How to Make Polymer Clay Picture Frames

Written by lauren vork
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How to Make Polymer Clay Picture Frames
Decorate a picture frame with colourful polymer clay. (colourful clay image by Karin Lau from

Picture frames of all kinds provide both protection and an aesthetically-pleasing visual enhancement of your most beloved photographs. Interesting and colourful frames add a jazzy note to your photo decorating, while making your own frames allows you to customise according to your room decor. Achieve either--or both--of these goals by making your own polymer clay picture frame.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Non-corrugated cardboard
  • Rectangular picture frame glass piece
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Self-healing mat or cutting board
  • Pen or pencil
  • Polymer clay, various colours
  • Baking tray
  • Quick-set epoxy

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  1. 1

    Place the glass on the cardboard and trace its outline with a pencil. Make two copies of this outline.

  2. 2

    Cut out the two cardboard rectangles. Use a craft knife along the edge of a craft straight edge, like a ruler, yard stick or t-square. Do the work over a cutting board or self-healing mat.

  3. 3

    Remove a smaller rectangle from the centre of one of the cardboard pieces. Use the ruler to draw the smaller shape inside by drawing four lines parallel to the edges and about an inch in on each side (adjust this size if you like according to the shape of the frame you want to make). Cut out this inner section using the craft knife.

  4. 4

    Soften a large quantity of polymer clay (golf ball sized or larger, depending on the size of your picture frame) and roll it out into a 1/8-inch-thick sheet using the craft knife. Cut strips of this sheet using the craft knife and use them to cover the front of the frame rectangle. Blend the clay to smooth out the seams between strips.

  5. 5

    Sculpt and add any additional clay shapes or pieces over the top of the base coat of clay. These may be small sculpted shapes, such as stars, hearts or bows, or you may use basic shapes in different colours, such as balls, long snakes or ribbons. Blend the clay on the bottom of these items into the clay wrapping the frame to ensure that they stick and stay in place when baked.

  6. 6

    Place the cardboard frame on a baking tray, clay side up.

  7. 7

    Bake the clay-covered frame according to the instructions on the package of polymer clay. Monitor the frame while baking; if the cardboard starts to smell or scorch, remove the frame from the oven for five minutes to let it cool. Sprinkle the baking tray with a few tablespoons water and let it flow beneath the cardboard, then resume baking. Let the baked frame cool.

  8. 8

    Attach the pieces of the frame. Apply dots of epoxy to the back of the clay-covered frame piece, then press it over the glass piece. Glue the rear cardboard piece by applying epoxy to the outer edges of the front-facing side, but leave the top of the cardboard unglued; this will leave you a space to slide the picture between the glass and the back of the frame.

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