Decorative Frames

As I mentioned yesterday, there are many uses for cardboard boxes from dry foods and toiletries.

Another interesting project is to make decorative frames from a small cardboard box and flyers or brochures.  If you have any random materials that you can use, try the same method or e-mail me (via contact page) if you would like some ideas.

Flyer and two brochures

For this project, I have the following items:

  • One small cardboard box (from dry soup mixes)
  • One flyer for spas and two autumn train travel brochures
  • One elastic cord measuring 75cm long (a string or ribbon will also work)

To complete the project, I also have scissors, exacto knife, double sided-tape (other adhesives like homemade glue can also be used), clear tape, a hole punch, ruler, and a pencil.

Steps to make decorative frames:

First, take the box apart by cutting out all the sides.


Take any of the sides to make the frames out of (I used the two larger sides). Trim the edges so that they’re straight and  measure a border on it, you are also free to cut out any shape you like (this will mark the area to cut out for the inner frame portion that will display any photos).

With the remaining pieces of cardboard, cut out any shapes you like.  They will be used later to add extra decorative details to the frame.


Once you have all of your pieces cut out, it’s time to cover them with your available paper.

The easiest way is to cover one side of each piece with adhesive and place the paper over it, then trim so they match perfectly with the shape edges.The second way takes a little more time, but it gives a more creative look.  Take your paper and cut it into strips.  Arrange the strips anyway you like (alternating patterns, mixed patterns and colours etc…) then place them over the shapes that you have cut out.*I used both methods by arranging strips over the frames and covering the other smaller shapes with one piece.


Now, punch small holes by each corner to thread the cord/string/ribbon.

You can tie the two frames together with one cord, or separate them.

Thread the cord/string/ribbon from the top holes, making sure to leave some slack to be able to hang the frames later.

When you thread the cord, make sure to begin from the front to the back. Once you pull the cord through the bottom holes, secure them with tape to the back of any of the prepared extra shapes


The frames are done!


Now you can place any picture or small art piece to be displayed.  The cord running down the sides of the frame can secure your photos simply by sliding the ends between them and the frame.*I’ve added a simple origami crane with a little leftover brochure paper and placed it on a white backing made from scrap washi.  The simple, solid colours subdue the busy colourful frames, but match the colours perfectly.

STEP 6 - Finished Frame

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