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Origami Picture Frames

How to Make Picture Frames Out of Paper


When you're looking for cheap home décor ideas, you can't beat the versatility of origami picture frames. Frames can be quickly folded from origami paper, scrapbook paper, old calendar pages, wrapping paper, or whatever materials you can find. A single frame is lovely on its own or you can cluster together a group of photos for an eye-catching display. This frame looks nice when grouped with a modular origami frame or an origami kusudama flower for a bit of added decoration.

1. Choose Your Paper

origami picture frames
© Dana Hinders

Thicker paper results in sturdier frames, but can be a bit trickier to fold. You'll only see small amount of the pattern when your frame is complete, so this is a design that works well with the bold Chiyogami papers that tend to overpower the more delicate origami projects.

With the plain side of your paper face up, fold your paper in half horizontally. Unfold. Fold your origami paper in half vertically, making sure you have sharp creases. Unfold to reveal a folded cross pattern in the middle.

2. Turn Up the Edges

origami picture frames
© Dana Hinders

Turn up the edges of the paper about 1/4 of the way to the middle. Turn the left and right sides of the square in first, then turn in the top and bottom sides.

It is very important that all of the edges be turned in the same distance. If the measurements are off, your frame will be crooked. If you have trouble eyeballing measurements, get a ruler to help with this step.

3. Fold in the Corners

origami picture frames
© Dana Hinders

Flip your paper over. Fold each of the corners into the center. For the prettiest origami photo frame, make sharp creases. When you're finished with this step, your origami picture frame should look like the project in the photo to the left.

4. Complete Your Origami Picture Frame

origami picture frames
© Dana Hinders

Turn your paper back over. Your frame is now complete. Trim your photo to fit, then slip it inside the corner pockets.

To make your frame stand up on a shelf, it's often helpful to add a small pebble or other tiny weight to the back.

Since they are lightweight and won't add bulk to an album, origami frames are excellent additions to a scrapbook layout. They add a decorative touch that is a bit different than the traditional scrapbook matting techniques.

If you tape the back edges so they lay flat and add a small magnetic strip, this project makes a good origami refrigerator magnet.

Photo cards are easy to make on your computer, but many people find these designs to be a bit impersonal. Make a photo card with a cute handmade touch by using this origami picture frame as the basis of your design.

Origami frames folded from 4 inch by 4 inch paper squares and secured to toothpicks make adorable cupcake toppers for a birthday party, baby shower, or anniversary celebration.

Consider making several frames to give as gifts to family members during the holidays! Older children can make origami picture frames for their school pictures or favorite drawings to give to teachers, grandparents, or daycare providers. Since this is such a simple project, it's a great way to teach origami to beginning paper folders at a scout meeting, Sunday school class, or community center art workshop. For more tips on teaching origami to children, please review the About Origami article Tips for Teaching Origami to Kids.

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