This TikTok IKEA RIBBA Hack Will Turn Your Photos into Fancy Abstract Art

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Credit: Franke Chung

I’m all about DIY projects that transform items I love, yet don’t quite know what to do with, and photos are a prime example of things that fall into this category. Like most people, I have a lot of pictures printed out in various shapes and sizes, including photo booth images, which always stump me the most, styling-wise. They don’t fit well into standard picture frames or photo albums. You have to cut them into individual squares to make a photo collage, and they can sometimes get overlooked when tacked to your wall or fridge. 

When I need a little inspiration for displaying items like these, though, I often turn to TikTok, and one Chicago-based user shared a simple, budget-friendly solution to this classic photo dilemma. Artist Sara Wenokur (@sarawenokurrr) posted a video that begins by showing a pile of black-and-white photo booth strips, followed by an empty white IKEA RIBBA frame. She then flips over a few of the photos, connecting them from behind with what appears to be masking tape. The post ends with her finished product: a symmetrical grid of photo squares neatly arranged side-by-side inside the frame.

Wenokur appears to have taped together 36 strips total, each with four photos, as well as 12 two-photo strips (which may have been cut in half) to fill out the RIBBA frame, measuring 61 by 91 centimeters, or 24 by 35 3/4 inches. The result is a beautiful display of black-and-white photo booth images, which — especially from afar — resemble a custom-looking piece of personalized, expensive abstract art. Note that you could use color photos here, too (or even a mix of both) as well as switch up the style with a black, metal, or wood frame. 

To recreate this project, you’ll just need a RIBBA frame, 42 photo booth strips containing four photos each (or some combination of 168 small square photos or whatever works to fill out the frame), scissors, and masking tape. That’s it! Assuming you already own the craft supplies, your only cost would be the $24.99 IKEA frame. And if you don’t have that many picture strips, simply count the ones you do, and adjust your frame size accordingly.

This RIBBA DIY is so simple and inexpensive that you can easily replicate the process as your photo collection grows. Plus, because the photos are taped together and bound by the frame, the piece requires absolutely no disassembly, should you want to try it out on a different wall or eventually move homes. That way, you can keep your mementos intact while turning some of your fondest memories into a one-of-a-kind, display-worthy work of art.