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Photo Frame Recipe Holder

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How to Make a Pedestal Photo Frame with two panes of glass to create a see through center for your photo or image. 

I am sharing a fun creative project. It is a knock-off DIY Photo Frame Recipe Holder that I made as a gift to give my younger sister, Laura.  It could also be used for your favorite photo if you don’t have a fave recipe.


Earlier this summer, Laura gave me this Heirloom Recipe Holder for my birthday. She bought it at her local Hallmark. Since I have a twin sister, Laura needed to buy two and called around to every Hallmark store in the Philadelphia area until she found another one so she could give us both the same thing.

If you ever need to know what it is like to have identical twins as sisters – Laura is your girl for answers.  :-)


Both my twin sister, Carol and I LOVED it, but what we loved even more than the recipe holder itself, was that Laura had the favorite family recipe in my Mother’s handwriting copied and placed in the decorative holder.

My mom passed away 4 years ago, so seeing this cherished recipe in her handwriting made the gift all the more special.

Here is the one I made

I know it is still months away, but if you like to make holiday gifts to give your family and friends..this is perfect. You can make one for yourself and make a few to give as gifts this holiday season. It is never too early to get started on your holiday gift giving list.


When I asked Laura if she got one for herself, she said she wanted one, but there were no more to be found.  I decided she needed one too and called all around, went online, and found that the holder was a limited edition Mother’s Day gift sold by Hallmark that they do not carry anymore.

After looking at the holder in more detail, I knew I could make one for her using ready made wood parts sold at the craft store.  Above is the front of my version. It shows the ingredient list.


Here is what it looks like from the back.  It has the steps needed to make the recipe.

I made this post photo-heavy so you can see each step up close.  It may seem like a lot, but since all the pieces used to make it are pre-made – there is not much more to do than cut, glue, and paint.

How to Make a Pedestal Photo Frame Recipe Holder

I found all of the supplies at AC Moore in the wood crafting aisle.  Cost: Under $20.00. I used my coupons. Once you make one, you will be able to make a few for your friends in production line style very easily.


supplies needed: 

  • 2 – Nicole Brand 5″ x 7″ wood frames with glass
  • 1 Wood Candle Holder  – 4″ high
  • 1 Acorn Dowel Cap 3/8″
  • 1 Walnut Hollow Wood Circle Item # 29057
  • 3 Balsa wood sticks – 3/16″ x 3″/16″square x 24″ long
  • 1 Balsa wood sheet – 3/16″thick x 1″ wide x 24″ long (you may be able to find a shorter piece, but that is how the sheets were sold.
  • 1 – 4″ diameter piece of felt
  • JB Weld Clear Weld Quick Setting Epoxy
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • 1 – 2″ long finishing nail
  • Hammer
  • Spackle
  • 160 grit sandpaper
  • Chalk paint, 1 ” wide paint brush, and clear wax
  • Tack cloth
  • Scissors

1. Remove the easels from the back of the frames. Carefully remove the glass from the frames and set aside.  Using a screwdriver, remove the easel holders and screws.


2. Lay one balsa wood square stick along bottom of frame and mark length with a pencil. Repeat for sides of frame so you have 3 cut sticks.

You do not need one for the top since this is where the glass will go in and out when you want to change what is in the frame once it is assembled.


3. Cut the sticks with a miter box and saw or if you don’t have one, the sticks are very soft and can be cut with a craft knife or even wire cutters. Sand the cut edges to smooth.


4. You will need to cut more strips for each frame where the glass once sat. Cut 4 for each frame.


This is view of the cut sticks and where to place them. Cut the wide piece of balsa wood for the top last, so you can cut it to fit inside the frames once they are glued together.

It is a removable piece and does not get glued to the frames.


5. You only need to cut one set of sticks for the outer edge on the back of one frame. (Arrows: 1, 2, 3 ) You will need 4 sticks for the inside of both frames so that the back of the frames are level.  2 x 4=8 sticks.

Tutorial on photo frame making

6. Now you need to cut one last stick to place slightly overlapping the bottom inside frame. This is needed to stop the glass.  

Note: I used 2 scrap pieces, but you can use one long piece as a stopping place for the glass.


7. Place the wood circle on a piece of felt and trace around it. Cut out and set aside.


8. With a pair of pliers, screwdriver, or tiny crow bar type tool,  turn the metal insert in the candle cup to the inside of the cup.

I could not remove it, so I just pushed it inside.


9. Fill the cup with hot glue. You want to create a level surface on the top of the candle holder. Let dry.

Use quick setting wood epoxy to attach the candle holder to the wood circle; let dry.

If needed, use Q-Tips to clean up glue around the edge of the candle holder base.


10. Drill a hole in the wood acorn.


11. Using a 1 -1/2″ finishing nail, hammer the acorn into the center top edge of the wide piece of balsa wood.

Use a nail punch to drive the nail head beneath the top of the acorn.

Fill nail hole and the hole on the underside of the acorn with Spackle, wood filler, or paintable caulk.


12. The wide balsa wood piece cut for the top also needs to be cut lengthwise to fit into the sandwiched frames so that is is even with the top of the frames once it is placed inside.

It is really soft wood and can be easily cut with a craft knife.  Cut 1/4″ off the length.

I penciled a line and used a ruler to run my craft knife along to make a straight cut.


13. Sand the sides of the wood with 100 grit sandpaper to thin it out so it will fit into the holder once it is assembled.

It only takes a few minutes since the wood is so soft. Round the top edges slightly so that taking the piece in and out of the holder when needed is easy.


Sand all the pieces with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth. Use a tack cloth to clean away the grit before painting.

Now you are ready to assemble the pieces. The long piece of balsa wood with the acorn is a removable piece of the completed holder and will not be glued to the frames.


14. Line up the two frames on a flat surface and glue them together with quick drying epoxy. Let dry.


15. Once glue on frames is dry, use the epoxy to attach them to the top of the candle holder.

Make sure the opening of the frame is at the top.  Use a lot of glue and hold frames in place for a minute or two.

Wipe away excess glue. Let dry on a level surface.


16. Use Spackle, wood filler, or paintable caulk to fill in any holes or mismatched edges. Let dry and sand smooth.

Prime or use chalk paint to paint the holder, let dry. Add a second coat, let dry.

Note: See the opening at the top of the sandwiched frames – this is where the glass and the acorn topper piece will go in.


17. If you want to distress the holder, use 160 grit sandpaper along a few edges.

If you want to darken the distressing, wipe antiquing glaze over the distressed edges and then…


… quickly wipe it away with a damp paper towel.

18. Attach cut circle of felt to the bottom with an even coat of glue.

To Insert Glass into Assembled Photo Frame Recipe Holder:


Cut out recipe front and back to size.


Use a roll of tape in between the papers to hold them together.  Hold the two pieces of glass together and place in top of holder.

Place the acorn topper in the top of the holder to close the center section.


When you want to change the recipe or photo, simply remove the acorn topper piece and then hold one side of the glass with your thumb and the other side with your index finger.

Push up to remove.


I hope my sister loves it.  XO

Recipe-Holder Photo Frame step by step photo tutorial

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  1. Your version actually looks better than the original – more quality detail. Great job. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  2. Diane, is there anything you can’t replicate? This is amazing and I plan to make several of these frames for my sibs at Christmas time (even though we don’t exchange presents anymore). I have all of my late mom’s recipes in her own handwriting too so this is a wonderful way to share them with my family. Just making a copy of one of her recipes has never seemed like enough. Thank you for this idea and tutorial.