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Make Picture Frames Out of Cereal (free) Box Cardboard!

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A simple idea is sometimes the best. Here, I show how to make frames for any of the prints you might like to display, show, or simply have on your desk or dresser. Pictures, no matter how much we like them tend to become passe' after awhile. So why spend a lot of money on frames that could be put to better use elsewhere? Gather up some cardboard, the kind cereal boxes are made of, get your tools and make your own frames!
 
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Step 1: Scavanged or Reused Materials and Tools

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Save cereal boxes, and other types of packages that have ample surface area. In this instructable, cereal boxes are used as well as some stiff cardboard from other packaging material. Regular cutting, marking, drawing and painting tools are needed as well. Some good quality glue is also needed.

Step 2: Cut Cardboard to Size

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I use scissors, box cutters, and a favorite tool, the paper trimmer. First make a square cut on one edge, rotate the stock so that this edge is at a right angle to the blade, and make another cut. Now cut the blank to size, using the paper trimmer. This can be done with a straight edge and craft knife/box cutter as well. Prints I have framed are either 4x6 or 5x7. I decide how wide I want the frame to be, then add that to the dimension of the print. A 4x6 might use a blank of 6x8 and that would allow a frame width of 1 inch. But vary all dimensions as you see fit.

Step 3: Cut Out Picture Area

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Mark and cut out an opening for the picture, depending on the size of your print. If it is a 4x6, make the opening 3 7/8ths x 5 7/8ths. This way, some of the frame will overlap the print.

Step 4: Cut An Inner Liner if You Choose

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A plain piece of white cardstock is cut to use as a liner for the frame. This sets the photos off nicely. Layout the size you want and cut cleanly with a box cutter or craft knife. This liner fits in back of the frame itself, and is glued on by putting small dabs in each corner and pressing until set.

Step 5: Paint or Decorate The Frame

Most of the prints here have just been painted with acrylic paints, starting with a good prime layer. You can use decorative paper, cloth, stickers, scrapbook supplies, etc. to decorate and embellish your frames.

Step 6: Glue Or Tape Print In Place

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Just a little dab of glue in four corners will hold the print sufficiently. I have found that tape loosens over time, so I chose to use the glue. If not too much is used, prints can be pried off if you want to change them out.

Step 7: Make Back Board With Same Material

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Cut another piece of cardboard to serve as a backing piece. Glue this to the sandwiched frame, liner, and photo. A piece of clear plastic from some packaging material can be used as a glass face piece if desired. I found this to be unnecessary however.

Step 8: Make A Stand Piece For Your Photo

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Following the picture(s) cut a piece of heavier cardboard in the shape as shown. For this shape, think of a necktie. Make a shallow cut in the end of the stand, about 3/4 inch in, and bend the cardboard. Glue this to the backer board, and you have a suitable stand for desktop display. This is not needed, of course, if you just want to hang pictures on wall.
Great instructable. I am in the need for a picture frame and have quite a bit of leftover cardboard in need of use. Thanks!
ANTQNUT5 years ago
This is a crazy idea but I wonder if I coated some clear nail polish over the dry paint it would add some shine...
Creativeman (author)  ANTQNUT5 years ago
Yes, but why not just use acrylic gloss finish?  Water, soluble, easy clean up, very durable.  Cman
Nicely done project!

Creativeman (author) said: "use acrylic gloss finish"

Would that be similar to the acrylic floor wax products (such as Mop-N-Glo?) found in the household cleaning chemicals section of a store?
ANTQNUT5 years ago
I was just looking at an instructable on how to make a picture wall. As I was reading I thought-- It would really be nice not to have to go out and by umteen frames to do this I wonder if there's an instructable...... and voila! I scroll down and here this instructable is. Thank you so much for posting this! I love your instructables btw.

Cheers, Antqnut
Creativeman (author)  ANTQNUT5 years ago
Thanks for your comments ant1nut. Cman
ANTQNUT5 years ago
I Was hoping to hang my frames when finished.. would foam adhesive pads work? (I have used it before for cork board-- doesn't damage wall =)

~Antqnut
chabias5 years ago
Wow! Those look like real wooden frames! Great job!
they do, very nice!
Creativeman (author)  chabias5 years ago
Thank you! Cman
tomstedham5 years ago
This is an awesome intstructable@!!! I'm gonna make some frames tonite! Thanks!
Ninzerbean5 years ago
Amazing! Great job.
Creativeman (author)  Ninzerbean5 years ago
Thanks, NB....Cman