Craft Decoration Recycled products

How to Make an Embossed Photo Frame

I thought it would be nice to make a special photo frame that, if you like, can also be a kind of shrine to remember those special friends. This would also be a nice gift for someone who’s dealing with the loss of a pet.
I’m using embossed metal to make these frames especially shrinelike, and, to keep them inexpensive to make, I’m using metal from an unusual source: grocery-store foil baking pans. Look for these pans in the aisle with the baking supplies. They come in all kinds of sizes.

What you’ll need:

  • Foil baking pan (I used a 7-inch square cake pan)
  • Strong scissors
  • Bone folder
  • Low-tack painter’s tape
  • Downloadable template (see link below)
  • Utility knife
  • Metal ruler
  • Sheet of craft foam
  • Pencil (not too sharp)
  • Embossing stylus (see notes below)
  • Fine point Sharpie
  • E6000
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
  • Assorted color Sharpie markers
  • Clear sealer (optional)
    A few safety notes before we begin: When you work with any kind of metal or foil, please be very careful of the edges they can be sharp enough to cut you. I recommend wearing some kind of eye protection when you cut metal, too. Protect your work surface with some paper, as we’ll be using Sharpie markers, which can leave permanent marks.


Cut into the corners of the pan, then cut away the sides.


Use a flat-edged tool, like a bone folder, to press out any ridges in the foil.

Tape a template to the foil and trace with a fine-point Sharpie.

Cut along the traced lines.

Cut out the center of the frame with a utility knife.

Remove traced lines with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Place the metal cutout on a sheet of craft foam for embossing.

If you like, you can trace a motif from a book to form the basis of your embossing.

Add lots of embossed details.

You can emboss details into the back of the foil as well as the front.

This detail shows embossing on both front and back, creating raised areas and sunken areas.

The photo and frame will cover much of the center.

If the foil becomes bent during embossing, place it under a heavy book.

Add color with Sharpie markers.


Glue the photo to the frame.

Glue the two embossed metal pieces together.

1Use a metal ruler to bend the sides of the frame.

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