DIY Clothespin Picture Frame

Creative DIY you can make to decorate your home using ordinary wood clothespins. Repurposing some you may have laying around your house into a DIY clothespin picture frame is a fun way to display a photo or small piece of artwork. Clothespin picture frames also make great gifts.

I enjoy finding ways to use what I have to make new decorative items for my house and as a way to change up my current home decor. To upcycling thrift store frames to making over lamps.

I also didn’t want to buy anything new for my house for the changing season as I have plenty of stuff. Finding new ways to display and use it is a challenge I enjoy.

So instead I went in search of what I already own in my decorating and crafting stash to see what new decor I come up with.

clothespin frame DIY painted blue

I found a few things, but after finding a bagful of spring-style wood clothespins that I never use, I decided to make a modern looking, yet rustic clothespin picture frame.

It was very easy and as I mentioned above, everything I needed to make it, I already had on hand.

Do you see the clothespins? There are 45 of them on the frame.

I removed the springs and then lined up and glued the halves of the clothespins in a repeating pattern on a board while leaving an empty spot for a picture.

Clothespin Picture Frame Size & Display Options

The nice thing about making this DIY clothespin picture frame is that you can customize it to fit a wall, a piece of art or your decorating style.

As well as overall choose a frame size, color, photo size and if you want to hang it on a wall or place on a table.

Close up oof diy clothespin picture frame

I used a piece of plywood cut to size to attach the clothespins to make my clothespin frame. Then I added an easel to the back to place on a tabletop,

Other Options to Consider:

  • Attach picture hanging hardware to the back to hang a clothespin picture frame on a wall.
  • Or as a third option – place on a mantel or shelf and simply lean the frame against a wall.

If You Don’t Have Plywood, You Can Use:

  • The back easel piece from an existing or old picture frame you may have if it is the size frame you want to make. Most of these used without the original frame are made of chipboard and are sturdy enough to attach clothespins.
  • Repurpose a tray or an old cabinet door as your base. Look around your house to see what you can find that is flat and large enough for what you want to frame.

How to Make a DIY Clothespin Picture Frame

Here are the easy step-by-step directions for making your own DIY clothespin picture frame.

DIY picture frame with clothespins leaning against a wall on a ledge.

You can make this clothespin picture frame any size you want.

To keep from having to cut the clothespins – lay them out first to see how many across and down will fit close to the size of finished frame you want. Then alter the size of your plywood or base to fit.

supplies needed:

My clothespin photo frame is 10-5/8″ high x 11-1/2″ wide with a center opening that is 3-3/4″ high x 5-1/8″.

For a more modern look, place the opening off-center to the upper right side.

Clothespins can be purchased at craft stores, hardware stores or the dollar store. I used 45 – 3″ sized ones, but the larger more common size clothespin is fine to use.

Frames with a separate easel back can be found at most thrift stores.

  • Wood spring-style clothespins
  • Plywood or heavy cardstock or chipboard cut to size
  • If using plywood – any size picture frame easel back
  • Optional – picture hanging hardware to hang on wall.
  • Paint – Mineral Paint from Fusion in the color Liberty Blue.
  • Paint brush
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Wood glue or white glue
  • Hydrangea photo – (free printable link)
DIY picture frame with clothespins leaning on a ledge.

Time needed: 3 hours

Step-by-Step DIY Clothespin Picture Frame Tutorial

  1. Figure Out Picture Frame Size


    Figure out clothespin layout. I placed the clothespins flat side down and all going one way on the first row.

    For the next row, I then placed them in the opposite direction. I repeated this pattern until I reached the top of my board.

    Note: You can arrange the clothespins in any pattern you like to create a different look.

    figuring out size of frame for a DIY clothespin picture frame

  2. Cut Plywood or Backing


    If using plywood or chipboard as a backing, use a saw to cut to the size needed.

    If you have an easel that is attached to a chipboard back from an existing picture frame you are no longer using – you can use this as your base instead of plywood.

  3. Choose an Easel


    My easel from an old frame was too small to use as a base for the clothespins, so I attached it to the plywood cut to the size picture frame I wanted.

    pressed wood picture frame easel

  4. Glue Clothespins to Plywood


    Take clothespins apart – the spring is not needed.

    Gluing wood clothespins on plywood to make a frame.

  5. Paint Clothespins


    Paint the clothespins as well as the open section for photo and sides of the plywood. Once paint is dry, paint the back of the frame.

    Paint the easel. Let dry.

    clothespin frame being painted blue

  6. Sand Surface

    Once paint is dry, for a distressed look, rub 100 grit sandpaper over the surface to remove some of the paint.

    Make sure to rub over the side edges of the frame also.

    sanding painted clothespin picture frame

  7. Attach Easel to Back of Your Frame


    Use wood glue or white glue to attach easel to the back of the plywood. Hot glue will be too thick. Let dry.

    Make sure you center the easel and place it so it leans back just a little.

    The easel I used was smaller than the plywood, so I had to place it on the lower back of the frame.

    If I placed it in the center – it would have made the frame lean back too much.

    Back of diy clothespin picture frame painted using Liberty Blue from Fusion Mineral Paint

  8. Place Photo in Center


    Using glue dots or rolls of tape on the back of your photo, attach to the opening in the frame.

    If not using an easel – place on a shelf and lean against a wall or attach picture hanging hardware to the back and hang on a wall.

    DIY picture frame with clothespins leaning against a wall on a ledge.

Images to Consider Using In a Clothespin Frame

Photos of family, friends or from a vacation are always great to use in a picture frame, but also consider using Instagram pictures, the front of a greeting card or a postcard as your artwork.

If you like the photo of the hydrangeas I used. <— Use the link to get the free printable I made. Print it out on cardstock or photo paper.

blue painted clothespins made into a photo frame.

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15 Comments

  1. I really love different things and this fits the profile well. It is beautiful!

  2. Donna via Funky Junk Interiors says:

    Goodness, this turned out so cool! That texture is amazing! And the customized options endless. Brilliant idea, Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Donna – Thank you and thanks for featuring the clothespin frame I made. Initially I was going to paint it white, but the dark blue made the texture pop. Now I want to make a much larger one. Gotta start collecting clothespins for that.

  3. Jennifer Howard says:

    This is such a clever idea!! You have such a great blog!

  4. Linda Weeks says:

    Very clever and crafty! And who needs clothes pins any more… well, I guess I do have some limited uses for them…good thinking!

  5. Linda Kilsdonk says:

    I love this! So creative and the result is stunning! Smiles, Linda at Paper Seedlings

  6. Mick The Trash Talking Diva says:

    I LIKE the frame. There are some very fun projects to be done using clothespins. I’m working on a wreath using a wire wreath frame. At the end, I’ll polka dots, which I am loving. I’ve seen people using the removed wire to make necklaces-very clever. I bought my clothespins (36 in a pack) at the $1 store, now $1.25. Still very worth the fun.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mick – Cool idea to use the metal springs to make jewelry. I saved the ones from the clothespins I used on the frame. Maybe I will try creating something with them. Your wreath sounds very creative. Gotta love the dollar store for the deals – even if they are now $1.25. Happy crafting. :-)

  7. lorraine Ortiz says:

    Wow. You’re a freakin’ ninja crafter!
    Just had to be said. 👌

  8. Valarie Sanford says:

    Brilliant Diane, and I also see a hot plate! Val

  9. What a clever and thrifty project. This project would also be a great one to do over a wide range of age groups. Will look good in your bedroom.

  10. Very nice! I like the color and texture and the project seems very do-able!

  11. Super creative idea and I love the look!! So versatile, could go with lots of styles of peoples homes💙. Thank you for the inspiration!

  12. It looks so nice and very budget friendly! So creative.

  13. How Crafty and Beautiful! I love it when people can see the potential in simple inexpensive things. 💕