Picture of Friends Peephole Frame
I have wanted to make a Friends peephole frame replica for years but there are so many replicas out there it was hard to find a picture of the original to work from. Eventually I found this web page

with high resolution picture of the real prop and dimensions in the description. It also says the frame is made from paper mache.

Thin corrugated cardboard
School Glue (PVA)
White paper towel
Bread tag or thin plastic
Acrylic paint. Two colours, yellow and slightly darker yellow.
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Step 1: Step 1

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Put Friends DVD in the DVD player and press play.

Step 2: Step 2

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Print the template. 1:1 scale is the same size as the original. I chose to scale mine to about half size. Paste the image onto cardboard and paste rolled up strips of newspaper paper mache to the board following the shape of the printed template. Allow the frame to dry out completely. Be patient, sit back, relax. Order a Joey Special and watch Stevie.

Step 3: Step 3

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Add two layers of paper towel paper mache to the front and allow to dry. Then trim the excess card from the outside and centre.

Step 4: Step 4

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Cut a V shape into a bread tag as shown. Cut a recess into the cardboard on the back to fit the bread tag. This will become mounting point/bracket so that that the frame can hang on a nail. If you don't have a bread tag you can use a piece of yoghurt pot or a phalange.

Step 5: Step 5

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Step 5b.jpg
Add another two or three layers of paper mache. Make sure you paper mache over the bread tag on the back. Allow to dry and cut out a small hole over the bread tag. You can sand the frame with some 220 grit sandpaper to remove the high points if needed.

Step 6: Step 6

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Paint the entire frame with two or three layers of the darker yellow acrylic paint. Allow to dry and then lightly apply one coat of the lighter yellow paint to the raised areas. If you don't want it yellow you could paint it to match one of the 66 colours of your bedroooOOOmmm.

Step 7: Step 7

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Hang your very own piece of fine Italian craftsmanship on a small nail and add some blue tack to the back of the frame so that it doesn't fall off when you close the door.

-Use watered down school glue (PVA) as paper mache paste. Paste containing flour goes mouldy if its not properly dried.
-Use a laser printer. Ink from an inkjet printer could run when it gets wet and you won't be able to see the template.
-If you choose to dry the frame in an oven (@ <200F, 90C) or with a hair dryer, tape the frame to a baking tray to stop it warping.
-The paper mache won't stick to the bread tag so put some spots of super glue around the edge to hold it down.
-In order to get the frame perfectly aligned over the peephole on you door, put a tiny drop of paint over the V cutout on the bead tag and press it into place on the door. Remove the frame and there will be a dot of paint exactly where you need to put the nail.
-Put a layer of tape on the back of the frame so that the blue tack doesn't damage the frame when you take it down and show your friends to make them jealous.
JaneN22 months ago

OMG. love it! It's been a while since you've posted this, but I was wondering if I u make them for people to but because I would buy it in an instant!

english tea (author)  JaneN21 month ago

I have had several requests from people to buy these off me. However, i must decline. I have made one and enjoyed the process thoroughly. I invite you to make one for yourself. Get your hands all covered with glue and paint. Make a mistake, toss it out and start again. Learn how to manipulate the material and enjoy your own creativity. You will love the thing you make with your own hands far more than anything i could ever make for you in exchange for money.

Nothing would make me happier than for you to reply to this message with a picture of one you made for yourself.

ThienN11 month ago

Hi, I'm so glad I found your instruction. I'm a little confused in step 3, you said: "Add two layers of paper towel paper mache to the front." So I know I can make paper mache from the tutorial video you posted on one of the comments, but what is "paper towel paper mache"? What does paper towel have to do here?

Thanks very much!

english tea (author)  ThienN11 month ago
Paper towel, kitchen roll, kitchen paper (big roll of tissue). They are all the same. It provides a smooth white surface to paint on rather then the wrinkly and dark newspaper.

Hope this helped

Yeah but to be more specific, I guess first you put paper mache all over the newspaper "skeleton", then put a layer of paper towel, then a layer of paper mache, then another layer of paper towel. Is that what you meant by "two layers of paper towel paper mache"?


english tea (author)  ThienN11 month ago

Sorry i don't know what you mean. There isnt paper mache between the newspaper and the paper towel. They are the paper mache.

Perhaps we have different definitions of paper mache. In this case newspaper + watered down glue = newspaper paper mache. Paper towel + watered down glue = paper towel paper mache

egli671 month ago

Hi! I was wondering if it's possible to make an extra large version of the
frame. I want it for my new youtube channel I'm going to start with my
girlfriend We think the frame would be perfect for it! I don't have the
exact measurements yet, however I listed an estimate below so you have a
ballpark of how big I was hopping to get it. Do you have any suggestions or tips on how I should go about doing this? Because to be honest I'm not very good with paper mache. lol

45x33 inches

english tea (author)  egli671 month ago

Yes it can definitely be done! i would love to see it. For that size you might want to make it a few inches thick so it’s strong. It will use a lot of newspaper but it can definitely be done. The bigger it is, the easier it is to make because the corner swirls aren't as tight. If you're not used to the paper mache you should practise by making just one of the corner swirls as a test piece. When you do the final one you’ll be a pro.

A few people have said they had difficulty getting the swirls to stay in place.Their paper wasn't wet enough. Dont be afraid to really soak it with the paste and gently squeeze out the excess. Built up the layers and it will work.

Let me know your final dimension and the largest paper size you can fit in your printer and i will scale the template for you over multiple pages. All you’ll need to do is print it, cut the borders off and stick em’ down to make a frame as big as you like.

could you tell me what your ratio of glue to water is for the mache paste? I'm at this stage, and just got the "good" paper towels.

english tea (author)  pdearolf mallett2 months ago

4 parts glue, 1 part water should do it. It needs to be of a consistency somewhere between milk and cream. It doesn't have to be exact. This video shows it clearly

Let me know if you need any more info. Please post a pic or your finished frame.

First layer of paper towels and it looks better already.


I was never known for my speed

Having a horrible time with the paper towel portion, I wish this tutorial was on YouTube, a video would be so handy

english tea (author)  emondphotography2 months ago

good idea! I will make a video one day

Hey, everyone. Thanks for the great tutorial and for all the tips shared in the comments. I am trying to do this, but I am not sure I made the rolled up strips of newspaper paper mache correctly. I am not sure they will hold up. How do you make the newspaper paper marche exactly? I've never worked with it. I am willing to start over if it is what it takes to have a good finished product.

Thanks again in advance.

VR-Citrux8 months ago
I didn't manage to keep the newspaper on place, I was so frustrated, I ended putting the toilet paper into the glue-water mix and it became a weird paste, I used it as clay and it resulted in a little bumpy frame, I tried to fix it with more layers of toilet paper and layers and layers of paint. I really liked the result. Thanks for the tutorial. !!!!!!
english tea (author)  VR-Citrux8 months ago

Great job! thanks for the pictures

heyheyHEEEEEY8 months ago
This is impossible! My swirls are just giant circles and i have no idea how to put the stupid paper towel on.
english tea (author)  heyheyHEEEEEY8 months ago

It isn't impossible my friend I have pictures to prove it :) I am sure we can fix it. If you post a picture of you progress I can steer you in the right direction regarding the swirls..

The paper towel can be tricky. It is easier if you use good quality paper towel (less likely to tear Go Bounty!) and use a soft brush to push into all the small areas. i used a small and a large make-up brush.

Be sure to soak the paper towel well in the paste and take your time working it into shape. The first layers go on messy (look closely at step 3) but by step 5 its nice and smooth

jlapri, could you show us a picture of the frame has finished?
jlapri1 year ago
Love this, I have made two already! Just a little tip when getting the swirls to hold, try gently poking straight pins into the cardboard base around the swirls to hold them while they dry!
photo (3).JPG
english tea (author)  jlapri1 year ago
Looks awesome. Post a pic of a finished one, I'd love to see it.
rachl0092 years ago
this is great!
Loved this!
nrkane552 years ago
Is there a trick to doing the newspaper base? I'm having a little trouble getting the swirls to hold. Then when doing the paper towel mache...did you cut the paper towel into strips first?
Thank you
english tea (author)  nrkane552 years ago
yes the swirls can be tricky.
I soaked the newspaper heavily in the watered down glue paste so its really floppy. Then i wrapped the swirl around my finger to make it into a curl. Then I laid out the swirl on the on the template and pushed it into place squeezing out the excess paste. I had some toothpicks ready to stick through the newspaper and cardboard base to keep the swirls in place while it dried but i didn't need them. Perhaps toothpicks would help?

The newspaper layer doesn't have to be perfect. When you put the paper towel layer on it soaks through to the newspaper a bit so you can mold it a little better.
Yes i cut the paper towel into strips about 1" x 3" and used a brush to push it into all the cracks.

Hope this helps and that I've explained it effectively. Enjoy :)
sunshiine2 years ago
Clever and cool!
Very cool! Yours is so much more awesome than that $42,500 one too!
english tea (author)  Penolopy Bulnick2 years ago
Do you think they will want to swap? :)
StoryAddict2 years ago
I love this. I'm going to make one for my sisters as birthday gifts this year if I can manage it. I know that we all appreciate the first step in particular for background while working :)
english tea (author)  StoryAddict2 years ago
Sometimes I think Friends is the background to my life :)
English Tea: My compliments to you for the superb idea of embedding a bread wrapper clip to strengthen the mounting point for hanging this on a nail. Excellent!
english tea (author)  DIY-Guy2 years ago
Thank you. I have been collecting bread tags for months thinking they would be useful for something. 1 down, 50 to go :)
elewis032 years ago
This is the coolest thing I've ever seen. Also, the Friends references were a nice touch.
streetrod52 years ago
Power to the peephole! Well done.
LOL! What a punny line that was!
DIY-Guy2 years ago
I'm still at a loss as to the "friends" aspect of this. It looks cool and the paper mache' techniques are very interesting. But I don't understand the context of why this is called "friends." Can you enlighten me if you have time?
The frame is a well-known piece of decor featured in a main set of the American TV show, "Friends" (1994-2004). Monica has hung an empty scroll-shaped frame around the peephole in her apartment door. It's both whimsical and nostalgic for any fans of the show. Several stills from the show can be seen here on one of the expensive replicas you can purchase:
Although "Friends" ended nearly a decade ago, it is still widely revered in pop culture through reruns in syndication, and various references made on other shows.
Thank you for the context reference. Some TV factoids just go right past me!