How to Make Your Own Picture Frames & Mirrors
Mirrors and photos are usually on display somewhere in the home, so why not refashion them into something original, or even make your own from scratch? Plus, they make awesome gifts!
Below you will find a large selection of the best craft tutorials to give you instructions on making and decorating your own frames, plus inspiration for generating your own ideas.
Examples of projects include driftwood photo frames, mirror mosaics and photo frames made from books!
I hope you find plenty of ideas here for getting creative with frames :-)
Antiqued Picture Frame
Traditional picture framing is where timber molding or regular lumber is cut into 4 pieces to fit around your photo. The joints used to join these 4 pieces are diagonal miter joints which are glued with wood glue (and held together with clamps until it dries) and nails are often used too for extra strength.
Before framing, the photo or artwork often undergoes a process called 'matting' which refers to the mounting of the picture onto mat board. A specialist mat cutter is required to cut a hole out of the mat board (with a beveled edge) that is the same size as the photo/art. The photo/art is mounted onto the back of the mat board so that it is visible through the cut-out section of the mat. The mat board creates a space between the photo/art and any glass front in the frame, and it adds a blank border to the photo/art for a finished and professional look. Matting and framing is the classic way of displaying quality photos/art.
On this page I will be providing links to frame making tutorials that are more creative and decorative rather than traditional woodworking techniques. Most suggest ways to decorate frames rather than build one from scratch, and as you will see there are many different ways to frame both photos and mirrors. I've also included links to how-tos for making photo holders and many varied mirror projects that will look fantastic in your home. I hope you find lots of fun ideas!
Top-Rated Frames, Mirrors & Framing Craft Books
DIY Mirror Designs
- Monogram Mirror
Not good for the superstitious!
- Studded Tile Mirror
Quartered mirror with clear gem embellishments.
- Frosted Doily Mirror
A feminine and modern mirror style.
- Plate Mirrors
Very easy and cheap idea.
- Silver Starburst Mirror
Made using plant markers and silver spray paint.
- DIY Mirror Stencils
Use contact paper to transfer a design to your mirror.
- Hub Cap Mirrors
Great design for petrolheads.
- Disco Ball
Fun mirrored ball using old CDs and styrofoam.
- Mantra Mirror
Write a message to yourself or your favourite quote on your mirror.
- Etch Your Own Mirror
Add your own personalized message on a mirror.
- Trio of Revamped Mirrors
Spruce up plain mirrors with drawn on lines.
DIY Photo Holder
How to Etch a Mirror
What You Will Need:
* Etching cream (Armour Etch)
* Craft knife and cutting mat
* Contact paper
* Glass mirror
* Foam brush
* Gloves and eye protection
* A printout of the design you want to etch; don't choose anything complicated and it makes it easier if you turn all of the areas you want to etch to solid black before you print it.
- First, tape your design printout onto a piece of contact paper. Make sure that the contact paper is the right way up so that your design will be the correct way round when stuck on the mirror. The contact paper piece should be a least a few inches larger than the design.
- Follow this method to cut out the design with a craft knife.
- Stick the contact paper stencil onto the mirror in the chosen position.
- Put on gloves and eye protection, and make sure you protect the surface your are working on too - etching cream can be nasty stuff!
- Use a foam brush to apply the etching cream to the cut-out bits of your stencil according to the instructions on the package. Apply the cream evenly so you get an even etch.
- Leave the cream on the mirror for however long is recommended on the product you are using (usually 3 minutes or so).
- Carefully wipe the cream off the mirror and wash with water to make sure it's all gone. Remove the contact paper.
You can have fun coming up with the design you want to use - my favorite ideas are song lyrics, quotes or maybe a mustache at just the right height so when you look in the mirror you suddenly have some mighty fine facial hair!
Best Products for Etching a Mirror
The following selections include an etching cream, contact paper and a craft knife (i.e. the materials required for the above project), plus I've listed some alphabet letter and pretty floral motif stencils designed for using with etching cream.
License Plate Mirror
Click here for instructions on how to make this mirror.
Photo found via Junk Garden.
Fun Mirror Projects
- Sunburst Mirror Roundup
7 awesome circular designs to try.
- Cutlery Mirror
Fun and simple idea for kitchen wall décor.
- DIY Spooky Mirror
Halloween prop with a ghostly girl image.
- Faux Metal Frame
This fun technique can be used for either mirror or photo frames.
- Photo Etching
How to transfer a photo onto your mirror.
- Captain's Mirrors
Cool porthole style mirrors made from clocks.
- Tennis Racket Mirrors
Awesome mirror idea using vintage tennis rackets.
- Antiqued Mirror
How to hand antique the mirror's surface.
- Mirror on a Stand
Very inexpensive idea of adding a stand to a mirror.
- Mirrored Side Tables
How vintage medicine cabinets were revamped with mirrors.
- Nautical Rope Mirror
Idea for a beach house or a sea themed room.
Pencil Picture Frame
Decorative Mirrored Makes
- Sunflower Mirror
A frame made using plastic placemat strips.
- Embroidered Mirror
Lovely porthole style mirror which hangs on a ribbon.
- Driftwood Starburst
Driftwood is a great material to use for décor.
- Mirrored Starburst
Cool and retro design based on a shop version.
- Rope Wrapped Frame
Inject a bit of nautical theming to your décor.
- Mirrored Sewing Table
How a table was refashioned with mirror tiles.
- Shabby Chic Fabric Mirror
How to add a fabric and lace border to a mirror.
- Copper Leaf Mirror
You can use silver or gold foil instead if you prefer.
- Confetti Mirror
Lots of sparkly colorful fun!
Mirror Decor How-Tos
- Bamboo Sunburst
Fun mirror with bamboo rods and an embroidery hoop.
- Chrysanthemum Mirror
A plywood backing with layered fabric petals.
- Mirror Bowls
Trendy wall decoration idea.
- Recycled Magazine Mirror
Funky and chunky mirror frame.
- Mosaic Mirror
Circular mirror with a tile border.
- Broken China Mirror
Lovely frame decorated with broken plates.
- Fabric Covered Frame
Awesome idea and a genius use for oven cleaner.
- Woven Ribbon Lattice
How to weave ribbon over a frame.
- Frosted Mirror
How to use stencils to add a frosted border.
- Gold Mosaic Mirror
Really simple to do, but the end result looks fantastic.
- Dramatic Floral Garland
Dark, elegant and quite Gothic in style.
Customized Picture Frame
Cool Mirrors to Make
- Flower Stencil Makeover
How to add pretty purple and mirror flower accents.
- Trapped Soul Halloween Mirror
How to add a fun ghostly image.
- How to Frame a Mirror
How to add a grand wooden border in situ.
- Mirror Mobile
Sweet hanging mobile with paper daisy shapes.
- Trumeau Mirror
Elegant large mirror design with scroll embellishment.
- Quatrefoil Mirror
An interesting shape template to use.
- Smashed Mirror Art
Stunning wall art made from mirror shards.
- Postage Stamp Mirror
Create a collage of stamps for a cool frame.
- Pebble Mirror
Border your mirror with flat pebbles.
- Unique Turquoise Mirror
How to cut-out a hexagonal wooden front for a mirror.
- Silver Antiqued Mirror
Turn a cheap plastic frame into a vintage delight.
Paper Leaf Mirror
Even More Awesome Frames
- Driftwood Decor
Make use of the natural beauty of driftwood.
- Seashell Collage
Use your beach treasures in this pretty frame make.
- Salvaged Wood
Create a Pottery Barn inspired design from scratch.
- Mosaic CD Mirror
Funky mirrored frame made using pieces of old CDs.
- Sunburst Mirror DIY
Chunky statement piece made with loads of wood shims.
- Vintage Belt Frame
Quality photo frames made using old belts.
- Pyramid Stud Frame
Use metal pyramid studs to create patterns on plain frames.
- Masking Tape Molding
Sculpt your own design using tape and glue.
- Ombre Painted Photo Frame
Stunning paint effect you can match to your decor.
- DIY Wood Frame
Build your own simple chunky frame from wooden sticks.
Copper Pipe Frames
Crafty Mirrors to Make
- Shabby Chic Wood
One of my favourites - makes me think of beach huts!
- Porthole Mirror
Fabulous nautical themed mirror-on-a-rope.
- Chunky Sunburst
Stack lots of thin wooden pieces together for a sturdy, attractive design.
- Etched Silhouette
A fun way to personalise your mirrors.
- Vintage Spool Decor
Add some twine too for a traditional look.
- Faux Bois Mirrors
Stencil wood grain patterns onto square mirrors.
- 80's Chandelier to Glass Mirror
A clever transformation project.
- Upcycled Door Mirror
How to add a sophisticated criss-cross design.
Photo Frame Wall
Photo Frame Tutorials
- Army Man Frame
Fun idea and would make a cool gift for a guy.
- Book Picture Frame
Embed your photos in old or damaged books.
- DIY Photo Collage
How to add vintage effects to a collection of your photos.
- Polaroid Magnet Frames
Turn your photos into cute Polaroid snapshots.
- Fabric Decals
Make wall frames with fabric and fabric stiffener.
- PVC Pipe Frame
Circular pipe sections attached together to make a frame.
- Magnetic Wallpaper Frames
Interesting idea using magnetic paint and frame wallpaper.
- Funky MDF Frame
Chunky and simple wooden frame.
- Inkodye Frame
How to use light sensitive dye on a wooden frame.
- Fun Cardboard Frames
Cheap DIY which you could then cover in magazine or comic pages.
- Ombre Buttons
Simple and very effective.
- Embroidery Hoop Frames
With the photos printed onto special fabric.
More Picture Frame How-Tos
- DIY Hammered Gold Frames
Fun revamp which can also relieve your stress!
- Birch Bark Frame
Simple frame made with natural bark pieces.
- Cork Board Frames
Amoeba shaped notice board with embedded photos.
- Beachy Style Frames
A seaside style created from thin strips of fence wood.
- Magnetic Fabric Frames
Create frames out of lightweight cork and put magnets on the back.
- Rustic Twig Frame
Rustic twig project perfect for Fall.
- Patchwork Quilt
Sew your own patchwork fabric border.
- Recycled CD Mosaic
Easy way to create a glamorous, sparkly photo frame.
- Tape Picture Borders
Great for temporary renters, this idea is very easy, quick and cheap.
Unique Upcycled Frame
Picture Hoop Hanger
Making Photo Holders
- Wooden Spool Holders
An extremely simple make.
- Photo Wires
Use floor-to-ceiling wires to magnetically hold photos.
- Pebble Stacks
Little wire and pebble photo holders.
- Carved Branch
Lovely heart carving in a tree branch.
- Clothespin Photo Hangers
Hang photos from glittery pegs.
- Beach Photo Jar
Suspend little photos in a beach themed glass jar.
- String-in-Frame Display
Ingenious idea for hanging photos within larger frames.
- Picture Ledge
Simple wooden ledge to rest pictures on.
- Fork Photo Display
Bend a regular dinner fork into a simple picture holder.
- Gallery Wall Grid
Criss-cross wood pieces and hang photos off them for a modern look.
- Photograph Wall Ledge
Cheap, easy and lightweight, plastic cap molding makes a functional holder.
Branch Photo Holder
Frame Ideas & Inspiration
- Frame and Mirror Projects
16 different ideas for frame art.
- Mirrors of the World
Loads of examples of mirror design.
- Lampshade Photo Holder
Strip down a lampshade to make a clever 3D gallery.
- Ways To Display Photos
10 creative ways to display photos and art in style.
- Photo Hanger
Display photos under an embellished hanger - ideal for Instagram pics.
Photo Collage Frame
Frame Making Videos
Please Leave a Comment!
angelatvs on February 11, 2014:
Some fun projects here!
tonyleather on November 09, 2013:
Some very interesting ideas in this lens!
anonymous on October 31, 2013:
love all these awesome ideas!
anonymous on September 10, 2013:
great as visit really appreciate you
anonymous on August 06, 2013:
Love the custom picture frames, particularly the pencil picture frames, very inspiring!
maryseena on August 01, 2013:
Wonderful ideas Thanks for sharing. I'll attempt a few real soon.
ToolHire LM on July 30, 2013:
Well, I just voted "no" on your poll, but I'll definitely get my head around making one pretty soon! Thank you for the ideas!
Mary Collings from Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland on April 16, 2013:
Wonderful - I love them all!
JeffGilbert on February 28, 2013:
There's a lot of great resources here... Great lens!!
barbea on February 04, 2013:
Love the do it yourself photo holder. Thankyou
ArmchairBuilder1 on October 03, 2012:
Great lens! Some really interesting ideas here for mirrors!
Bonfire Designs on September 28, 2012:
Love this lens, a reflection of creative talent!
Joy Neasley from Nashville, TN on September 12, 2012:
I love the mirrored chest of Drawers top idea.
daniela-lofiego on September 11, 2012:
Loved these! I want to make one now :)
caffimages on June 08, 2012:
Lovely ideas here, thanks.
kmyangel on June 02, 2012:
Very good ideas ! Congrats !
UKGhostwriter on May 26, 2012:
Fantastic lens ..pinned too!
Oosquid on April 21, 2012:
Enough good suggestions on this lens to spark some ideas, thanks.
teristazko on February 25, 2012:
Great ideas and lens!
Edutopia on January 15, 2012:
That TV frame looks pretty cool. Great job on this lens.
antoniow on January 15, 2012:
Great lens.Keep up the good work! thumbs up
InSearchOf LM on January 14, 2012:
baby-strollers on January 14, 2012:
Super cool mirrors! Very stylish....
MariePalmer LM on January 14, 2012:
this is one of my favorite lenses...so artistic and just my style. Thanks for sharing it!
fullofshoes on January 14, 2012:
Congrats on a fabulous lens. I think I'll grab a few of these ideas; they are great.
kerryhrabstock on January 13, 2012:
Wow. Thanks for gathering so much stuff. I love several of these projects and can't decide which to try first.
Rose Jones on January 13, 2012:
For some reason I spent a ridiculous amount of time on this lens! I finally found 2 crafts I know I am going to complete - the paperbox frames in the youtube video and the stone stack photo holder. Why? Because I already have the stuff to make them with and they have a simple elegance. I also clicked out to a lot of blogs and snooped around. It is funny, some of the homemade blogs made with free services like blogger had page ranks of 3-5! Shows what consistently showing up to write great content might just bring. :) Thanks so much for this lens! Bookmarked so I can come back to it.
anonymous on January 13, 2012:
Lots of great ideas. I'm looking for a collage of 8x10 photo/sketches of family members. You've given me some ideas about how I might go about that. Thanks.
OzGirl LM on January 12, 2012:
Oh I am LOVING that old wood frame with the twine and clothesline holders -- that would be so easy to make and so cool! I'm going to have to try that one. Would look great in our home on the Kansas plains! :-) Great lens, thoroughly enjoyed it.
anonymous on January 12, 2012:
Those crafts are so amazing
grnidlady on January 11, 2012:
very cool lens!
totorotube on January 11, 2012:
very good idea!
ptnjust007 on January 10, 2012:
Clairissa from OREFIELD, PA on January 10, 2012:
Great Ideas here! I loved them all.
Blackspaniel1 on January 10, 2012:
curious0927 on January 10, 2012:
Love this lens! Thanks, am going to be back and start making my own! Blessed by and Angel!
curious0927 on January 10, 2012:
Love this lens! Thanks, am going to be back and start making my own! Blessed by and Angel!
JanezKranjski on January 10, 2012:
I didn't realized, that they are so easy to do. Superb tutorial.
girlfriendfactory on January 10, 2012:
That cracked mirror mosaic top is awesome and so is the paper leaf mirror! Sometimes 7 years bad luck might be worth it, huh? Awesome ideas you gathered! Love it!
wheresthekarma on January 09, 2012:
I abslutely love this lens, bookmarked it!
Deadicated LM on January 09, 2012:
Thanks for all the really cool ideas, I love your Lens.
Fay Favored from USA on January 09, 2012:
There are some really great ideas here. I think the mirror girl is very unique. For years I have used mirrors to decorate my house, and even used rounded full length mirrors on my livingroom walls I think there were 10). It created quite an beautiful look. Maybe I'll put it in something. Can't imagine what though.
DLeighAlexander on January 09, 2012:
Great ideas! I really like the depth that mirrors give and you show so many creative ways to decorate with mirrors. Nice lens! :)
Tjoedhilde on January 09, 2012:
Very nice DIY compilation. Nice job! :)
jeremykim2011 on January 08, 2012:
Wow! Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.
Godsgraciousgift on January 02, 2012:
Harshitha LM on December 18, 2011:
Lovely ideas. I'm gonna try one of them for sure
WistaWren on November 11, 2011:
Great idea's ... there are at least 5 projects displayed here that I really want to try ... awesome collection ... 8o)
CreativeMind2011 on October 09, 2011:
Love the driftwood frame. It would be best for old photo effects like black and white. Such a creative lens!
Spikey64 on October 04, 2011:
The tree branch photo holder is brilliant thanks for the idea
Michelle77 LM on August 04, 2011:
There's a ton of great ideas here! ...i am aexcited to try some of these :) thank-u!
maizhanhui on August 02, 2011:
so great mirrors!
i like them!thank you for share!