How to Make a Real/Photo Frame

Introduction: How to Make a Real/Photo Frame

What is a Real/Photo you ask? It’s something that has probably been done before, but I’ve decided to coin this phrase to describe it. It’s a photo that incorporates a real object that appears to be leaving the photo. This will teach you how to make one using a Nintendo controller. 

Before we start I’m going to give you a warning. I have no power tools. You don’t need real tools to do this. If you have power tools, it could be a lot easier. But if you own power tools you probably don’t need my help making this thing anyway.

Ready? Here we go.

Here's what you'll need to make the frame.

–1 Photo with part of it leaving the page (I took a picture of my hands holding an NES controller. I made sure in Photoshop that the size of the controller was roughly the size of a real controller… width= 12.2 cm height= 5.25 cm)

–Picture Frame: for this project you want a frame that is thing and metal/plastic. You also want to make sure that the frame itself is thicker than the part that holds the picture.  If that's not clear, read through the instructions first so you see what it means.

–1 NES Controller


–1 hammer

–1 nail

–1 Screw

–1 Screwdriver

–1 pair of scissors

–1 Sharpie

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Step 1: Taking the Photo

Since I was using the part of the controller to be what was leaving the frame, I wanted the photo to match the size of the real thing.

I first took a photo of my hands holding the controller, and then used Photoshop to adjust the size of the photo so that the controller and cord were life size.  You can use the ruler tool to measure how big things are. Ironically I have no photo to demonstrate this. But I can tell you that the exact dimensions of a standard Nintendo controller are 12.2cm x 5.25cm.  

Step 2: Prepare the Frame

Now that you have the photo made, put it into the frame and see where the controller cord leaves the frame. Mark that area on the side of the frame. This is where your real NES controller cord will be inserted.

Pull the photo and the glass out of the frame. Put the nail over the mark that you just made and start to hammer the nail in. It’s not easy. Keep nailing. You are trying to make a little hole that you will then make bigger by screwing the screw in.

After you have started to get a tiny hole going, put the screw in and start screwing. Once it’s screwed in all the way, you should have a hole that's sized right for the cord.

Step 3: Attaching the Cord

Next, you will cut the cord for the NES controller. Measure out how much you want sticking out of the frame, and then add 3 inches. It will be hidden behind the frame anyway, so don’t worry. Better to have more cord than less.

There are two things to do here. If the hole you made is big enough, you can put the entire wire through the hole. Hopefully it’s a snug fit and the cord won’t come out. Otherwise you can use superglue or epoxy to seal it in.

If the hole is too small, you can strip off the outer rubber of the cord and just thread the bare wires through the frame.  After that you can tie them off, or glue them to the back. 

Step 4: Finished!

Put the photo and the glass back in and then stand back and admire your work. Sweet. 

Do this again with something else. Do more video game things, use kitchen utensils, musical instruments, or whatever you want. A fun and easy way to create some art.

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    5 years ago on Introduction

    cool. part of me wants to make this, but add an arduino, so that it becomes interactive lol. i just dont have the time atm... :(