Turn Any Frame Into a Photo Collage

Written by Mark Rogers

If you’re having a tough time picking your favorite photo to display, there’s an easy solution: make a collage! Instead of cutting photos and taping them together, which damages them in the process, step up your craft game and create a collage that doesn’t look like it belongs in a college dorm.

Picture Frame Collage Option #1: One Frame, Many Photos

Create a collage using a single picture frame and mat board to create a clean, modern collage. You’ll need just a few items:

First, you’ll need to choose the photos. The size of the frame and mat board will depend on how many photos you choose, and frames only run so large — at Frame Destination, the largest frame sizes include 30x40, 36x36 and 32x38.

The best way to determine how many photos to use as well as the size of the frame is to measure it all out. Cut out a piece of cardboard to represent the size of the frame and place your chosen photos on top of it. Because you will be using mat board, photos shouldn’t overlap; in fact, there should be at least a half-inch of space between the photos. Use a straight-edge and a pencil to mark their locations.

If you’ve purchased a full, uncut sheet of mat board, you’ll need to cut your own mat board. Note that you’ll need a mat cutter to do this correctly, as mat board is thicker than paper and even the sharpest knife will most likely result in jagged, uneven edges without the typical beveled edge.

Alternatively, order a mat board cut with multiple openings from Frame Destination. Using the template you created when laying out your design, simply create a digital image that shows the orientation of the openings and their dimensions. We cut mat openings exactly to size, resulting in a clean, custom-made collage mat board. When in doubt, contact Frame Destination to make sure your custom mat board is cut correctly.

Once you receive your frame, custom mat board, mount board and other materials, use your mounting supplies to attach the photos to the mat board. Place all the materials inside the frame and you’re ready to frame your elegant collage.

Picture Frame Collage Option #2: Many Frames, Many Photos

Instead of one picture frame with many photographs, you can create a collage with multiple frames. This project has a little bit more DIY involved, but the result is a completely unique creation. You’ll need:

  • Multiple wood picture frames of various sizes
  • Mount board
  • Mat board (optional)
  • Glass or acrylic glazing
  • Wood glue
  • Clamps or hot glue

You can create a collage with as many picture frames as you like in just as many designs. Select the photos you’d like to include in the collage and purchase the same number of frames. To ensure that your collage has visual interest, include both horizontal and vertical prints to frame.

Remove all the contents of the picture frames and arrange them in your chosen design: you can use a large frame as the focal point and arrange smaller frames around them, or you can create a pattern, such as alternating vertical and horizontal frames. Play around with the photos before ordering the frames to make sure you’re happy with the look.

Start gluing the empty frames together, either side-by-side or on top of one another for a three-dimensional look. Clamp the frames together so that the glue adheres; if you don’t have clamps, hot glue can also be used to hold the pieces together as the wood glue dries. Once the glue has dried, start inserting the mounted photos, glazing and mat board, if you’ve decided to use it.

Picture frame collages allow you to show off your favorite photos as one unit, creating a unique design piece for your home. Whether you want to create a seasonal collage for holiday displays or one that commemorates your family’s favorite holidays, a collage can be the décor piece that becomes a focal point of your home.

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