DIY Photo Box

DIY Photo Box

Add new dimension to a display wall with this DIY photo box project.

5 col

Design a photo box display to showcase your favorite photos.

1⁄4” sheet of plywood (larger than your final picture)
Circular saw
Personal photograph printed with an adhesive backing
1” x 3” x 8’ pinewood
Wood glue
(12) 1⁄2” nails
Utility knife
(1) 1 1⁄2” nail



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  1. Decide how large the photo box will be. (In our case, the photo box was 14” tall and 20” wide.) Cut 1 sheet of 1⁄4” plywood to the photo box measurements using a circular saw.
  2. Take a favorite digital family photograph to a print or copy center to be enlarged and printed on an adhesive label. The photo must be printed 1” longer and 1” wider than the size of the box. (In our case, the photo was printed 15” tall and 21” wide.)
  3. Cut 2 pieces of 1” x 3” x 8’ pinewood to 14” lengths with a circular saw. These pieces will be the two sides of the photo box.
  4. Cut 2 pieces of 1” x 3” x 8’ pinewood to 20” lengths with a circular saw. These pieces will be the top and bottom of the photo box.
  5. Line up the sides, top and bottom to form a rectangle. Apply wood glue to the adjoining edges of the rectangle, and press them together. Carefully drive 1⁄2” nails into each joint — 3 nails every half-inch — to secure the frame of the box.
  6. Lay the 1⁄4” plywood sheet (from step 3) on top of the box. Place a bead of wood glue along the edges where the 1⁄4” sheet rests on the frame. Carefully drive 1⁄2” nails — spaced 2 inches apart — into the front sheet to secure it to the frame.
  7. Peel the backing off of the photo and smooth it over the 1⁄4” plywood sheet, letting the photo overhang a half-inch on all sides.

Tip: Start in one corner, peeling a bit of the backing back as you go. Let the image overhang a half-inch as you gently roll the photo down on to the box. Use your hand (or a clean straight edge) to smooth out any bubbles. 

  1. Turn the box upside down, placing the photo-side down on a soft surface. Trim off the excess photo along the edge of the box with a utility knife.
  2. Decide where to hang the photo box on the wall. Drive a 1 1⁄2” nail into the wall with a hammer. Hang the photo box so the top piece of the frame rests on the nail.

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