$3 DIY Bow Picture Frame

Happy Monday friends!  Welcome to day 2 of our 12 Days of Christmas series.  To keep up with all of our Christmas projects and posts, be sure to FOLLOW us on Instagram!


I am so giddy with how this latest project turned out.  I LOVE gifting and receiving photos each year.  My fam loves receiving them, and they really do make the best gifts!  I always like to come up with a fun and cheap (of course 😉 ) way to display them, so I came up these cuties…

Bow Picture Frame DIY

DIY Burlap Bow Frame

DIY Burlap Bow Photo Frame

Aren’t they too cute??

My favorite part has to be the price!  I made each of these frames for under $3 in supplies.  CAN’T BEAT THAT!

This is a super simple project!  Let’s get started!  This supply list will make 6 frames.  You can buy more or less wood depending on how much you need.

Supply List

1 – 1 x 12 x 4

1 – 1 x 3 x 6

Burlap Ribbon


Metal Clips

Gorilla Wood Glue

Gorilla Super Glue Gel

Start by cutting your frames!

If you are making the smaller frames that hold a 5×7 photo, you will cut your 1 x 12 at 8″ and your 1 x 3 at 7″.

Wood cuts for small frame

If you are making the larger frames that hold an 8 x 10 photo, you will cut your 1 x 12 at 12″ and your 1 x 3 at 11″.

Wood cuts for large frame

Time to attach them!

I decided to use my Kreg Jig to attach my pieces.  You can totally use just glue and clamp, or you can also use wood glue and wood screws through your 1×3 piece.  If you choose to use wood screws, you will need to use 2.5″ wood screws and make sure to pre-drill to keep your wood from splitting.

I would totally recommend the Kreg Jig though.  This is a PERFECT starter project if yours is still sitting in the box.  It makes building these a total breeze.   I used 3/4″ pocket holes and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws on this project.  Start by making 2 pocket holes in your 1×3 piece like this…

Kreg Jig

I lined up the 1×3 piece at the base and drew a line to mark where I planned to attach it.

How to make a frame

Next I used a line of wood glue and attached the back piece using my Ryobi drill and pocket hole screws.  You can see where I lined up the 1×3 on the line I drew in my last step.  If you decide to use wood screws on this part, just pre-drill through the back of the 1×3 on this part, and used wood screws through those holes and into the back of the 1 x 12 piece.  But I promise… The Kreg Jig gets this part done much faster and easier!  You will thank me!

Pocket Holes for Photo Frame

After attaching my back piece, I drilled two holes in the top of each frame.  I made my holes about 1.5″ apart.  No science here.  Just eyeball it.  The bow will cover up these holes, so no need for perfection on this part.

How to make a bow frame

That’s it for the building part.  Before making the bows, I stained and painted my frames. For my larger frame I used Rust-Oleum Wood Stain in Carrington.  I love this color!  So pretty and rich.

Rustoleum Carrington Stain

For the smaller frame I used Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch spray paint in Canyon Black.

While those were drying, I started on my bows!

I like to call my bows ‘faux bows’!  They are super easy to make.  All you need is a hot glue gun.

I will show you how I made the smaller bow here.  Start by cutting two pieces of burlap ribbon.  I found mine at Hobby Lobby.  I like to use a wire edged ribbon because it helps keeps the bow’s pretty shape.  I started by cutting 2 pieces each at 16″.

How to make a bow 7

I folded one piece to the center just like this and used a few dabs of hot glue to hold it in place.

How to make a bow 6

How to make a bow 5

I pinched the center of this together and used a few drops of hot glue to hold it all in place.  Be careful on this part!  The glue gets hot and I have been known to fry a fingertip or 2.

How to make a bow 4

Next, I folded the other piece like this and used a dab of glue to hold it in place.

How to make a bow 3

Then, I glued the bow to the tails with a drop of hot glue.

How to make a bow 2

To make my center knot, I cut a small piece of ribbon and folded it two times.  Next, I made a knot like this…

Burlap Bow 1

I glued the knot to the top of the bow…

Burlap Bow 2

Now, I wrapped one end around to the back and glued it down.  Cut the extra ribbon off here.  I added a small piece of twine, and then attached the other end of the ribbon and glued it down as well.

Burlap Bow 3

Cut all the extras off and you are set!

Burlap Bow 4

If you are making a big bow, just skip the tail piece all together.

Chevron Burlap Bow Step 3

Also, instead of making a knot for the center, I just folded it two times and wrapped it around the center of my bow.  Easy peasy!

Chevron Burlap Bow Step 4

I found these super cute clips to hold my photos! You can also find them at Hobby Lobby.  Really any metal clip will do, but these are extra fun!  I used some Gorilla Glue Super Glue gel to hold the clip in place.

Gorilla Glue Gel Super Glue

My final step was attaching it to my frame.

Before attaching my bow, I sanded the corners and edges of my frames down to give them a fun, distressed look.  I used my Ryobi Corner Cat sander on this part.  I use this bad boy on just about every project I do.  LOVE it.

Ryobi Corner Cat Sander

I ran the twine through the holes of my frame and tied a knot on the back.  Done!

How to make wood frames

Here they are all finished up!

DIY Burlap Bow Frame

DIY Bow Frame

DIY Bow Picture Frame

Bow Picture Frame DIY

DIY Burlap Bow Photo Frame

DIY Bow Frame by Shanty2Chic

DIY Bow Photo Frame

Thanks so much for stopping by guys!  I hope you love them as much as I do!  And did I mention… $3 a piece?  Just checking. 😉

I would LOVE for you to share and PIN this with your peeps below!

And don’t forget to check out these great 12 Days of Christmas posts as well!


Simple Doily Ornaments


Inspired By Charm


Thistlewood Farm


Funky Junk



Here are a few projects that we have recently done to help you get your home holiday ready!

DIY-Rectangle-WreathDIY Rectangle Wreath

diy-bar-cartDIY Bar Cart

Free-Printable-Banner-500x750Free Printable Merry Christmas Banner

DIY-Wood-Christmas-Tree-Stands-500x723DIY Christmas Tree Stands

Thanks so much for stopping by!!!


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  • ali james

    Hi! Do you sell these at all? I’d make them myself but I don’t have the machine.

  • Dawn M

    Maybe I missed this…and I’m so embarrassed to ask…you are making the ones that fit a 5×7 the length of 8 inches, but what is the width? It looks like the bigger one for an 8×10 is a 12×12. Thank you!

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  • Carolina Denise

    Love this idea thank you!! I tweaked it by hot glueing the bow on and using the holes to string the metal clip. I liked the look so much I added two more holes underneath so instead of holding 1 vertical 5 x 7 photo, it holds 2 horizontal 4×6 photos! Giving these out for Christmas cant wait!

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  • Christie McMahon Malchow

    Thank you so much for your tutorials! I’ve done several of your projects & I’m thankful there are wonderful people like you willing to share your gift with others! I just made 6 of these in no time at all for my kids’ teacher gifts this year & love the way they turned out!

  • Heather Washington

    how wide is the burlap ribbon? 2 and a quarter inches or 4 inches?

  • Laurie

    I love these! However, can you please explain how you got the weathered-edge look as I do not see that in your directions?

    • Christie McMahon Malchow

      She sanded them with her corner sander.

  • Lauren

    What was the size of the width of the ribbon you bought at Hobby Lobby?

  • Stephanie

    How do you make your paint look distressed?

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  • JennyRoss

    Looks so amazing. Will surely share this idea with our readers at http://www.paintboxsoho.com

  • My fam loves receiving them, and they really do make the best gifts!

  • Katie Hadlow Zack

    Where did you find your clips?

    • tammy adair

      Yes!!! Where do you buy your clips???

  • Jennifer Robson

    What kind of wood do you use for all of your projects? Thanks!

  • Emma

    So simple but so cute!

  • Haley Forman

    Here is how mine turned out!

    • Brianna Ogura

      Beautiful! Where did you get your clips?

      • Haley Forman

        Hobby Lobby… in the scrapbooking section

        • Sandy Marcum Peters

          Do you remember what the clips are actually called. I went to Hobby Lobby and 5 other places and couldn’t find them

    • Nat

      They are adorable!! Love them! What did you use for stain or paint?

  • Haley Forman

    Thank you so much for the wonderful idea. I have already given two away and if I must say so myself… they turned out so cute!

  • Deanna Hoffman

    The hyperlink for the clips is not working. Where did you find them?

  • Michael Wurm, Jr

    Beyond adorable! Love this ladies!

    xo Michael

  • charity

    Great gift ideas! So, cute. Can you tell us where you found those adorable clips?

  • Kristi Fabian Jack

    Where did you get the chevron ribbon?

  • LinhC

    LOVE this! And thank you for sharing the how-to!

  • Beth Bryan

    I always have my eye on these cute frames at vendor shows, and I always think to myself that I could DIY them. Now I know how! These are so, so cute. Great job, ladies!

  • Msongbird

    What a sweet project! I love that everybody can make this and it is so easily adaptable to your own style.

  • Nana Dezotti

    Awesome ideas!!!!! Let`s do it!!!!

  • eesh

    I only just realized but do you add a top coat of poly after you stain your pieces? Or is it just stain then ‘shanty’ then done? How do you find your furniture holding up to this process? I would love to cut out a step if possible!

  • Funky Junk Interiors

    You just managed to make a sweet picture even sweeter! Love this!!