This handmade gift idea has kids making their own hanging kids artwork frame with cardboard, paint sticks, wire, and beads.
Updated April 2022
We like to encourage our kids to make handmade gifts for family and friends. Sometimes it’s home baked treats, sometimes it’s art, sometimes it’s playdough snowmen, sometimes it’s a gift we craft together.
We especially love these recycled cardboard kids’ artwork frames with vibrant colors and beaded handles.
If you’re looking for a handmade gift idea, this is a sweet one for the kids to make for family, teachers, and friends. These frames also make a great addition to a home art gallery!
How to Make a Kids’ Artwork Frame
A big thank you to Kwik Stix for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
- Utility knife, such as an X-Acto
- Kwik Stix paint sticks*
- Markers or pencils
- Flexible wire (we used 18 gauge)
- Hot glue gun
*Kwik Stix are a low-mess alternative to paint. They are basically tempera paint in a solid stick form. The color glides onto the paper very smoothly, a bit like oil pastels, but the paint quickly dries to a hard, smudge-free paint surface. And the colors are wonderful and vibrant!
- Cut the cardboard
Note: This part of the process is an adult’s job.
First, use a utility knife to cut two pieces of cardboard into matching rectangles or squares. Any size is fine. We made ours roughly the size of a sheet of paper. One will be the back of the frame and one will be the front.
Then, cut out the center of the top piece of cardboard. We traced a ruler onto the cardboard for an even frame of about 1 1/4 inches wide.
Slip a piece of art paper between the two pieces of cardboard and trim it to fit.
- Get your materials prepped
Set up your art-making station with the frames, paper, drawing tools, and paint sticks.
Note, you could skip the paper and draw with the paint sticks directly on cardboard. Kwik Stix show up great on cardboard!
- Draw and paint your picture
You can make your picture anything you want! You can use the paint sticks to add color.
And you can use permanent markers on top of the paint sticks as well as under!
The paint from the paint sticks dries quickly but if you want to try blending and color mixing, you can do so in the first minute to 90 seconds.
- Decorate your frame
Once you’ve finished your artwork, it’s time to decorate your frame! We liked adding a pattern of colors around the edge.
- Make your beaded handle
To create the hanging and carrying handle on your framed artwork, punch two holes at the top of the cardboard back. Slip a length of flexible wire through one, wrapping the end around itself to secure it.
String beads along the wire, leaving enough room at the end to wrap it through the second hole.
- Put your frame together!
Now it’s time to glue the three layers together—the cardboard backing (with the beaded handle), the paper artwork, and the decorated cardboard frame front.
We used a hot glue gun, but you could easily use most other glues if you’re more patient about drying time.
Finally, admire your new DIY cardboard frame and artwork. These are so perfect to give as a gift! Or as a sweet way to display your kids’ artwork.
More Ways to Display Kids’ Artwork
- 21 Kids Art Display Ideas for Your Home
- 6 Easy Ways to Display Kids Artwork
- 4 Steps to Organize Kids Art
- 6 Kids Artwork Storage Ideas
- 13 Ways to Reuse Children’s Art
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Thanks again to Kwik Stix for sponsoring this post; all opinions expressed are my own.