How To Make Framed Wallpaper Panels

Photo frame making ideas

Part of the wood used to create the frames

Do you also think wall art can be really expensive? Well, I had been looking at stuff online for months, probably a year, and everything I liked came along with a big price tag… I thought that there had to be a cheaper way to decorate our walls.

I have always loved wallpaper. Not over a whole room with an overwhelming pattern, but more in the creating pops of color or texture here and there kind of way.

One day we went to get some supplies for a different project and it all aligned so we would get here… Somehow we ended up in the clearance section (don’t we all???), they were practically giving away this cute wallpaper (it was actually like $5), and we already had this idea so the roll came home with us.


These are all the materials & tools you need to complete this project:


We decided we were going to use it for our home office, so we went and took some measurements on the wall to decide the size of the each frame (we were making 2 of them).

For this, we considered the width of the actual wallpaper, since we didn’t want to have to cut it widthwise. Besides, we thought it would look better with a 2’’ white frame mat to create a transition in between the frame and the wallpaper, so that was contemplated as well when coming up with the dimensions.

That being said, our chosen measurements were 28’’ L x 26’’ W, but of course in your case that can always be based on your preference, wall height, etc.


We had some wood left over from a different project that would work perfectly for this one (1’’ x 6’’). It was too wide for a frame, though, so we cut it in half widthwise first. Then, marked the lengths and made 45-degree cuts to create each piece.


Easy photo frames to make

Wood cut for both frames


We tried putting them together with a stapler, but that didn’t work quite well. It was just too wobbly. This led us to the nail gun, so we reinforced it using some 2in 16 gauge finishing nails. It turned out pretty sturdy.


Building picture frames from scratch

Frame after nailing all sides



Sanding was a piece of cake. Some of the corners needed a little bit of attention, but the wood was in a good shape overall, so we took a 220 grit sanding sheet and our sander and we were done in a few minutes.

Talking finish, at first we thought of giving them a natural look, similar to the one we gave to the desk countertop in the same room. Better yet, we had some stain left over from that project so we didn’t really need anything else.


DIY cheap picture frames

Frames right before starting the stain process


I took the brush and applied several coats of stain because this wood didn’t seem to absorb it as well as our countertop did… And it really didn’t. It seemed to be way less porous than the other one, and the look was way shinier, despite the fact that the stain is supposed to have a satin finish.

I really wanted to like it, so I decided to wait until it was completely dry… It turns out I never did like it. It just didn’t look the way we had pictured it, or even similar to the countertop finish… We just had to come up with a different idea.


Make your photo frame

Frames after staining


Then, this purple spray paint I had used months ago came to mind and it would actually create a really good contrast with the wallpaper color and completely cover the stain mess. Long story short, a can of spray paint later, the frames were a bright purple!


Wood picture frame designs

How the purple spray paint saved the day



We needed something flat and sturdy to create the piece that would allow us to glue the wallpaper and also be the back of the frame. So we measured their inner length and width and took a piece of plywood we had and cut it adding 0.5’’ on each side.


Making picture frames by hand

Plywood ready to go


Once this was done, we took the wallpaper and cut it the same size and, since it was a peel and paste kind, we went ahead and adhered it directly to the plywood.


Cheap photo frame ideas

Adhering the wallpaper to the plywood


Looking for a frame mat, we found out that each custom size one would cost us approximately $16. I thought we could do way better than that by buying a white poster board and just cutting it to fit the size of our frame.

A few days later, we found ourselves in front of an Office Depot store, so we decided to go in and check if we could find anything. Turns out we found nice poster boards with a satin finish and paid only $3.98 for a couple of them, and it was not too difficult to cut them with the utility knife after carefully marking them on the back side.


Photo frame decoration ideas

Our super affordable mats


Making a picture frame

Mat cutting process


Afterwards, we used the double-sided adhesive tape to paste it to the plywood on top of the wallpaper. Then, we attached the plywood to the frames with some staples and hung them. What an easy and inexpensive way to give life to any wall!!!


How to frame wallpaper

Aren’t these cute?


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Framed Wallpaper Panels