Apartment 48 Knock Off: Colored Pencil Picture Frame

6 Aug



I don’t know if these frames were meant to be for a kid’s room or for adult’s, but I love them. The mixing of colors is neat, and I like how they’ve framed semi-serious, adult photos with children’s art supplies. Now, for the larger 4″ x 6″ frame, Apartment 48 is asking $45 dollars. Seriously – for a frame made of colored pencils?

Now, the basic supplies are pretty easy, cheap, and readily available.


I had a cheap (and scratched up) Dollar Tree frame, and I bought two packs of the cheapest colored pencils I could find for $1.50 a piece. You’ll also need a hot glue gun and an exacto knife.


I lined up the pencils and figured that I would use five along the top and bottom that would go completely across the frame. The other pencils would be chopped into smaller pieces to be stacked to form the side of the frames.


I did some actual measuring and decided to cut the pencils down to six inches each for the bottom and top of the frame. For the sides, I would cut each piece to one and a half inches.


I figured that I would need to cut a couple of the pencils into four pieces to have enough to cover the frame, and the rest could just have two cuts.


I measured all of the pencils and made marks where the cuts would need to be. I made sure to mark the pencils on the side I intended to glue to the frame. These all had a gold imprinted logo on them, so the “glue” side was pretty obvious.

I had a decision here as to how I should cut the pencils. Now, if I was a power-tool capable person, I could probably just use some sort of saw. But, I’m not. I probably could have asked someone else to help, but DIY for me really does mean doing it yourself. So I tried a few options (scissors, box cutter, a small hand saw) none of which worked how I would have liked. However, the sharp exacto knife seemed like it would do the job.


I admit, I probably should have used a cutting mat or board – something that is made for this type of thing. But, I don’t have one of those, so I used last years Ikea catalog. It’s about a half an inch thick and would work well enough to protect the table underneath.


To cut through the pencil, I made a cut all around and then applied a little bit of pressure and snapped at the cut. If there were jagged pieces, I just trimmed (or really shaved, I guess) them off.


And, here’s what I ended up with. Well, this and a bunch of half inch long sharpened tops.


I laid them out to get an approximation of how they would look, and how many short pieces I’d need in between the groups of five long pencils.


I applied a nice layer of hot glue at the bottom of the frame and started attaching the pencils.


I forgot how scratched up this frame really was, good thing I was covering it entirely. After gluing the bottom of the frame, I worked my way up one side and then the other, gluing about four pencil pieces at a time, ending with the five pieces across the top.


And, it’s done! Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. Luckily, the original wasn’t completely even or straight either.


I’m really happy with how it turned out. It was actually a pretty quick project. The cutting of the pencils took the longest amount of time, but I imagine if you have access to a power saw, that part could be sped up. Actually assembling the frame couldn’t be simpler: glue and place. Glue and place.


I haven’t figured out what picture I’m going to use in it yet, so for right now, the perfect stock family will do. I love the colors. They’re so bright! I think it would work really well in a kids bedroom or an adult living space as a little bit of fun.

Apartment 48: Colored Pencil Picture Frame


–  4″ x 6″ frame (on hand, $1 )

– 2 packs of colored pencils ($1.50 each)

– hot glue gun (on hand)

– exacto knife (on hand)

Apartment 48 cost: $45

Total cost for me? $4




3 Responses to “Apartment 48 Knock Off: Colored Pencil Picture Frame”

  1. Michele Welch August 7, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    I like yours better because the colors match up on the sides! I”m going to have to try this, maybe for Christmas gifts…

    • knockoffcrafter August 7, 2013 at 11:00 am #

      Thank you! The little OCD part of my brain was going crazy looking at the original. It would have driven me nuts looking at it everyday and wanting to fix it.

  2. Amanda Spencer December 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    I’m so glad I found your instructions! I bought a little frame like this at Target recently and my in-laws liked it. I thought I’d put my son’s school picture in one and give it to them, but Target doesn’t have any more and, like you said, they’re expensive to buy on sites that do carry them. Problem solved!

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