How to Make a Cardboard Picture Frame
Although cardboard does not have the same durability and quality as wood or even plastic, a cardboard frame can serve in a pinch. A cardboard frame is both economical and simple to construct. You can also decorate it as simply or as elaborately as you desire. Children may also enjoy a project that involves making and decorating a cardboard frame.
Things You'll Need
- Medium-weight cardboard
- Craft knife
- Paint brush
- Craft glue
- Ribbon or adhesive magnets
Measure the photograph you wish to frame and add 2 1/2 to 3 inches to each dimension. For example, if your photograph is 8 inches by 10 inches, add 8 plus 3 plus 3 to equal 14 and 10 plus 3 plus 3 to equal 16. The outside dimension of the cardboard frame will be 14 by 16 inches.
Cut out two pieces of cardboard that equal the dimensions you calculated.
Use a ruler and pencil to measure and mark out the space in the center of one of the pieces of cardboard to create the frame. Make this space about 1/4 inch less than the width and height of the photograph.
Cut out the shape from the center of the cardboard with the craft knife.
Lay the piece of cardboard with the cutout window on a flat work surface and decorate one side of it. Use markers, stamps, paint, crayons and glitter to create a pleasing design. Allow any glue or paint to dry thoroughly before you continue.
Determine which end of the frame will be the top and which will be the bottom.
Place the decorated piece of cardboard facedown. Use a ruler and pencil to mark three lines around the cutout window - one on each side and one along the bottom. Each line should be made 1/4 inch from the window.
Place a thin line of glue just outside (away from the window) of the pencil lines you drew. Also place thin lines of glue along the side and bottom edges of the cardboard.
Place the remaining piece of cardboard on top of the first, lining up the edges precisely. Press the two pieces together and wipe away any excess glue. Allow the glued pieces to dry thoroughly.
Affix a small loop of ribbon to the back top edge of the frame with glue and use it as a hanger. You could also affix adhesive magnet strips to the back of the frame to create a refrigerator magnet.
Insert the photo into the frame through the top.
- Cover the cardboard frame with scrap wrapping paper or fabric to decorate.
- Decorate the back of the frame as well as the front. Write your name, initials or even make a hand print on one side of the uncut piece of cardboard.
- Do not allow children to use the craft knife. Children should only cut with scissors under adult supervision.