If you’re holding hundreds or even thousands of pictures hostage on your phone then you’ll love this DIY project. It’s inexpensive, fun to do, and perfect to display in an office, kids room, dorm room, playroom, kitchen, or laundry/mudroom like I did.
I first saw a set of frames like these at my goddaughter’s house more than 15 years ago. Her mom purchased them from a craft fair and since I never found anything similar, I decided to make them myself. Truth be told, I designed and painted these a while back but did not hang them up until recently. We’re constantly in a state of “re” -something in our house; redecorating, reconfiguring, reorganizing, renovating (not technically a “re” but it starts with r and e so close enough).
I could never decide on where to hang them until we… you guessed it, reconfigured and redecorated our laundry/mudroom. Replacing the standard door with a sliding barn door freed up valuable real estate on the wall. We hung a monthly dry erase board (essential for keeping track of kid’s busy schedules), a bin, and coat hooks. These adorable frames fit right in once the wall wasn’t being suffocated by a door.
My favorite thing about these frames is seeing a years worth of milestones and memories made in one glance. My children, Juliana (13) and Will (10) are growing at a pace that makes me a little uneasy, so liberating photos from my phone into these frames feels like a necessary reminder of how fast life is moving. As parents, we know that when these years are gone, they’re gone. If all I can do is freeze a moment for 12 months until it’s time to change the photo from last year, I’ll take it.
You do not have to posses any artistic skills whatsoever in order to design and paint these frames. A pencil is key so that you can lightly draw your design out, erase and start again if you’re not pleased with it. I used a small letter stencil like this one to keep the size and font of my month names consistent.
All you need are 12 unfinished wood frames in any size you like. Mine are 5×7 and hold a 3.5×5 photo so I print 4×6’s and crop them down a bit with scissors. I purchased mine several years ago and can’t find them online any longer but Amazon has similar frames in stock. Here’s what you need and how to do it:
12 unfinished wood frames (it’s a good idea to buy a few extra so you can make a new one in case of damage at any time)
Polyurethane clear coat in a spray can (optional)
Nails or hanging hardware
1. Decide on a base (all over) color for the frames, paint and let them dry.
2. Use your letter stencil to write the name of the month on the top of each frame in pencil.
3. Use a fine tip brush to paint the letters over the pencil.
4. Draw out designs onto each frame. Decorating them with the seasons and holidays is a great idea, but you can always incorporate family birthdays, anniversaries, kids sports, etc.
5. Paint your pencil sketched designs and allow to dry.
6. If you want to make them more durable, you can spray them with polyurethane in a well ventilated area (outdoors is best).
7. Hang and free those photos from your phone one month at a time.
Get the kids involved and have fun displaying your favorite memories throughout the year!