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How to convert a normal photo frame into a box frame

October 23, 2009

Here we have the basic setup…a frame with the glass inserted.

I have bought a large sheet of thick, white cardboard from the newsagents for under $5.00. I cut this into strips…4  lengths the same as each inside edge of the frame (mine are [2x]8.5 in x [2x]11 in) and around 1.25cm wide (or deep). The width of the strips will determine the final depth of your box. I have found for my lumpy bumpy layouts that 1.25cm is sufficient so that the glass won’t touch my embellishments but I’m sure you’ll find with practice that you will determine what width (depth) is right for your project.
Before I glue each strip in I check that they all fit nice and snugly inside the frame without gaps or bowing (which means they are a little too long) The cardboard also needs to be thick enough that it’ll hold the glass in place when you turn it over the right way.

If not perhaps glue two equal strips together, so that they are double the thickness. You could also cut strips of matching cardstock and cover your strips to match your layout or project!
Make sure you have no gaps that are visible from the front.
Notice in the above picture that the strips of cardboard hold the glass in the frame. This will stop the glass from falling in on your layout or project once it’s all together.
Then it’s just a matter of gluing each strip to the side of the frame.
I use Pritt Power Gel! My favourite gluing product – this stuff will glue ANYTHING!
I run a nice sized bead of glue down each strip, put into place and hold for about a minute. It sticks quite quickly!
(How long it takes to stick firmly will probably depend on the current temp, so just hold it and run pressure down the strip until you think it will stay without holding)

The next step can be a little tricky but I know you’ll ace it!
I then attach my layout to some more of that thick white cardboard. Making sure that it will fit nicely on that boxed edge. If it’s too small it will just fall in! Next lay your layout (or project) on top of that little edge.
I then use a wide masking tape to tape the back to the box edge.
See photo:
See it really is quite easy and once you make one you’ll soon find that you’ll want to frame ALL your layouts! (I hope that wall is BIG!)
This is what the strips look like from the front – on an angle of course! When you look straight on you hardly notice that you have made your normal picture frame into a box frame!
Good luck!
Here is the the full tutorial in pdf format for downloading 🙂
If you use this tutorial please give credit to the author, Tammy Templeton ©

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2009 9:11 am

    Hey Tam, this is fantastic, thanks so much for sharing. Sheree’s so right they are really expensive to buy, and doing it this way opens up so many options for sizes too!!

  2. Sheree McGee permalink
    October 24, 2009 8:59 am

    Hey really cool Tam!! They can be expensive to buy, and I haven’t seen them in 8.5 x 11 size… so that’s really really cool!!

    Well done chick 😉


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