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How to Make a Handmade Paper Picture Frame

Handmade paper frames make attractive borders for pictures. Create a custom handmade paper frame using the following steps.


  • Step 1: Create a stencil Select a piece of heavy cardstock that is larger than the picture you wish to frame. Trace the shape of the cardstock onto a cardboard or plastic sheet that is the same size as your mold and deckle, allowing for an extra inch on each side. Cut out the shape using your craft knife.
  • Step 2: Dip the stencil in a vat of pulp Place the cardboard stencil between your mold and deckle. Dip the mold and deckle into the vat of paper pulp at a 45-degree angle and draw them toward you.
  • TIP: If you cannot find a mold and deckle at a crafts store, construct your own from two flat picture frames with a screen attached to one of them.
  • Step 3: Lift the stencil from the pulp Raise the mold, deckle, and stencil to the surface in one continuous motion. Then remove them from the pulp. Allow the water to drain, shaking the mold and deckle from side to side.
  • Step 4: Remove the frame from the stencil Remove the deckle and transfer the layer of pulp inside the stencil to a flat surface covered by a damp cloth by placing the mold upside down on the surface, tapping the screen several times, and then raising the mold up. Let the paper dry.
  • Step 5: Assemble the frame Cut a window for the picture out of the paper frame with your craft knife, and then tape the picture to the back of the frame. Finally, tape the cardboard stock backing over the back of the frame.
  • FACT: The picture frame was a late development in Western art, gaining popularity during the Renaissance in Europe.

You Will Need

  • A sheet of cardstock
  • A cardboard or thick plastic sheet
  • A craft knife
  • A mold and deckle
  • A vat of paper pulp
  • A flat surface
  • A damp cloth
  • Tape
  • Two flat picture frames (optional)
  • Screen (optional)

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