Simple Decoupage Frame Gift

A Chance to Use That Fancy Paper! Make a Simple Decoupage Frame for an Easy and Cheap Homemade Gift Idea!

This simple decoupage frame makes a super quick and easy homemade gift and costs hardly anything to make.

Simple decoupage frame gift with photo and custom word quotes...The basic idea is to find a cheap frame with mostly flat surface area and pair it up with a great piece of decorative paper (which you can find in most any craft store).

Try using patterned scrapbook paper (like you see to the right), decoupage paper, gift wrapping paper, wall paper, magazine pages, pages from an outdated calendar, or any paper that won't bleed.

Supply Sources: For this decoupage project, the photo frame came from the $1 dollar store and the decorative paper came from a local craft store for less than $.50. The photo frame inserts were printed on a home printer (more about that in Step 6 below).

Note: Other places to find thrifty photo frames include craft stores, yard sales, discount stores, sales and your own garage, where you might have set aside a less than gorgeous frame waiting for a makeover...

How to Make a Simple Decoupage Frame

You'll Need

  • Here's the frame before the decoupage makeover...Photo frame: with significant surface area to put designs on
  • Decorative paper: one piece at least as large as your frame
  • White craft glue

    or decoupage medium
  • Water based varnish:
    see decoupage supplies for more on varnish
  • Optional: Craft cord to match paper

Other Supplies:

Scissors, pencil, foam brush, wide soft paint brush, newspaper (to protect your work surface from glue and varnish), soft cloth or paper towel


  1. Preparation. First you will need to prepare your picture frame for decoupage.

    An unpainted wooden frame should be primed with acrylic primer or painted with acrylic paint. If your frame is already painted, simply clean it with a soft cloth. Other materials besides wood may need special treatments but most decoupage preparations are simple. See decoupage instructions for the correct preparation of various objects.

    Tip: If you plan to paint any part of the frame not going to be covered by decorative paper, do so before gluing your paper down. Use masking tape to protect the edges of surfaces that you do not wish to paint.
  2. Cut Paper to Size. . Trace the front panel of the frame onto the back of your paper. Cut your paper to the exact size of your frame (or whatever size you would like).

    Cutting Tips: Cut around the outside first. For the center opening(s) poke a whole from above, then bring your scissors up from underneath to cut out the inner squares.
  3. Moisten Paper: To avoid wrinkles, first moisten your paper with a spray bottle set on mist. It will curl up as the fibers tighten and then flatten out as the fibers relax. This will prevent wrinkles when the paper and glue dry.
  4. Glue Paper. Gently line paper up exactly where you want it (moist paper is very delicate so take care to tear or scuff the paper). Start by gluing a corner or edge in place. Work you way across, gluing the entire back in place and gently smoothing the paper with a soft cloth or clean finger tips. Allow everything to dry completely.
  5. Seal Project. The last step is to seal the frame. Apply a thin layer of varnish over the entire face of your frame, using a soft wide brush. Allow to dry thoroughly. Once dry, repeat if desired.

Optional Steps:

Optional Embellishing. This frame has craft cord around the edge of the frame and inside the picture openings. Embellish your simple decoupage frame as desired or not at all...

For the Photo and the 3 Single Word Quotes. This simple decoupage frame can be given as is, with printed photographs in place or with printed words and/or graphics (any of these options makes a fun homemade gift.

The photo of a Tulip you see in the featured frame came from stockvault. It's easy to use your own pictures but when you are in a hurry or in need of a printable photo, website like these can be very handy.

The photo was printed on a cream colored linen-textured paper along with the words "Love" "Joy" and "Peace" using the font Harrington. They were then cut to size and inserted in the frame like you would photographs.

Tip: This can be done using a word processing program such as Microsoft Word (or Open Office for a free alternative) or a graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop.

Here's a similar decoupage frame, featuring changeable inspirational quotes...

Go to decoupage frame with inspirational quotes or affirmations...

Happy Crafting, Happy Gifting!

Wanna Brag? We'd be delighted to see your finished work so please post a photo to our reader photo gallery, just think of all the people you could inspire!

Click here to get crafty with beads and cards...Feeling creative? You may also like to get crafty with beads and make this beaded charm card for a great birthday card, a sweet Mother's Day card or even a thank you card, customize colors and beads as desired, the circle in the middle is simply a key chain ring...

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