon.

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Transform an inexpensive picture frame into a beautiful handmade frame for a personal gift that is sure to please everyone.

Decorative Picture Frame

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Groovy Picture Frame CraftKids and grown-ups alike will enjoy receiving these fun photo frames crafted from inexpensive acrylic frames and dimensional t-shirt paints.

Approximate Time: About an hour


  • acrylic photo frame (size of your choice)
  • photo to fit frame
  • dimensional t-shirt paints
  • card stock
  • scissors
  • craft glue


For a mat border, cut a piece of card stock the size of the frame. Center and glue the photo to the card stock. Before you being painting, practice by using a pencil to draw designs and print lettering on scrap paper.

Slip the photo into the frame. Be sure your painted design does not cover too much of the photo. Remember, dimensional paints will be thicker than pencil lines.

Position edge of nozzle on frame surface and slowly squeeze the paint, creating your design. Draw flowers, stars, hearts, and squiggles. When finished, set aside to allow paint to dry completely.

By Rachel's Mom from Wilkesboro, NC

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Photo frame decorated with dog treats.This is a fun photo frame to display your dog's picture, but keep it out of reach of any canine companion. My dogs have a liking for this frame, and I have caught them on occasion coveting the bones on the front. Still, it is a lot of fun to give as gifts to your fellow dog lovers, plus you can give your dog a treat while you are making it!


  • wooden photo frame
  • small dog-bone shaped treats
  • wooden dog (pre-painted)
  • sanding pad
  • acrylic paint: brown
  • paintbrush
  • hot glue gun
  • hot glue


  1. Sand the wooden frame until it is smooth. Using a slightly damp rag, wipe off any dust.
  2. Paint the picture frame with the brown paint.
  3. Let the frame dry for 24 hours.
  4. Glue the dog to the bottom, right corner of the frame. Make sure the base of the dog is even with the bottom of the frame.
  5. Determine the placement of your dog treats on the frame, and then hot glue each one on individually.
  6. Place a photo in the frame, and then place out of reach of any dogs!

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Colorful picture framesGroovy frames for your groovy buddies.

Approximate Time: 10-30 minutes


  • small Styrofoam squares
  • felt paper (different colors)
  • glue
  • double-sided adhesive
  • scissors


  1. Cut out felt paper squares of different sizes.

  2. Glue them onto the Styrofoam squares in alternating colors.

  3. Glue 1x1 inch ID pictures of you and your friends at the center of each square.

  4. Tape these to the wall using double-sided adhesives and you have a groovy gallery of your best buds.

By Jacklyn from Chula Vista, CA

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wall frameI had a big bare spot between two windows in my family room. I went to Home Depot and purchased a packaged door frame kit which is much cheaper than buying framing at 2 or 3 dollars per foot.

I took the door frame and mitered the wood to make a picture frame. I then nailed and glued the picture frame to the bare wall, painted the wall red and left the picture frame antique white and then hung my wall art inside the new permanent frame.

By Florida Gal from Spring Hill, FL

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Table wood frame with glass cover, picture size 4 X 6, hand painted and decorated with dry nature from my garden.

Photo frame with dried flowers.
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    Crafts Home Decor DecorationsOctober 13, 2012
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