Introduction: Cardboard Picture Frame

Everyone knows that dorm room decorations are one of the best ways for you to express yourself in college. However, buying lots of posters and frames can cost you a few hundred dollars. To solve this problem, I created this instructable for a cheap, easy to make cardboard picture frame. This instructable is perfect for any college student, and is able to be decorated with any college's colors or logo. This frame takes only about forty-five minutes to create, and is made of materials that can be found in almost any dorm hall. Because the point of this frame is its ease of creation and low cost, it does not matter if the sides are not perfectly measured. The frame can be any size, but for this instructable I am creating it for a 5x7in photo.

Step 1: Gather Materials

1. As stated before, the main point of this picture frame is to be cheap and easy to make for any college student. Because of this, all the materials can be found in almost any dorm hall, and if they cannot, they are cheap to buy. The materials needed to create this picture frame are cardboard, scissors, a ruler, glue, a pencil, and markers.

Step 2: Create Back of Frame

1.The back piece of the frame is simply a rectangular piece of cardboard. However, this back part of the frame needs to be larger than the photo since it will hold the photo and the edges. The size of the edges is up to personal preference, but for mine, I made them one inch in width. Since the edges are present on both sides, you must add double the width of a single edge to the length and width of your frame. For example, since my picture is 5x7in and my edges are one inch wide, my back piece is 7x9in.

Step 3: Create Edges

1. To create the edges, you will have to create a rectangular ring that fits the back piece you just created, and has a width that is as wide as you want your edges to be (look at first picture for example).

2. Start this off by creating a rectangle in another piece of cardboard that is identical to the one created for the back piece.

3. After this, in each corner, find the point that is one inch (or whatever your desired frame width is, but from now on I will say one inch) from both edges. This can be done by measuring out one inch from each corner along both edges that make that corner and marking these points with a pencil.

4. At each of these points, draw a short line perpendicular to the edge, and where these two lines intersect should be marked.

5. Each of these four intersections are the four corners of the inner rectangle of the edges. (Steps 3-5 can be visually seen in pictures 3-6. Picture 6 shows a slight error in the top left corner. Simply ignore this).

6. Using the ruler, connect these four intersections to create the inner rectangle. Finally, cut along both rectangles, inner and outer, to complete the edges of the frame.

Step 4: Add Edges to Back

1. Add a rectangle of glue around the outer edge of the back piece of the frame. After this, attach the edges on top of the glue. Let the glue dry, and this step is done.

Note: Any type of glue works. A glue stick, as pictured, allows for quicker drying, but liquid glue will make the frame sturdier.

Step 5: Add Fasteners/Add Photo

1. The fasteners are the part of the frame that keep the photo in the frame. The photo fits under them by pinching it a little, and then flattening the photo so it stays in place (Showed in the final three photos).

2. Create four identical right triangles out of cardboard. Make them have legs (short sides) that are about twice the length of the width of the edges (2in for my frame).

3. Glue these triangles on top of the edges so that the hypotenuse of each triangle hangs over the area that the picture will be placed. To do this, a small amount of glue should be placed on each inner corner of the edges. Give the glue time to dry.

Note: Make sure there is space between the bottom of the fasteners and the area the photo will be placed.

Step 6: Add Decorations

1. Since this picture frame is made of cardboard, it can be easily decorated with markers, crayons, paint, etc.. For my frame, I used markers. The frame can be decorated however you wish, but since this frame is geared towards college students, some sort of college decoration is suggested. Since I attend the University of Notre Dame, I made my frame blue and gold. GO IRISH!!!

2. The base frame is now complete.

Step 7: Add Hanging String (optional)

1. If you want to add a string on the back of the frame to allow it to hang from a hook, all you need is a string and tape of any kind.

2. Tightly tape the ends of the string to the back of the frame and near the two upper corners. This will give your frame a string that can be used to easily hang it from any hook.

Step 8: Decorate Your Room With the Frame

Here are many pictures of the frame either on a wall in my dorm room, or in other places around my dorm room, such as on my desk. You can create just one of these frames, or many, if you want to display multiple pictures. I hope this instructable helped you create an amazing dorm room decoration that will help you remember all of your best college memories.