Monday, August 10, 2015

Car Model Photo Frame Tutorial

I made this photo frame for my nephew's 4th birthday last week. It was very easy to make and ended up being a total hit! All it takes is a few items that can be easily found at home, your local thrift store or by asking friends who might be done with model toy cars (my local Buy Nothing Group is amazing for that!).

What you'll need:
Photo frame - it's best if the frame is as flat as possible to ensure easy contact points
Model cars
Hot glue gun and extra sticks.
Metallic spray paint

1. Clean the photo frame of any dust or debris (like sticker residue). Remove the backing and glass from the picture frame. Do the same for the model cars. Make sure that everything is truly clean and dry before continuing.

2. Arrange your model cars along the picture frame so that you can get a good sense of how they are best arranged.
3. Turn on your hot glue gun and let it fully heat up.
4. Turn each car over and "lock up" the wheels with a couple dots of glue inside the wheel wells. You'll be using the tires as contact points for the frame and it'll add more stability if the wheels can't rotate. Allow them to set.
5. One car at a time, tack glue dots on each of the four wheels and gently press onto the picture frame where the car will set. Repeat for each of the cars until your frame is full!
6. Once the glue has completely set, gently test each car's connection by seeing it if will wiggle. If it does, tack on some extra glue at the contact points.
7. Clean up those hot glue strings! They will show up in the finished product!
8. In a well ventilated space, prepare your spray painting station. I went outside in our gravel driveway and used a piece of cardboard to angle the picture frame for best coverage without having to touch it.
9. Light coats work best. Give it a few minutes to dry between coats. I gave it a day to fully cure before I handled it to see which nooks and crannies I missed. Then spot spray as needed.
10. Add a fun photo and you're done!

This little boy was super excited and in love with his custom picture frame, filled with a photo of him and his cousins.


  1. This is so so neat!! I love how easy it is yet it looks so fantastic!! My son and I will have to make this after he gets his big boy car bed :)

  2. This is fantastic - thank you! My husband collects model cars, and we have a baby boy, so this would be a perfect gift!

  3. This is a really great idea for my son who loves cars!



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