Fresh Ideas

Newspaper Swirl Picture Frames

Our quest to bring you fabulously recycled projects continues. Today, we have wonderful little picture frames made from old newspapers and cereal boxes. Yes, that’s right — newspaper and cereal boxes! They are relatively simple to make, look lovely and would make a great set of homemade gifts too — whether for Christmas or another special occasion.

We have kept our Newspaper Swirl Picture Frames plain, as we like the natural look of newspaper, but these frames would also look great in bright colors, in muted white or shiny gold. It just depends on where you plan to display your pictures.

Newspaper Swirl Picture Frames Materials:

  • A newspaper
  • Glue
  • A toothpick
  • A cereal packet or inexpensive plain frame
  • Paints to color your frame – optional

How to Create Newspaper Swirl Picture Frames:

  • 1. Cut Your Paper

    If using a broad sheet, take the center page, cut it in half and then cut it in half again. If using a smaller paper, just cut the sheet in half once. You can cut it again to make some smaller swirls if you wish.

    Take a look at your paper; some newspapers have colored sections. If you would like this section to show, turn it face down and away from you.

  • 2. Start Rolling

    Lay a toothpick diagonally across one of the corners of your newspaper and start a tight roll.

  • 3. Remove Toothpick & Continue Rolling

    Remove the toothpick and continue rolling the newspaper as tightly as possible. It is alright if it becomes looser; you will just get a wider curl.

  • 4. Glue Paper

    When you get to the end, use a little glue to secure the paper in place.

  • 5. Flatten Tube

    Now flatten the tube by running your fingers up and down. (You may get some black newspaper print fingers!) Repeat and make about 10–12 of these tubes, along with 2–3 smaller tubes as well.

  • 6. Roll Flatten Tubes

    Now start rolling up the flattened tubes. Use your toothpick to help you do this.

  • 7. Glue End

    Once you get to the end, secure it with a bit of glue and hold in place briefly to keep it from uncurling.

  • 8. Keep Repeating

    Set the curl aside and repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

  • 9. Shape the Frame

    Begin playing with and arranging your curls until you create a frame size and shape you are happy with. You may need a couple of smaller curls to make a nice rectangle.

  • 10. Glue Curls

    Next, glue your curls to an inexpensive frame or make your own from a cereal box. Cut your box apart.

  • 11. Begin To Cut Out Back

    Place the cut cereal box on top of your picture frame layout and align it so that the newspaper swirls peep out over the edges. Cut it out.

  • 12. Cut Out Center of Frame

    Draw another outline approximately 1.5 cm wide and cut out the center rectangle. Then cut a second piece from the box. You should be left with a back and a frame as shown below.

  • 13. Tape Sides Down

    It seems easiest to tape three of the sides down, leaving one open for slotting in a picture. In this example, the cereal box pattern faces backwards.

  • 14. Glue Down Swirls

    Arrange the newspaper swirls and glue them down with PVA (white) glue or use a hot glue gun if you don’t want to wait for them to dry.

Now you are ready to slide in your picture and you’re all done!

Who would have thought that an old newspaper, a cereal box and a bit of glue could look so good? Happy Crafting!



Maggy Woodley

Maggy Woodley is a mom of two, blogger and crafter. She runs the craft website Red Ted Art, and is soon to publish her first craft book for kids. Passionate about crafts, she is keen on inspiring everyone to “have a go” and have some fun, quality time with children. Each week she shares one kid’s craft and one “how to” to inspire children and adults alike.

Read posts from Maggy »

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