3 DIY Money Photo Frame Ideas + Tutorials

Written by: Lara
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3 Easy DIY money gifts

In the past, cash gifts have often been classified as boring and improper gifts. Total BS if you ask me! Money is actually a very useful gift and fun gift. Especially if you’re making a DIY money photo frame from today’s tutorial. Not only does this gift show how much effort you put into it. But the receiver can also use the money for something they truly want and need. Instead of tossing your very thoughtful, but rather useless gift somewhere in a corner.

In today’s DIY post, I will share three of my favorite DIY money photo frame ideas. I will take you through making these step-by-step, so you can easily make them at home!

And don’t worry if you’re not very crafty or creative. Neither am I! My DIY tutorials are really easy and can work for everyone!

Save these money photo frame ideas

Do you like unique money gifts? Then save this post on Pinterest so you can give a cute photo frame again next time!

3 Easy DIY money gifts

What are we making today?

If you haven’t seen the photo yet, here are the three DIY money photo frames we’ll be making today.

3 Easy DIY money gifts

Frame 1. The plain and easy photo frame

This is definitely the easiest and fastest to make. It requires almost no crafty skills and no additional material.

Estimated time: 10-25 minutes

Frame 2. The money rolls photo frame

Number 2 is still super easy, requires no extra material, and only takes a bit longer than the first one.

Estimated time: 20-40 minutes

Frame 3. The money flower photo frame

This one takes the most time, but it’s still absolutely doable if you’re not too much of a craftsperson (like me).

Estimated time: 35-50

How to make DIY money photo frame 1

DIY Money Photo Frame
Frame 1

Frame 1: Quick instructions

  1. Get the right materials
  2. Get the right size cardboard
  3. Glue paper onto the cardboard
  4. Stick the bills to the cardboard
  5. Add the photo
  6. Make a frame holder
  7. Wrap it up
Easy DIY money photo frame instructions
Instructions for frame 1

Frame 1: Step 1. The materials

The materials you need for the plain and easy photo frame are pretty much available anywhere.

  • Photo (of you and the recipient together or maybe the thing they are saving money for)
  • Cardboard
  • (Colorful) paper
  • Bills (minimum 8)
  • Scissors
  • (double-sided)Adhesive tape
  • Glue
Cardboard with paper, money, scissors, and sticky tape
Materials for frame 1

Frame 1: Step 2. Get your cardboard

The cardboard will be the base of your photo frame. This is why you want to use sturdy cardboard and not just a piece of paper. It’s possible with paper, but it just won’t stand up straight.

Now, when it comes to the size of the cardboard, that depends on the size of the photo you will put in this money frame.

The cardboard should be the size of your photo + 2 times the width of the bills. On both the width and length of the cardboard! So:

Length cardboard = length photo + 2x width bill
Width cardboard = width photo + 2x width bill

The width of the bill depends on the currency you’re using.

  • For dollars, 2.61″, so times 2= 5.21 ” (13.25 cm)
  • For 5 euro that’s 2.4″, so times 2 = 4.8 ” (12.2 cm)
  • For other euros bills that’s 3.2″, so times 2 = 6.4 ” (16.25 cm)

Add this to the length and width of your photo and you have the right size cardboard.

Example

If you’re using a standard 4 by 6 photo and dollar bills, your cardboard needs to be 4 + 5.21 by 6 + 5.21, which is 9.21 by 11.21 inches.

Instructions for size cardboard
Minimum size of your cardboard

Frame 1: Step 3. Glue paper onto the cardboard

There are two reasons why we’re using paper.

  1. Cardboard is just not very pretty (although for money photo frame 1, this doesn’t matter as much because you won’t see it)
  2. Adhesive tape doesn’t stick well to cardboard

The paper needs to be slightly larger than your cardboard so that you can fold it over the edges. I would say about 4-8 inches longer than your cardboard.

If we stick with the 4 by 6 photo and dollar bills, the size of your paper would be between 13.21 by 15.21 “and 17.21 x 19.21 “.

Once you’ve glued it onto the cardboard and it has dried, you can go to the next step.

Cardboard with paper and glue
Glue your paper onto the cardboard

Frame 1: Step 4. Stick the bills onto the paper

This is where the fun part begins! Now you can finally decorate your photo frame.

Depending on how much you want your bills to overlap or how large your photo is, you will need at least 8 bills.

Start in one corner and stick the bills onto the paper. Then add the next one on top. Use adhesive tape to stick to the paper and the bills that are already on the paper. I think it looks nicest if you make sure they all have the same orientation

Keep doing this until you’ve filled the entire frame.

Piece of paper with money
Go around the photo

Frame 1: Step 5. Add the photo

Now use adhesive tape to stick your photo in the middle. (Actually, I already did it in the previous step, but both work fine).

If you don’t have double-sided adhesive tape, you can simply make a loop with regular tape, to make it double-sided.

You could also glue it to the middle, but if the receiver wants to keep the photo, this will make it harder for them to get it off the frame.

DIY money photo frame
Add the photo to the middle

Frame 1: Step 6. Make a holder

Now that our photo frame is done, we want it to keep standing, right?

For that, you can make an easy carton holder.

This is what you need

  • Cardboard (half the height of the photo frame and 3/4 of the width)
  • Pen
  • Scissors

How to make it

  1. Fold it in half (on the long side)
  2. Draw something like the below shape on one-half
  3. Cut along the shape (while it’s still folded)

Don’t worry too much about the shape though, it’s only the holder and it will work even if the shape isn’t perfect.

Card holder
This is the shape you want

Frame 1: Step 7. Wrap it up

People love nicely wrapped gifts, so get some cellophane wrap or some colorful wrap and make it a nice surprise as they open the gift!

How to make DIY money photo frame 2

DIY Money Photo Frame
Frame 2

Frame 2: Quick instructions

  1. Gather the right materials
  2. Get the right size cardboard
  3. Glue paper onto the cardboard
  4. Add the photo
  5. Roll the bills
  6. Stick the bills to the cardboard
  7. Make a holder and wrap it up
Easy DIY money photo frame instructions
Instructions for frame 2

Frame 2: Step 1. The materials

The materials you need for the money rolls photo frame are pretty much available anywhere.

  • Photo
  • Cardboard
  • (Colorful) paper
  • Bills (minimum 16)
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided adhesive tape (if you don’t have it, regular tape works too, it’s just not as easy)
  • Regular adhesive tape
  • Glue
Crafts with money, scissors, paper, and sticky tape
Materials for frame 2

Frame 2: Step 2. Get the cardboard

The size of the cardboard for frame 2 depends on two things:

  • The currency you’re using
  • The photo you’re using

Basically, the smallest side of your cardboard needs to be at least twice the size of the width of your bill. Because you will put two money rolls next to each other and each roll is as long as the bill is wide. (Does that make sense?).

And then on the long side, you want to fit at least two money rolls as well, without too much space between them.

In the example, I used Turkish Lira bills. And because these bills are slightly wider than dollars I could use a 4 by 6 photo, a 5.6 by 7.6 inches cardboard, and only 16 bills, without having open space

Sizes I used

If you’re using dollars, however, you will end up with about 0.8 inches of nothing on the long side, because the money rolls will be slightly shorter. If you don’t mind that, then go ahead and get a 5.6 by 7.6 inches cardboard and a 4 by 6 photo.

If you don’t like that, here is my advice for different currencies. Just get a slightly larger image and use 3 bills at the bottom instead of 2. Specifically, that would be:

  • For Dollars
    • 6 by 8 photo
    • 7.9″ by 9.9″ cardboard
    • 24 bills
  • For 5 euro bills
    • 6 by 6 photo
    • 7.3″ by 7.3″ by cardboard
    • 24 bills
  • For other euro bills
    • 6 by 8 photo
    • 7.3″ by 9.2″ cardboard
    • 24 bills
Instructions for size
Advise for using dollars

You can also use other sized photos but just remember to calculate whether they will fit with the width of your bills.

Frame 2: Step 3. Glue paper onto the cardboard

You will need a colorful piece of paper that is about 4-8 inches longer than your cardboard (in both width and length).

Next, glue it onto the cardboard. This will make it look nicer and adhesive tape works better on paper.

Cardboard with paper and glue
Glue the paper onto the cardboard

Frame 2: Step 4. Add the photo

Next, add the photo in the middle of your frame. you could either use double-sided adhesive tape or just make a loop out of regular adhesive tape.

Paper with photo of flowers
Stick the photo in the middle

Frame 2: Step 5. Roll your bills

Now it’s time to roll the money. Simply roll them up and put adhesive tape on the end to make them stay. Test the first two to see if they fit next to each other on your frame. Maybe you need to make them slightly thicker or thinner.

One important tip!

Pay attention to the side of the bill you’re using. It will look best if they’re all the same or if it’s fifty-fifty.

Money rolls
Rolled up money

Frame 2: Step 6. Stick the bills onto the cardboard

Your photo frame is almost finished. All you need to do is stick the money rolls onto the paper.

The double-sided adhesive tape would be easiest here because you can simply make a straight line on your paper and add the rolls to it. That way, you’re sure they are lined.

But don’t worry, if you don’t have double-sided tape. Simply make loops again (about 5 for each side of the photo frame, so 20 in total ;). Put them on the paper as in the photo below.

Sticky tape
Put the tape on like this

Now put the rolls on there and make sure they look the same. Don’t worry about the sticky tape sticking out, we’ll work on that.

Simply use a pair of scissors to push the part that sticks out back under the money roll and push the roll down so the sticky tape, sticks to itself.

Repeat this for all sides.

Money rolls and scissors
Use scissors to finish

Frame 2: Step 7. Make a holder and wrap it up

Once you’ve added all your money rolls, it’s time to make the holder so your frame stands straight. Head over to section “Frame 1: Step 6. Make a holder”.

And then there’s only one thing left to do! Wrap it up and give your amazing photo frame!

Card holder
Make a cardholder like this

How to make DIY money photo frame 3

Photo frame with money flowers
Frame 3

Frame 3: Quick instructions

  1. Gather all materials
  2. Get the right size cardboard
  3. Glue paper onto the cardboard
  4. Add the photo
  5. Fold the flowers
  6. Stick the bills to the cardboard
  7. Make a holder and wrap it up
Easy DIY money photo frame instructions
Instructions for frame 3

Frame 3: Step 1. The materials

  • Photo
  • Cardboard
  • Colorful paper
  • Bills (minimum 10)
  • Small colorful strips (same amount as bills)
  • Thread or small rubber bands
    • If you don’t have it, you could also use adhesive tape
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided adhesive tape or duct tape
    • If you don’t have it, regular tape works too, it’s just not as easy
  • Adhesive tape
  • Glue
Crafts
Materials needed for frame 3

Frame 3: Step 2. Get the cardboard

The size of the cardboard is the same as for frame 1. It should be the size of your photo + twice the width of the bills (on both the width and length of the cardboard).

That means you should take the size of your photo and add the below measurements to its width and length to get the right size of cardboard.

  • For dollars, that’s 2 x 2.61= 5.21 inches (13.25 cm)
  • For 5 euro that’s 2 x 2.4 = 4.8 inches (12.2 cm)
  • For other euros that’s 2 x 3.2 = 6.4 inches (16.25 cm)
Instructions for size cardboard
Size of your cardboard

Frame 3: Step 3. Glue paper onto the cardboard

This step is the same for all frames, except for frame 3 it’s important to pick a pretty color because we will actually see some of the paper with this frame.

So get a beautiful colored paper that is about 4-8 inches wider and longer than your cardboard and glue it onto it.

Cardboard with paper and glue
Glue the paper onto the cardboard

Frame 3: Step 4. Place your photo in the middle

Now add the beautiful photo you picked onto the middle of the cardboard.

Paper with photo of flowers
Place the photo in the middle

Frame 3: Step 5. Fold the flowers.

Now we’re going to make a money lei, which is super easy if you just follow the video below.

But before you check it out, I have a small piece of advice. There are three ways in which you can keep the middle part together (thread, rubber bands, adhesive tape), and which one is the best depends on how you’re going to stick the flowers to your cardboard.

Money ribbon
Here I used a thread to keep the middle together

If you have double-sided adhesive tape or duct tape, it doesn’t really matter, you can use all three. Though I think the rubber bands make the prettiest flowers, and that’s also what they use in the tutorial.

If you don’t have it, I would use adhesive tape. There will be a larger spot in the middle and you will need that in the next step.

Cool addition

You may have noticed that the flowers in my photo have a cute red middle. I actually added that out of necessity, because my flowers wouldn’t stick to my cardboard.

But now I quite like the addition. So if you want to have it too. Simply cut small pieces of red strips (the width should be about the same as the opening in the middle of your flower. And then put the strip through the middle before you go to the next step.

For people without adhesive tape or duct tape, these red stripes are not optional, but essential. You will need them to make your flowers stick!

Money flower with red paper
Red addition

Frame 3: Step 6. Stick the flowers onto the cardboard

Let’s begin with the easiest way. For those of you who have duct tape or adhesive tape. Simply add it to the bottom of your flower and stick it onto the cardboard. With duct tape, you first need to make a loop to make it adhesive on both sides.

If you don’t have it., you can use the small stripes of red paper I talked about. Put them through the middle, and fold them on the other sides.

Money flower with folding instructions
Fold the ends

Next, you will put regular adhesive tape on the folded ends of the strip and stick it onto your cardboard.

Repeat this for all flowers.

The only downside is that it’s slightly harder to place the flower exactly, but I thought it worked well enough.

Money flowers

Frame 3: Step 7. Make a holder and wrap it up

Alright, this part is the same as before. Make a holder as I explained here, to make sure your photo frame will stand straight. And then you wrap it up and enjoy giving your beautiful photo frame!

Card holder
Make a holder

More money gift ideas

Are you in the mood for more creative money ideas?

Check out these posts too!

Save these money gift photo frame ideas

Did you save these DIY money photo frame ideas to Pinterest yet?

Easy DIY money gifts: money photo frame

AUTHOR

Hi, I’m Lara, a 30-year-old travel-lover (but who’s not these days?). I love reading, puzzling, world-heritage sites, researching, and making lists, which comes in quite handy when you’re making lists of travel gift ideas!