Make Easy Picture Frames for Gifts with Elmer’s Foam Board

elmers foam board picture frames

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I like to give the grandparents something each year that’s related to the Bit or that she made. Last year everyone got a calendar full of pictures of her, but I just didn’t feel like doing that this year.

I thought it would be great to give them each a picture of her, but what to do for frames? Why not make a frame your child (or you) can decorate and then it’s an artistic gift as well as a picture gift?

elmers foam board picture frames
Our picture frames made out of Elmer’s Foam Board.

This is a super easy holiday craft project that just requires Elmer’s Foam Board, an X-Acto knife and some Painter’s pens. And a little bit of glue. (Though of course you can go wild with the glitter glue, stickers, cut out shapes and anything else you want, too.)

The Bit has just gotten started decorating her frames, but I wanted to share with you in case you need an almost-last-minute gift for a grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher…

What You’ll Need

  • one Elmer’s Bi-Fold Foam Board for each frame you want to make
  • X-Acto knife, ruler, pencil and something to protect your cutting surface (I just used a bit of cardboard because goodness knows we’ve got a lot of boxes in the house right now)
  • Painters Markers (we used the brights, but they have a selection of different color packs)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • other decorative supplies you want to use on your frames (optional)
  • double-stick tape

I headed out to Walmart to grab some supplies, including some glitter glue just in case we needed it, but thus far they haven’t come into play (the Bit still has trouble getting glitter glue out of the container). You can see the whole shopping adventure in my Google+ album.

What You’ll Do

  1. Decide what size frame you want to make based on the size of your photos. I happen to have 4×6 pictures, and it worked perfectly with the width of the foam board to make my frame 7 by 9 inches. trimmed foam board frame
  2. Mark out where you need to trim using your ruler and pencil, and trim with the X-Acto. Use as firm and straight a cutting motion as you can to keep your cuts clean. cut out foam board frame
  3. Mark the hole where your photo will go and cut it out, too. Remember to only cut one piece of the foam board; the other side will be the back of your frame!painting foam board frame
  4. Let the kids loose with paint pens and other decorations. The Bit said hers was done once but then came back to it, so I imagine it might get fully colored in before the holidays. cutting foam board
  5. Take a leftover piece of the bi-fold foam board and trim it to size to use as the stand for your frame. I made mine 4 inches long. foam baord photo frame stand
  6. Glue to the back of the frame. Let dry. finished foam board picture frame
  7. Insert photo and secure with tape. Tape edges together with double-stick tape.

The Grown-up Version

drawing lines foam boardI also made one of these frames using the same supplies. I marked out my stripes to the width of my ruler, keeping the angle consistent across the frame. elmers painters pens

Then I just colored in the stripes in an alternating pattern.

I wanted to show you the first coat so you won’t get worried if yours doesn’t look great immediately. The pens are easy to use, but they require shaking every now and then to get a nice even coat of paint on the surface.

Allow it to dry, the touch up the paint. elmers foam board picture frame

Project Ideas

As mentioned above you could raid your craft supplies for all sorts of things to decorate your frames, including stickers, buttons, glitter and glitter glue, cut out shapes, etc. Let your kids do what they want to do!

If your edges get messy when you cut them or you just want a uniform look, cover the edges with decorative tape (yes, Elmer’s makes that, too!).

If you find that your stand is too fiddly to deal with, try gluing another little bit of foam board to the back of the foot part to give it a little more stability. Or you can use my favorite trick of gluing a paper clip to the back so you can hang it.

This was a really fun, easy project that the Bit and I both enjoyed, and it will give us a couple more crafting sessions together before the holidays, which should be fun, too!

If you love easy craft ideas like this, go check out the Glue ‘N Glitter community on Facebook or Twitter.

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Elmer’s. They don’t pay me for my opinions and didn’t tell me what to make. #GlueNGlitter #CBias #SocialFabric

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  1. This is a wonderful idea and you are spot on – perfect for creating a personal gift for family or anyone on your list! Thanks for sharing all your great tips and flexibility options for decorating 🙂 I LOVE Bit’s frame 🙂

  2. Neat idea, doesn’t look very messy either! Thinking of letting my son make a valentine’s day one for his grandma, thanks for the share!

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  4. Custom picture framing shops often have a wide variety of materials to choose from and are able to find the materials that are often hard to find and expensive to order individually. They also offer unlimited choices in moulding and matting.

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