How To Turn a Book Into a Picture Frame

How To Turn a Book Into a Picture Frame

Tiffany Finley
Oct 20, 2010

How many ways are there to frame a picture? So many, but one of my favorites is an old hardcover book with a great title! With a few quick snips of the good ol' exacto blade and various upgrades, you can turn it into a great personalized gift. So dust off those hardcover books and get crafting!

A few tips in selecting the perfect book: First, make sure that it is not moldy, and can stand up on its own (preferably). Any weird smells...well, they aren't so easy to get out so you may want to pass on those stacks of moldy library books. Second, scrounge for great titles, since the spine will be facing your admiring audience. Lastly, I love a good old book that may have pages that are warped from water or all marked up. Why? Because I can easily reuse the book front and back, and in this craft you can just cut out the middle, making it useful again.

What You Need

1 hard cover book
1 exacto knife
1 cutting board or lap desk
1 roll of aluminum foil or metal paper
1 plastic card (credit card, membership card, or any hard plastic edge)
Krazy Glue, Rubber Cement, or another strong adhesive
8 photo corners per photo slot
Fun paper for the inside of the book


1 Select the hard cover book with the perfect title.
2 Measure an ideal size for your photo (varies dependent on book size) and trace the corners
3 Open the book and lay the cover flat on your cutting surface. Then take the exacto knife and start cutting in the middle of one of the lines. We suggest the middle so you can perfect your exacto knife technique before hitting those fragile corners. Gently cut out the box that will be the spot for you photo.
4 Measure the four sides of your frame for the metal paper that will surround the box. Then add an additional 1/2 to the length for the diagonal corners. The width should be triple the size you would like exposed on the front of the book.
5 Cut the metal pieces with flat edges (you will add the diagonal slant later). Lay them out, then fold them each almost in half, leaving about 1/8 - 1/4 inch extra on the side that will be on the outside. Then cut the diagonal corners with the shorter side cut near the fold. Then fold the longer side over making the ends of each of the sides even (so it will make a perfect square when they are all lined up on the book).
6 Next fold the metal pieces over the book frame edges, making sure they each line up. Then take the credit card or hard plastic piece and smooth out the metal pieces.
7 Glue in the metal pieces, leaving a bit unglued on each of the ends.
8 Add the photo corners (cutting them to the appropriate size) and glue them down with the edges of the metal paper.
9 Add fun paper and photo corners to the inside and Viola! Book Frame!

Additional Notes: You can choose to either keep the book pages in to add extra support to the book frame or cut them out. If you decide to cut them out, consider using them for wallpaper or envelopes!

In the past I have made this with ribbons around the outside, which are a lot easier, but not as durable. Other fun alternatives are twine, raffia, or any moldable piece of fabric that will hide the rough edges of the book.

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(Image: Tiffany Finley)

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