Easy Paper Ripple Frame

Decorate a favorite photo together with this attractive paper craft.

By Patricia Zapata

Create a "ripple" of interest with this frame that will highlight your photograph without overpowering it. The most important part of this project is to make sure that all the strips used for the rolls are of the same exact width. If the measurements are inaccurate, the rolls won’t line up properly. Call attention to colors within your chosen photograph by choosing a complementary- or similarly-colored paper.


  • 3 sheets of turquoise heavyweight paper, 12-inch square, such as card stock[photo example1 max-width=150 align=right]
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Smooth, round pencil
  • White PVA glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Wooden frame, 5 inches x 7 inches, designed for a 4-inch x 6-inch photo


  1. Measure and cut out 54 strips of turquoise card stock that are 1 inch x 3 1/2 inches.
  2. Wrap each strip into a tight roll around the pencil. Seal each roll with a dab of glue.
  3. [photo example2 max-width=150 align=right]Cut out a paper frame that is 5 inches x 7 inches and has an opening that is 3 1/4 inches x 5 1/4 inches, the same size as the wooden frame’s opening, and glue it to the face of the wooden frame, smoothing the glue with a paintbrush before pressing the paper onto the frame.
  4. Mark the center of the top and the bottom of the frame. Align rolls to the right and to the left of each of the markings on the top and bottom of the frame, perpendicular to the frame’s edge. Place a bead of glue along each roll, making sure you glue the seams of the rolls to the frame and hide them from view. Set each roll into place on the frame. The rolls should all be vertical and will probably hang slightly over the edge of the frame.
  5. Glue the remaining rolls of paper to the sides of the frame in a horizontal position.

[photo book max-width=150 align=right]tips:
This project is for a 5-inch x 7-inch frame that accommodates a 4-inch x 6-inch photograph. However, you can apply the technique learned here to frames of other sizes. Arrange the rolls in different vertical and horizontal combinations until you find the pattern that works best for the dimensions of your frame. The paper rolls used in this project can also be used to decorate the surfaces of other items, such as the frame of a mirror or the outer part of a napkin ring.

Author of Home, Paper, Scissors: Decorative Paper Accessories for the Home (Potter Craft/Publishers), Patricia Zapata, a graphic designer, tells Grandparents.com that “the special relationship that exists between grandparents and their grandchildren can only benefit by the enjoyment that comes from making something together."

Reprinted with permission from Home, Paper, Scissors by Patricia Zapata. Copyright © 2009. Published by Potter Craft/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.



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