diy project: paper frames

We love old frames. We love new frames. We love framing things — old maps, family photos, menus from an important dinner and really anything we can get our hands on. But here is the problem: framing is not cheap. We wanted to create some less-expensive wall décor and came up with these very easy-to-make paper frames, made from things around the house. — bbbcraft sisters

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • scrap paper from old faxes, print-outs
  • various decorative papers, scrap paper, wrapping paper, wallpaper, or cardboard (paper bags from the grocery, old boxes)
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • a favorite black pen (we used a Uni-ball Roller Ball)
  • sticker maker or double-stick tape


1. Make the frame templates. Fold a scrap piece of 8 ½” x 11″ paper twice so that it is ¼ of its original size. Create your frame pattern by drawing just around the corner of the frame so that when you cut it out, you will have a whole frame (like when making paper snow flakes). Keeping the paper folded, cut along your lines. Using a ruler is a good way to get your lines straight and ensure a nice frame width. This is your template.

2. Tape the template to your brown paper or cardboard (or ANY decorative paper, wallpaper or wrapping paper scraps you might have) with masking tape.

3. Carefully cut out your paper frame.

4. Use your favorite pen to draw designs on the frame. Don’t worry about the patterns being perfect; they will look great with imperfections! The more time you spend on an intricate pattern, the better. These frames took about 10 minutes each.

5. Use double-stick tape on the backs of the frames (or run it through a sticker maker).

6. We painted some of the wall space with chalkboard paint so we could draw and change designs within the frames. On another wall, we placed the frames over wedding photos.

  1. Nikki says:

    Thank you so much for the idea! I teach photo and I am always looking for a cost effective way to make my students prints look better. Awesome idea!

  2. Rosana says:

    lovely idea….I´ll feature on my blog. hope you don´t mind.
    hugs from Brazil

  3. greg says:

    interesting technique

  4. Jojo says:

    Absolutely lovely idea! thanks for sharing.

  5. pily says:

    wow maybe i can do this…

  6. Haleighanna says:

    So cool

  7. brent says:

    framing is so expensive because frame stock runs from $9 a linear foot to $35 dollars a linear foot depending on the decoration and quality of the stock


Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.