In October my guy and I took a two day bookbinding class where we learned how to make both a box and a book. It was a great experience and we now have these wonderful handmade objects that we can say we made. It also made us appreciate how much goes into making something by hand – the detail and experience that encompasses craftsmanship.
Today’s project reminds me a bit of that bookbinding class. I even used some of the cutting techniques the instructor shared. This project isn’t nearly as complex as a box but it does take time and attention. The satisfaction you feel when it’s done is worth it and it’ll surely be one handmade ornament you keep over the years. As a bonus, it’s designed to let you swap out the image so you can keep it update it with a new memory each year you bring it out.
DIY Photo Frame Ornament
Estimated time: 45 minutes active, 1 hour waiting
Supplies and Materials
- Frame template (PDF, SVG)
- Medium weight (.050 – .060) illustration board cut using frame template
- 1 2.5″ square piece of clear PVC plastic sheet
- 2 5″ sheets of decorative paper
- X-ACTO knife
- Foam brush
Apply glue to the front of the top board, center and attach to one sheet of decorative paper.
Note: Throughout this process you should apply glue evenly but sparingly along all surfaces. You do not want any excess glue spilling over.
Burnish the paper to the top board (using a bone folder a spoon).
Cut an “X” in the paper covering the window. Fold the paper toward the back of the board.
Glue the paper flaps in place.
Attach the clear plastic sheet to the back of the top board with glue. (Not pictured.)
Attach the interior board to the back of the top board with glue. Place the board so the opening is on one side of the frame (not the top or bottom). Be aware of the direction of your paper pattern when you place this piece.
Using a ruler, draw a line 1/8″ from the edge of one corner to the end of the paper. Do this for both edges of the corner. Cut off the excess paper leaving a 1/8″ margin so you don’t have any bald corners (so the board isn’t exposed.)
Repeat for all four corners.
Fold and glue down the paper.
Using a bone folder or spoon make sure the paper is securely in place and all the edges are creased.
Glue the back of the bottom board. Center and attach it to your second sheet of decorative paper.
Burnish the paper in place making sure to remove bubbles and creases.
Following the same technique as Step 7, cut away the excess paper on each corner leaving a 1/16″ margin.
Fold over and glue the paper in place.
Create a loop with your ribbon and attach it to the top of your frame.
Glue and attach the back board to the top board. Press in between several books for 30 minutes.
Give yourself a pat on the back, you just made a DIY photo frame ornament!