I love crafting with cardboard. It’s such a versatile medium and for many of us who order online, it’s free too. We save all our shipping boxes, no matter how big or small and over the years we’ve upcycled them to make Flintstone shelves and PoP trees. This time round, I’ll be using one of those boxes to make this hinged cardboard heart frame.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive frames. And this one is definitely easy on the pocket.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

All it cost me was a little time and a whole bunch of love. Oh and four clothespins to make the hinges.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

Not only are the frames budget and eco-friendly they make great gifts too.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

In this tutorial I’ll show you how easy it is to make clothespin hinges (aka pegs for those of us who speak the Queen’s English) and use them to join two DIY cardboard heart frames, But, before we get there, please do me a favor and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

For the heart frame:

  • Cardboard box
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Glue
  • Free cutting piece pattern

To make the hinges:

  • 4 wooden clothespin (pegs)
  • Straight tube spacer beads
  • Glue
  • Tape

What you need to make a cardboard heart frame with clothespin hinges

How you dress up your frame is entirely up to you. I gave mine a woody texture using homemade texture paste and craft paint.

How to Make a Cardboard Heart Frame

Each heart frame is made from three layers of cardboard salvaged from a storage boxes. Depending on how thick your cardboard is you may need more. I used the following pattern to make my hinged heart frame.

A free cut out pattern for the heart frames

The easiest way to cut the pieces is with a sharp craft knife. I find scissors squish the edges. It’s not a biggie, but if you want crisp edges, a craft knife is definitely the way to go.

The cut cardboard pieces for the heart frame

Sand the pieces after cutting to get rid of small rips and neaten them up.

Sand the edges of the cardboard

Glue two square pieces together to form a backing board. The heart cut-out goes over the top once we’ve added the hinges and dressed the cardboard up a little.

How to Make and Add Clothespin Hinges

I discovered this trick when I couldn’t find teeny tiny hinges for a fairy door. Pull a wooden clothespin apart. You only want to metal spring that joins the pins together.

Pull the wooden clothespin apart

Bend the two cross-over wires straight as shown below.

Bend the metal spring ends to straighten them out

You should end up with something like this.

Remove the metal spring from the clothespin

Slip a straight metal tube spacer into the coiled part of the modified clothespin spring. Pssst, did you know that you can use those tube spacers to make a tiny working wind chime for your fairies? They always come in so handy.

Clothespin hinge before adding to the frame

Test that the hinge moves freely before installing them.

Demonstrating how the clothespin hinges work

Installing the clothespin hinges

Lay the two glued cardboard squares side by side with a 6mm (1/6”) gap between the squares. Use a little masking tape to keep them in place. Mark about 3cm (1.2”) from the top and bottom of the squares.

Mark where the clothespin hinges will be installed on the cardboard frame

Place one of the clothespin hinges on the mark and glue down as shown below. I used instant glue.

Use tape to keep the frames in place while you glue the clothespin hinges in place

Repeat for the other hinge.

Glue the hinges to the cardboard base

The hinges will be hidden once we glue down the heart cut out.

A view of the clothespin hinges installed on the cardboard heart frame

Use a small pair of pliers to crimp the ends of the spacer. Squishing the ends prevents the tube from slipping out.

Crimp the metal noodle tube ends

Adding a Faux Wood Texture

I adapted our cardboard candleholder tutorial to create a faux wood texture on these hinged heart frames. If earthy, rustic tones don’t appeal to you, you can paint the frames or use molds and embellishments to dress them up. Adding a 3D stencil  would also look lovely.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

To add a faux wood effect I used some of our homemade texture paste. Store-bought texture paste will work too. Smear the texture paste on the edges of the cardboard to hide the wiggly, woggly inside cardboard bits.  Add a medium thickish layer of texture paste to the top of the frame (the side where you can’t see the glued-down hinges).

Smear the texture paste over the cardboard

While the texture paste is still wet, use the flat edge of a stirrer to drag the paste from top to bottom to create a weathered wood grain effect. Draw vertical “plank” lines with a toothpick. You can watch the quick video below to see how it’s done.

#DIYFauxWood: How to Use Texture Paste to Elevate Your Cardboard Crafts to the Next Level

Do the same on the top side of the heart cut-out. Leave the paste to dry.

Painting the heart frames

To paint the frame, I used black (a teeny, tiny bit), brown, and white craft paint.

The paint colors I used to give the frame a faux wood texture

Place the paint in a small dish and swirl the colors around. You don’t want to mix them completely.

Mix the paint colors in a bowl

Following the textured “grain” apply the paint. You can apply as many layers as you want to build up the effect.

Paint the faux wood textured cardboard

Don’t forget to paint the sides.

Paint the sides of the cardboard heart frame

Finish off by dry brushing a greyish white to give the frame a slightly weather appearance.

Finish off by dry brushing on a grey white to create that weathered wood effect

Once the paint dries, flip the heart cut outs over and tape your favorite photo to the back end.

Add the photos to the back of the heart frame

Glue the heart front to the cardboard frame back.

Cover the gap between the cardboard pieces with texture paste

If the gaps between the glued pieces bugs you, use a stirrer or toothpick to fill them with a little texture paste.

Fill the gap between the cardboard pieces with texture paste

And that’s it. The cardboard heart frames with clothespin hinges are ready.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

They make perfect eco-friendly gifts and, depending on how you dress them up, will fit right in with most decor styles.

A gorgeous dried protea with a frame in the background

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Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

Not bad for a morning’s worth of cutting, texturing, painting, and gluing.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

No-one would ever guess the heart frames started out as a storage box and a few clothespins.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

What do you think? How do you upcycle your cardboard boxes?

If you like the idea of making a cardboard heart frame or clothespin hinges, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

Sharing is caring.

Love making budget-friendly home décor crafts? Come see how we made this hinged cardboard heart frame using shipping boxes and clothespins. It’s the perfect handmade gift idea and an eco-friendly, inexpensive way to show some love. Get the full tutorial at A Crafty Mix.

Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

Sale Pemtow 4x4x2 Small Shipping Boxes Set of 20, Brown Corrugated Cardboard Literature Mailer Box for Packaging, Mailing, Business
Ranger Texture Paste, 3.9 fl oz
Sale Karlash Wood Jumbo Craft Sticks 6' Length (Pack of 100)
Billbotk Needle Nose Pliers For Jewelry Making, Long Nose Craft Pliers, Needlenose Pliers For Jewelry Making
100 Pieces 304 Stainless Steel Straight Tube Spacers Straight Spacer Beads Straight Tube Loose Beads Round Tube Spacer Beads for Craft DIY Jewelry Making, 1.5 x 20mm, Silver
Home Genie Large Wooden Clothespins, 2.9', Natural Birchwood Rust and Moisture Resistant Clothes Pegs, Durable Wood Clothing Pins, Strong Grip, Laundry Clothesline, Bag Clips, Crafts, Photos, 25 Pack

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

EXCELLO GLOBAL PRODUCTS Rustic Heart Shaped Photo Collage: Holds 3 Pictures, Folding Hinge, Shabby Chic, Distressed Wood, for Table Top or Wall Display. Holds Triple 5.25' x 5.25' Pictures
Paris Loft Wood Heart-Shaped Picture Frames|Cute Farmhouse Style Vintage Photo Frame with Wood Beads.
Sale 5x7 Triple Hinged Picture Frames Shadow Box MDF Wood Grain with Real Glass 3 Vertical Opening Family Lover Gift

And as always, I wish you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix