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How to Make Tabletop Picture Frames for Your Dollhouse

Updated on February 7, 2013
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Every little girl dreams of owning a dollhouse. While some can afford to buy play sets (e.g. kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc.) from the toy store, little girls will always want more. So why not be creative and save money by helping them make miniature things for their dollhouses. The best way to do so is to recycle and use what you have (e.g. boxes, magazines, newspapers).

This hub will be a tutorial for tabletop picture frames made from recycled materials. For more ideas for miniature objects, I like watching MyFroggyStuff's channel in YouTube for inspiration.

Making Tabletop Picture Frames for Dollhouses

The inspiration for this tutorial came from watching MyFroggyStuff's tutorial for a rectangular picture frame linked below:

But as I was browsing through some toy catalogs, I found these cute pictures of toys representing their brand. Unfortunately, the photos were round and bordered by a white circle. Because my skills with the scissors can only be described as poor, I did not think I could cut a perfect circle out of a piece of paper for the frame.

I did, however, come up with a way to use the basic idea and make a frame for any shaped-picture I might find in the future. It is also very kid-friendly, so you can make it a crafting project for the kids to do.

8 Paper Edger Scissors Cut Decorative Patterns in Paper & Cardstock! Great for Teachers, Crafts, Scrapbooking & More!
8 Paper Edger Scissors Cut Decorative Patterns in Paper & Cardstock! Great for Teachers, Crafts, Scrapbooking & More!

You can also use these decorative scissors when cutting to add some design to your project.

 
Darice,1201-15 Value Pack Hole Punches in 3 Shapes
Darice,1201-15 Value Pack Hole Punches in 3 Shapes

Use these punchers to create different shapes.

 

Materials

  • Magazines or newspapers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Thin cardboard (stiff enough to serve as the base for your picture frame, but not too thick that you cannot cut into it)
  • Puncher or any other material you want to use for the frame (e.g. sequins, glitter, etc.)

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Miniature Tabletop Picture Frames

1. Browse through magazines or newspapers for any picture you would like to put in the frame. Or if you like collecting toy store catalogs, you can use those to find animated pictures of your girl's favorite toy.

2. Punch out several colorful circles from the same magazine or newspaper.

Tip: In order to make sure the circles punched are solid colors, take out the bottom cover of your puncher and use it upside down. Doing this will help you see the circle before you punch the hole.

I cut out pictures of toys representing their brand in a toy store catalog (Lalaloopsy, Sylvanian bunny, Monster High doll). The punched out circles are what I used for this tutorial.
I cut out pictures of toys representing their brand in a toy store catalog (Lalaloopsy, Sylvanian bunny, Monster High doll). The punched out circles are what I used for this tutorial. | Source

3. Glue your photo to the cardboard, leaving enough space around for your frame.

Tip: Make sure that you only apply a thin layer of glue so it will not be visible on the right side later.

4. Glue the circles to make whatever design you want. You can also use this step to change the shape of your photo (e.g. from circle to square).

I glued the Sylvanian bunny picture to a cardboard that came with some tights I bought from a retail store. You can use anything you have on hand.
I glued the Sylvanian bunny picture to a cardboard that came with some tights I bought from a retail store. You can use anything you have on hand. | Source
I used four colors and alternately glued it in a circular fashion. It looks like a raspberry-shaped frame.
I used four colors and alternately glued it in a circular fashion. It looks like a raspberry-shaped frame. | Source

5. Cut the cardboard into the shape you want your frame to be. You can try cutting around the design or trim it off to make whatever shape you want. For this tutorial, I tried cutting around the design to maintain the raspberry look.

6. Take the remaining piece of cardboard and line it up on top of the picture. You want to cut off a piece of triangle that is slightly longer than the middle of the frame. Cut off a triangle shape in the desired height.

Use your pencil to mark the cardboard so you know how big your triangle should be.
Use your pencil to mark the cardboard so you know how big your triangle should be. | Source

7. Fold the triangle to form a little flap and glue it to the back of the frame. Make sure the bottom part is aligned with the bottom of the frame as this will stand up at a 90-degree angle.

Just fold the triangle a little bit to create a flap and glue it to the back of the picture.
Just fold the triangle a little bit to create a flap and glue it to the back of the picture. | Source
Here is another one I made with the Lalaloopsy picture. I tried to cut out a heart shape to change it a little bit.
Here is another one I made with the Lalaloopsy picture. I tried to cut out a heart shape to change it a little bit. | Source

Tip: In order to make pointy frames stand (like the Lalaloopsy one), instead of cutting a triangle in Step 6, cut out an isosceles trapezoid, fold back the two triangular shapes, and glue the rectangular area in the middle to the picture. Here is a photo:

An isosceles trapezoid was used to make the frame stand. This also makes the frame more stable compared to the simple triangle stand.
An isosceles trapezoid was used to make the frame stand. This also makes the frame more stable compared to the simple triangle stand. | Source

What other shapes can you and your little girl come up with? Leave a comment below to share your experience with this tutorial.

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