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How to Make an Easy Origami Photo Frame

Updated on June 19, 2013

Photo frames are great projects for the novice paper folder because they are generally easy to make. They are also quite fun to display around your home.


Frames from One Sheet of Paper

Frames made from a single sheet of origami paper are a great place to begin learning origami. You can use specialized origami paper or fold them from 12 x 12 scrapbooking paper to make a bigger frame. Another good idea is to cut wrapping paper to the desired size.

  1. Start with the back side of your paper face up. Make a cross crease pattern by folding in half horizontally and then vertically.
  2. Fold the edges of the paper about 1/4 of the way to the middle so a small amount of the patterned side of the paper is showing. Fold the left and right sides of the square in before folding the top and bottom sides in. Check the measurements with a ruler to make sure they are all the same.
  3. Flip your paper over and fold each of the corners into the center.
  4. Turn your paper back over. You will see a square with patterned triangle pockets in each corner. Trim your photo so you can slip it inside these pockets.

You can also check out About Origami's article How to Make an Origami Diamond Picture Frame for another simple frame made from a single sheet of paper. This frame is useful to learn because it results in openings for two different photos.

Basic Origami Photo Frame

Embellished Origami Frame


Frames Made from Multiple Sheets of Paper

Modular origami is the process of joining together units made from several different sheets of paper in order to create a model with a more complex appearance.

Here is an example of a flower frame made using a total of nine sheets of square paper:

  1. Start with the patterned side of your paper face down. Make a blintz base by folding the paper in half diagonally in each direction to make a "X" crease pattern. Unfold. Fold all corners in to meet the center crease.
  2. Fold two of the opposite corners in to meet the middle crease.
  3. Fold each of the two sides you folded in the previous step in once more.
  4. Fold seven more units.
  5. Glue two units together to form a cross.
  6. Glue another two units in an "X" shape on top of the cross.
  7. Continuing gluing units in this way until the flower is complete.
  8. Make a blintz base with another square of origami paper that is the same size, but a different color. Start with the colored side up.
  9. Flip the paper over and bring the corners into the middle once more.
  10. Flip the paper back to the original position. Fold up the corners to make colorful flaps on each side of the frame. Add your photo, then glue this portion on top of your flower.

Another similar origami photo frame idea is featured in the About Origami Origami Sunflower Instructions tutorial.

Framing a Large Photo

What should you do if you want to make a frame for a large photo? Follow the directions in the diagram below using a small square of paper. Repeat this process to make four photo corners. Glue the photo corners to a cardboard backing, then add your photo.


Creative Ways to Use Origami Picture Frames

Add frames to the top of folded origami gift boxes to make pretty decorative storage containers for all of your odds and ends.

Add magnetic tape to a frame, then attach it to a card with double sided tape. When the recipient is done with the card, he or she can pull off the frame to use as a refrigerator magnet.

Punch holes in the top of the frames. Add ribbon loops to use to hang the frames from your window or Christmas tree.

Turn origami frames into package toppers by slipping a gift tag into the frame opening.

Origami frames can be used to make a banner for a party. String several origami frames together, then add letter stickers into each frame to spell out "Happy Birthday".


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