DIY: How To Make Your Own Collage Picture Frame

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I don’t feel at home in a place until I’m surrounded by photos of my family and friends. I came to Spain with an envelope full of prints, but I didn’t want to simply tape them on the wall. I also didn’t want to spend a fortune on one of those fancily matted collage frames, either! So I set out to find the perfect do-it-yourself version of what I envisioned.

I scoured Pinterest boards until I found the project I sought to make. It was a lengthy collage of square photos placed over side-by-side foam boards. I chose this not only because it’d match the scale of the double bed that it would hang over, but also because I’m now on an English teacher’s budget, and the materials were fairly wallet-friendly.

What you’ll need:

  • One large picture frame (I used a white frame from Ikea)

  • 12 photos for your frame (preferably all in the same size)

  • Wrapping paper, wallpaper, construction paper, scrapbook paper, etc., on which to tape or glue your photos
  • Tape or glue, depending on whether you plan to occasionally swap out your photos

  • Wite-out (or any sort of white correction fluid)

Let’s get started! 

1. Cut your paper to fit the frame. If your frame came with an insert, this is the perfect-sized stencil. If the insert is in a contrasting color, you could even use this as the mat for your photos.

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2. Lay your photos out on the paper in a grid. Make sure to look at it from a few different angles to make sure that the images more or less line up. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but make sure there are no glaringly off-kilter pictures that will bother you once the collage is hung up.

I first used Post-Its, which is a good option if your pictures are square-shaped (Instagram, anyone?) I found I could eyeball it with my larger pictures and the subtle lines of the paper.

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3. Tape or glue your photos onto the paper.

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At this point, I felt like the collage was missing some oomph. I decided that each picture should be more defined, so I thought of an easy way to do this without having to restart my project. My simple solution was…  

4. Grab the Wite-out pen and use it to draw a border of polka dots around each image. The fast-drying solution helps define each image and won’t smudge as you continue to work.

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5. With each picture properly outlined, place the collage back into the frame and admire your finished product.

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Voila. I’m super happy with the final result – and I can’t wait to hang it up. Now, to find a hardware store in my neighborhood!

How have you turned your photo prints into collage (or otherwise) art? Let us know in the comments below!

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Andrea graduated from the University of North Carolina, where she studied journalism and once saw Michael Jordan at a bar. She's currently teaching English in Spain, writing about her experiences, and snapping as many photos of her travels as she possibly can.

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