Have you ever wanted a picture frame that stands out from the rest? One that shows how much you really care by being handmade? Then this project is perfect for you. All you need is some duct tape, some cardboard, a knife, and some time and you soon will have yourself a super cheap and unique picture frame to put all those precious memories in.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Here's a list of the supplies you will need:
- Duct tape sheets or rolls (we will be using rolls for this demonstration)
- An exacto knife
- A ruler
- A pen
- A pair of scissors
- Some cardboard (2 separate 5 X 7 inches pieces for this example but this can change depending on what size frame you wish to make)
- And a key ring if you wish to hang the frame on the wall
Step 2: Cutting Out the Cardboard
Be careful when using the knife to cut the cardboard. Exacto knife blades are incredibly sharp.
Using your ruler and one piece of the cardboard, measure out how big you want your frame to be. For this example we will be making a 4 X 6 picture frame so the window of the frame should be a bit shy of 4 X 6 inches so the picture will stay in the frame.
Then use the exacto knife to cut out the window.
Protip: use the ruler to help keep the knife straight as you cut to avoid jagged edges or rips in the cardboard
Now with the cardboard we have left over from the window cut out a trapezoid shape that is 3 inches long on one side 2 on one side and a half inch on the other two sides. This will be the stand for the frame.
Step 3: Making a Sheet of Duct Tape
If you have a sheet of duct tape this step is easy but if you’re like us and wanted to do this the hard way by using a roll here's how you can make a sheet out of your roll:
Grab your duct tape roll and pull off 4 strips that are about 8 inches in length.
Lay the strips sticky side up and barely overlapping length wise and viola you got yourself a sheet. You will need three of these sheets so repeat this 2 more times.
If you do have a sheet then all you need to do is cut out 3 pieces that are 2 squares wider on each side than the frame. This is so we have something to cover the front and back of each part of the frame so no gross cardboard is poking through
Step 4: Making the Front Piece
Lay your sheet sticky side up and place your frame in the center.
After you’ve done that use your exacto knife and cut a diagonal line about the length of your thumb nail from each corner from the interior of each corner towards towards the center of the frame (this will make it much easier to fold the tape over the cardboard in a minute).
Knife blade may get stuck in tape. Be careful when cutting out your sheets.
Next you will cut out the center of the frame starting where you made the diagonal cut.
Then wrap the inner edges of the tape around the frame.
Then cut a straight line from each exterior corner of your frame towards the top edge of the frame. Wrap the top edge around the frame.
Then cut the extra square of tape off of each corner and fold the remaining edges around the frame.
Finally cut diagonally across two bottom corners of the frame, removing a triangle shaped piece from the tape. This will help us attach the top of the frame to the bottom of the frame.
Now, set the top of the frame aside while we make the back piece.
Step 5: Making the Back Piece
Now grab your second piece of card board and your other sheets of tape and lets make the back of this frame.
Lay one sheet of tape sticky side up and place your cardboard in the middle of the sheet then cut the excess off of the sides.
Next, grab your other sheet of duct tape and use it to cover the side of the cardboard that doesn't have tape on it.
Then cut a diagonal line across each corner of the tape, removing a triangular shaped piece from each side and fold the excess tape around each edge of the frame to cover up the cardboard.
Step 6: Put the Front and Back Pieces Together
Take the back piece and place on the unfinished front piece.
Fold the flaps of tape left over from the front of the frame over to attach the two pieces together. This should leave you with one edge of the frame open so you can slide pictures into the frame.
Step 7: Make a Stand or a Hanger for the Frame
Now we have some decisions to make. Do you want this frame to have a stand on a table or hang on the wall? The reason you can't do both like a normal picture frame is because the stand doesn't fold in, so the frame wouldn't lay flat against the wall. Either option will work fine, you just need to decide which will look best for your needs. First lets make the stand:
If you want to make the stand you will need the trapezoid piece of cardboard we cut out earlier and a bit more tape (if you used the roll just make a 4 inch sheet of tape using 2 strips of tape, and if you are using sheets there should be enough left over from the sheets to cover what we need here.)
Lay the sheet of tape sticky side up and place the trapezoid on its long edge in the middle of the tape.
Lay the trapezoid onto one side, sticking it to the tape.
Cut off the excess tape along the side of the trapezoid that will make the bottom of your stand.
Then fold the shape over and stick the tape to the other side of the cardboard.
Don't get the excess tape stuck to anything here because we are going to be using it to attach it to the rest of the frame.
After you have your stand made attach it to the body of the frame and viola, you have got yourself a finished frame!
Now, if you want the hanger you will need a bit of tape (a couple of inches left over from some of your trimmings should do) and the key ring.
Lay your key ring on the back of your frame and then take a bit of tape and use it to attach ring to the frame by taping over the part of the ring that it more towards the center of the frame, while leaving the other part untaped. This will allow the ring to move a bit which makes it much easier to hang than if it just laid flat against the frame.
And there you go, now you have yourself a hanging picture frame!
Step 8: Insert a Picture and Enjoy Your Frame
Now that the construction is all done you can insert a picture into the top of your frame (the side that wasn't used to attach the front piece to the back piece) and enjoy your picture frame. You could hang it on the wall for the kids to see what you made today or sit it on the bedside table with a picture of the family so you can always have them nearby. The world is your metaphorical oyster!