DIY Cardboard Hipster Frames

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cardboard frames
Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Our parents are still complaining about the Year of the Box. That was the year they got us this really big, fancy, expensive toy for The Holidays, and (rotten little squirts that we were) we had more fun playing with the box it came in.

It wasn’t really our fault, it’s just that you can make such great stuff out of cardboard boxes. Forts, spaceships, hats, even picture frames!

Oh yes, that’s right, cardboard picture frames.

Big urbane one-of-a-kind picture frames that will make you the envy of all the other kids on your block. (Well, the figurative kids anyway. Real ones aren’t that big on interior design.)

No matter what we get this year, we’re going straight for the box it comes in and making a whole wall full of these hip frames.

Photojojo’s DIY Cardboard Hipster Frames

Why’s It Cool?

Especially at this time of year, what with online shopping and everything, there always seem to be cardboard boxes lying around. Why not do something with them?

Cardboard’s hip. Seriously. Architecture majors and designers make stuff out of it all the time, like modern flower vases or Frank Gehry’s chairs.

If you need a new look for your walls, this is the way to go.

What You’ll Need


  • Photos
  • Cardboard
  • X-acto knife or utility knife
  • A pen or pencil
  • Tape
  • Colored string or yarn (optional)
  • Colored markers (optional)
  • Decorative wrapping paper or maps (optional)
  • Rubber cement or gluestick(optional)

Step 1: Draw Some Shapes

frame shapesFirst you need to choose some shapes for your frames. Do you want round ones? Rectangles? Spiky comic-book amoebas?

You can draw the shapes freehand directly on the cardboard with a pen or pencil. Make the shapes as irregular as you want- that’s part of the appeal of cardboard frames.

If your drawing skills are truly nonexistent, use software like MS Paint or Photoshop to combine simple shapes (rectangles, ovals, etc.) into picture frame designs.

Be sure to make the opening of the frame smaller than your photo so that the picture will fit nicely behind it.

Step 2: Cut Out The Cardboard

cutting frame outCut out the designs you drew on the cardboard using a utility or X-acto knife.

If you designed shapes in the computer, print them out and tape them onto the cardboard. Then cut through the paper and cardboard with the knife.

Slip a cutting mat (or an extra piece of cardboard) underneath before you cut out your designs, and be extra careful with that blade.

Step 3: Hang ‘Em High

attach photo and stringOnce you’ve cut out your frames, position a photo behind the opening of each one and tape it in place on the back of the frame.

You can hang your frames on the wall with double-stick tape, but we like to hang them from colored string.

Cut a few lengths of different-colored embroidery floss and tape each length to the back of the frame, at the top center. Make a loop at the top of the string to hang each frame individually, or attach multiple frames together to make a chain.

Extra Credit: Fancy Wrapping

fancy-pants framesNot a fan of plain brown cardboard? Fancy up your frames by drawing designs on them with colored markers.

If you’ve got old wrapping paper or maps lying around, glue them onto the cardboard with gluestick or rubber cement and let the paper dry before cutting the frames out.

More Ideas

  • Make the frames as big or small as you want. The only limit is the size of the biggest piece of cardboard you can find.
  • Mix different frame shapes together: classic antique shapes with comic book starbursts, or modern with art deco.
  • Make the frames in lots of different sizes and use them to cover a whole wall.
  • Mix plain cardboard frames with painted or paper-covered ones.
  • String together long chains of small frames and hang them in a doorway or in front of a window.

Photo credits: nuzz, doryexmachina, and ‘stpiduko’.

You love love, and you love it big time. So, go BIG this Valentine’s Day.

Print up a 3 foot x 4 foot Engineer Print to show your love BIG time.

Read along to see three fun ways to spread the love to friends, crushes and soulmates using photos!


1. Mailbox Surprise

Just fold up your Engineer Print, pop it in an envelope and mail it to your long-distance love.

Parabo Press’s EPs (as the cool kids call ‘em) are printed on extra thin paper, perfect for easy hanging and mailing too!

Yeah, your print will get creases in it, but we just love the idea of your giftee unfolding and unfolding and unfolding to reveal the biggest Valentine they’ve ever received.


2. Pin the Heart on the Babe

We may have spent a bit extra time on this part of the photoshoot in the Photojojo Office … this game is serious fun! Everyone gave it a go.

Print up a photo of your favorite heartthrob, cut out some hearts, procure a blindfold, give the first contestant a good spin, and watch them just try to find their way to that cutie’s heart.

It’s the perfect pastime for a Galentine’s Party or a cozy night in – just you, mood music, a box of chocolates and an EP of Michael B. Jordan.


3. Surprise! I love you!

Engineer Prints (available in color and B&W) are the perfect width to tape in your
standard door.

Tape your face looking into a room with an inward opening door to give your favorite someone a BIG surprise.

Just make sure your intended recipient is in the room when you stick up that print.



What are you waiting for?


Three Lovely Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Using Photos

We get it. You need the perfect costume idea.

Whelp, if you like snapping photos and having fun (you sound like our favorite kind of person) look no further!

Check out four easy costume ideas that’ll get you all the best candy (full size only).

Inspector Gadget

Fill a trench coat with gizmos and give your friends a fright followed by relief when they realize you did not dress as a streaker.



Hang the Photo Rope from your neck and use magnets to hang your favorite photos. You’re everyone’s favorite stream of photos. *Liked*


  • A Black Outfit
  • Photo Rope
  • Square Prints (get ‘em free from Parabo Press)

A Beautiful Unicorn

Throw magical colorful clouds around, wherever you go! The more color you fling the more colorful your costume will become.


A Real-Live Photo Booth

Document your favorite costumes and hand out prints as you go. You can even charge your pals for print … just like a real photo booth.


Do you have a super photo-related costume idea? Tell us over on Instagram – we’re @photojojo. Or, show us with #photojojo.

Simple and Silly Costume Ideas for Photographers

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