How to make a photo for a locket

Updated July 18, 2017

A locket is a pendant with small hinges that opens up to reveal a sentimental picture, often of someone special to the person wearing the locket. Certain considerations must be given to the photo chosen to be in a locket, because it will most likely have to be scaled down significantly to fit inside of it. Because digital images can be tweaked more easily and shrunk down to fit inside any particular dimension or shape, they are preferred over an existing print. However, a cherished photo from an album can be scanned and made into a digital image.

Choose a photo. Consider the size and shape of the locket, and keep in mind that the image will be cropped. This means only a portion of the image will fit inside the locket. Avoid blurry images. Make sure that the person, animal or object in your photo stands out from the background. For example, you should avoid trimming a group photo where faces overlap, because on a smaller scale, the subject's face will be less distinct.

Open the digital image in basic photo editing software. Most computers come pre-installed with free photo viewing software that also allows you to scale and crop images, but free photo editing programs can also be found online.

Crop the image to the portion of interest, if necessary. For example, select only a person's face to put in the locket.

Measure the largest dimension of the locket, then scale down the image to fit. You may need to reference the help menu for your particular photo software, but generally there is an option in a drop-down menu to change the image size. To avoid distortion, make sure that the length and width of the image are scaled down in equal proportion.

Print out the image on photo paper using a home printer, in-store kiosk, or other photo printing service.

Create a tracing template to ensure a precise fit inside the locket. With a pencil, draw an outline around the locket on a piece of paper. This shape will be slightly bigger than the actual locket and the size of the photo inside. Most lockets have a small raised rim, like a frame, to accommodate the hinge and clasp. Carefully cut out the shape of the locket you traced on the paper and keep trimming it until it fits inside the locket.

Lay the paper template over the photo. Make sure that what you want seen inside the locket, like the entire face of a person, is covered by the paper. Making sure not to move it, trace around the template with a craft knife. Then, using the lines as guides, carefully cut away the excess portion of the photo. Place the photo inside the locket. If the locket does not have a glass protector to keep the image in place, you may need to use an acid-free adhesive to get the photo to stay in place.


When printing the photo for your locket -- since the image you will be using is likely much smaller than the photo paper -- you may want to to fit several copies of the image onto the same page in case you make a mistake. However, this requires more familiarity with the photo editing and printing software.


Be cautious when trimming the photo with a craft knife. If you feel uncomfortable working with a sharp blade, scissors can also be used to cut out the shape. However, keep in mind that scissors are usually less precise.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital image
  • Basic photo editing software
  • Measuring tape
  • Photo printer
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Self-healing cutting mat or other cutting surface
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About the Author

Mitali Ruths has been a professional writer since 2008. She received her M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and completed her pediatrics internship at Texas Children's Hospital. Ruths has worked as a magazine editor and contributed to several online publications.