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★ DIY Mirrors & Photo Frames | Roundup of Craft Tutorials ★

Updated on December 13, 2014
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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

Photo and frame by Reese Dixon - Click here for the written tutorial and click here for a video of the process.

Framing Introduction

A Summary

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

The Complete Photo Guide to Framing and Displaying Artwork: 500 Full-Color How-to Photos
The Complete Photo Guide to Framing and Displaying Artwork: 500 Full-Color How-to Photos

A huge number of photos are included in this book to guide you through the techniques involved in professionally framing your own photos and artwork.

 
Darice 1635-70 Round Mirror, 10-Inch
Darice 1635-70 Round Mirror, 10-Inch

This is an inexpensive, lightweight mirror shape which is great for using in many craft projects - and you can also find other mirror shapes on Amazon too.

 
IMAX 52977-7 Loletta Victorian Inspired Mirrors, Set of 7
IMAX 52977-7 Loletta Victorian Inspired Mirrors, Set of 7

Interesting set of 7 mini ornate mirrors to hand on your wall in a cluster display. All have elegant, gilded polyresin frames.

 
Klikel Bronze Metal Family Tree with 6 Hanging Picture Photo Frames
Klikel Bronze Metal Family Tree with 6 Hanging Picture Photo Frames

Beautiful and popular bronze photo holder in a tree shape, which measures 20" high and would make a great gift. You can even add more photo frames to the tree in the future if you want.

 
The Decorated Frame: 45 Picture-Perfect Projects
The Decorated Frame: 45 Picture-Perfect Projects

45 easy ideas for decorating a plain picture frame - with creative uses of found objects demonstrated.

 

Driftwood Frame

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DIY Photo Holder

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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.

* Tape

* Scissors


- 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.

- Done!

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.

Pencil Picture Frame

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Shell Mirror

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Mirror Mosaic

Mirror pieces are stuck to the top of a dresser before it is grouted.
Mirror pieces are stuck to the top of a dresser before it is grouted. | Source

Customized Picture Frame

Simple and thoughtful way to embellish a plain frame; by adding a message, poetry, quotes or song lyrics in metallic pen.
Simple and thoughtful way to embellish a plain frame; by adding a message, poetry, quotes or song lyrics in metallic pen. | Source

Paper Leaf Mirror

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Copper Pipe Frames

With the photos suspended in the centre of the frames using wire.
With the photos suspended in the centre of the frames using wire. | Source

Photo Frame Wall

This fantastic craft room wall has been created by painting photo frames on plain wallpaper. Artwork and photos are stuck inside the frames.
This fantastic craft room wall has been created by painting photo frames on plain wallpaper. Artwork and photos are stuck inside the frames. | Source

Butterfly Frame

This mirror started with a plain frame, and the revamp consisted of a coating of black spray paint, plus faux flower stamens (I think) and fabric butterflies stuck all over to create a cool effect.
This mirror started with a plain frame, and the revamp consisted of a coating of black spray paint, plus faux flower stamens (I think) and fabric butterflies stuck all over to create a cool effect. | Source

Unique Upcycled Frame

Photo and mirror by Miriam Tribe - Click here for DIY instructions.

Picture Hoop Hanger

This picture holder should be a pretty straightforward DIY; with a wooden hoop (such as an embroidery hoop), pegs and ribbon.
This picture holder should be a pretty straightforward DIY; with a wooden hoop (such as an embroidery hoop), pegs and ribbon. | Source

Branch Photo Holder

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Photo Collage Frame

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Frame Making Videos

Have you ever made or decorated a mirror/photo frame before?

See results

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    • profile image

      maizhanhui 5 years ago

      so great mirrors!

      i like them!thank you for share!

      gym mirrors

    • Michelle77 LM profile image

      Michelle77 LM 5 years ago

      There's a ton of great ideas here! ...i am aexcited to try some of these :) thank-u!

    • profile image

      Spikey64 5 years ago

      The tree branch photo holder is brilliant thanks for the idea

    • profile image

      CreativeMind2011 5 years ago

      Love the driftwood frame. It would be best for old photo effects like black and white. Such a creative lens!

    • profile image

      WistaWren 5 years ago

      Great idea's ... there are at least 5 projects displayed here that I really want to try ... awesome collection ... 8o)

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 5 years ago

      Lovely ideas. I'm gonna try one of them for sure

    • profile image

      Godsgraciousgift 5 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image

      jeremykim2011 5 years ago

      Wow! Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 5 years ago

      Very nice DIY compilation. Nice job! :)

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 5 years ago

      Great ideas! I really like the depth that mirrors give and you show so many creative ways to decorate with mirrors. Nice lens! :)

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for all the really cool ideas, I love your Lens.

    • wheresthekarma profile image

      wheresthekarma 5 years ago

      I abslutely love this lens, bookmarked it!

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      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!

    • JanezKranjski profile image

      JanezKranjski 5 years ago

      I didn't realized, that they are so easy to do. Superb tutorial.

    • curious0927 profile image

      curious0927 5 years ago

      Love this lens! Thanks, am going to be back and start making my own! Blessed by and Angel!

    • curious0927 profile image

      curious0927 5 years ago

      Love this lens! Thanks, am going to be back and start making my own! Blessed by and Angel!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      Great Ideas here! I loved them all.

    • profile image

      ptnjust007 5 years ago

      nice lens

    • totorotube profile image

      totorotube 5 years ago

      very good idea!

    • profile image

      grnidlady 5 years ago

      very cool lens!

    • OzGirl LM profile image

      OzGirl LM 5 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      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.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      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.

    • kerryhrabstock profile image

      kerryhrabstock 5 years ago

      Wow. Thanks for gathering so much stuff. I love several of these projects and can't decide which to try first.

    • profile image

      fullofshoes 5 years ago

      Congrats on a fabulous lens. I think I'll grab a few of these ideas; they are great.

    • MariePalmer LM profile image

      MariePalmer LM 5 years ago

      this is one of my favorite lenses...so artistic and just my style. Thanks for sharing it!

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 5 years ago

      Super cool mirrors! Very stylish....

    • InSearchOf LM profile image

      InSearchOf LM 5 years ago

      Awesome ideas!

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Great lens.Keep up the good work! thumbs up

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      That TV frame looks pretty cool. Great job on this lens.

    • teristazko profile image

      teristazko 5 years ago

      Great ideas and lens!

    • profile image

      Oosquid 5 years ago

      Enough good suggestions on this lens to spark some ideas, thanks.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 4 years ago

      Fantastic lens ..pinned too!

    • profile image

      kmyangel 4 years ago

      Very good ideas ! Congrats !

    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 4 years ago

      Lovely ideas here, thanks.

    • daniela-lofiego profile image

      daniela-lofiego 4 years ago

      Loved these! I want to make one now :)

    • Joy Neasley profile image

      Joy Neasley 4 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I love the mirrored chest of Drawers top idea.

    • Bonfire Designs profile image

      Bonfire Designs 4 years ago

      Love this lens, a reflection of creative talent!

    • ArmchairBuilder1 profile image

      ArmchairBuilder1 4 years ago

      Great lens! Some really interesting ideas here for mirrors!

    • barbea profile image

      barbea 4 years ago

      Love the do it yourself photo holder. Thankyou

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      There's a lot of great resources here... Great lens!!

    • faeriesong7 profile image

      Mary Collings 4 years ago from Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland

      Wonderful - I love them all!

    • ToolHire LM profile image

      ToolHire LM 3 years ago

      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!

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 3 years ago

      Wonderful ideas Thanks for sharing. I'll attempt a few real soon.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Love the custom picture frames, particularly the pencil picture frames, very inspiring!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      great as visit really appreciate you

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      love all these awesome ideas!

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Some very interesting ideas in this lens!

    • profile image

      angelatvs 3 years ago

      Some fun projects here!

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