How to Design a Picture Frame to Give as a Gift

empty frame

Everyone has at least one birthday the dread. It’s the birthday of that friend who’s impossible to buy for, one with so much stuff already that it takes hours of brainstorming to come up with a solid gift idea. One of the best ways to avoid hitting a gift-giving wall is by offering up something that’s one of a kind, a gift that you made with your own two hands. Picture frames are an easy option. Anyone can use an extra frame, especially one custom-tailored to their tastes. So if you have a bash coming up and you’re not sure what to get for the guest of honor, try making one of these DIY photo frames instead of shopping:

  • Repurpose a book. Does your gift recipient have a favorite book at home? See if you can find a hardbound copy at a used bookstore or online to create this crafty frame. Once you have the book in-hand, it’s just a matter of slicing out a piece of its cover with an exacto knife and mounting a photo inside. Then prop open the book and set the creative frame atop an end table or bookshelf.
  • Bring back popsicle sticks. Chances are this won’t be your first popsicle-stick frame, but it might be the first one that makes it onto the fridge for more than a week. Using colorful, patterned washi tape, decorate popsicle sticks in either matching or contrasting hues and designs. Then stack and glue them into a solid backdrop or create a rectangle around a central photo with a single stick on each edge. Add a magnet to the back for easy hanging on the fridge or any metal surface.
  • Upcycle cardboard. If you have an empty cereal box, you can make a surprisingly chic frame. A detailed tutorial shows you exactly how to measure and cut the various pieces of the frame. Once you’ve done that, apply Skivertex (a paper that looks like leather) to add an element of sophistication to the basic frame. Then you can slide your photographs inside. Since this frame is a bit more traditional in terms of its aesthetic, it matches particularly well with black and white photos and a home that’s decorated in an understated, classic way.
  • Make use of a ceiling medallion. Even if you can’t immediately conjure up an image of a ceiling medallion, chances are that you’ve seen one before. As the name suggests, they’re the circular pieces that add character to your home’s ceiling, typically in vintage abodes. Although ceiling medallions usually stick to, well, the ceiling, you can put them on the wall, too. Instead of creating a focal point with your medallion overhead, fill the hole in the center with one of your favorite photographs and hang it on the wall. The medallion will still make a statement, but one personalized to your tastes.

Image and attribution: