Easy DIY Photo Frame Refrigerator Magnets

I don’t keep much on my refrigerator because I don’t like clutter. The one exception has been four photo frame refrigerator magnets I got at the Target Dollar stop years ago. Well, they’re starting to fall apart and I thought I’d make them more my style while I’m creating my own. Let’s make some vintage-inspired easy DIY photo frame refrigerator magnets!

Easy DIY photo frame refrigerator magnets. Six "wooden" photo frames from the dollar tree turned into refrigerator magnets by adhering magnets to the back. They're displayed on my black fridge in my kitchen. Above the fridge is handmade wooden shelves.

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Dollar Tree Apothecary Vintage-Inspired Photo Frames

I’ve had these bright colorful magnet frames I put a few of my favourite family photos in and they’ve sat in their prominent position for years. But now they’re starting to fall apart.

My toddler loves to get up on her stool and point out each family member in the photos. So, to me, it also promotes family recognition for her. They’re her favorite things to take off and put back on as well as her alphabet magnets, but way cooler.

When they started falling apart I knew I had to replace them. But chose to go in a different direction when I found these at the Dollar Tree. They remind me of apothecary cabinets with the metal label holder on the front.

Honestly, you could do pretty much anything if you wanted to stain them or paint them you could. I was tempted to try staining and maybe I will eventually, but I think I like them as is. I’m going to live with them and see what I think in a few months.

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Supplies Needed to Create Your Own Photo Frame Refrigerator Magnets

Step One – Take the Easel Back Off the Frames with Pliers

To create a perfectly flat back for a magnet to adhere to I had to take the easel back off the back of my photo frames.

Dollar tree frame taken apart with pliers. The easel back is laying next to it and the pliers above it.

This was a quick simple process with a pair of pliers, they came right off with a slight twist and pull.

I chose to purchase 8 photo frames. There are 7 members in my family and then 1 for a full family photo. But you can get a few or a large quantity to make for gifts as well!

After adhering a few magnets I realized it was actually better with these frames to turn the back over so the flat part was facing outwards. It gives a better magnet adhesion.

Step Two – Cutting Your Photos to Fit Properly

You can use it as a template in two different ways.

  • 01 If you have a steady hand you can hold the paper on the photo while you cut.
  • 02 You can turn the photo over and trace the paper then cut the edges of your photo.

I chose to leave the top of the photo alone and cut the sides and bottom. Line up the paper on the front of the photo first. This way you know where you want to cut before you start cutting.

Use the white paper that comes in the frames as a template to cut your photos down to the right size. A photo is covered by the white paper from the photo frame that is sitting to the right. Pliers sit above it.

Take out the white paper that comes with each frame and use it as a template for your photo.

I typically prefer unstaged photos, but recently I had some beautiful family photos taken by my soon-to-be sister-in-law who is a very talented photographer. I love how naturally posed all my kids are.

Step Three – Adhere the Magnet Using Hot Glue

There’s not really a hard part to this process, but this is the most time-consuming.

Heat up your hot glue gun fully, because you’ll want it really hot to properly adhere the magnet to the back of the frame.

Make sure when you’re gluing the magnet on the back you aren’t gluing the backing shut so you can’t add your photo later. Only add glue to the inside of the frame “door”. Far enough that it won’t bleed over the edges. You also just need a little bit, not a lot.

Then put your magnet on and hold it down for a few seconds.

Step Four – Add Your Photos and Display Your Frames on Your Refrigerator!

And that’s it! You just have to add your photos and put them on display on the front of your fridge.

Six family photos in easy DIY photo frame refrigerator magnets. They sit displayed on my black refrigerator in my kitchen. On top of my fridge is my alice in wonderland cookie jar.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Notes & Recommendations

After having lived with these for a few days I have just a few notes to add.

  1. They still look amazing and stick pretty good to the fridge. However, I would probably recommend you put them in an area on your fridge where your children don’t climb. My monkeys have already knocked a few off, but they have survived! So I’m impressed. The glass didn’t even break.
  2. Because of the metal clasp on the back of the frames make sure you’re applying the magnets far enough inside so the clasp doesn’t have to close on TOP of the magnet and interfere with it sticking to the fridge.
  3. I tried a few just using the adhesive that was on the back of the magnets. And while it does stick very well to the frame itself, the magnet didn’t stick AS WELL to the fridge. The hot glue makes the magnet stick out further from the frame and creates a stronger bond.


The actual type of magnet was created in 1920 and is called a Ferrite Magnet.

However, the size and shape you need may vary on the project. The easiest way to tell is to decide what type of photo magnet you’d like.

  • Frame Option If you choose a frame the best options will be small and lightweight. Think 3×5 or 4×6 pressed wood, hardboard, or plastic options. This would use a business card-type size magnet.
  • Picture Magnets Option For simply using a photo to create a magnet you would purchase a magnet sheet. Glue the photo on the magnet sheet, cut it out, and do a couple of topcoats of mod podge for protection.

The easiest way to create your own fridge magnets with frames for custom magnets is to actually purchase inexpensive lightweight frames from a store and add a magnet to the back.

Example: Small 3×5 or 4×6 frames made of either plastic, hardboard, or lightweight wood. First hot glue a business card size magnet to the back, then fill them with your favorite photos, and finally, you have a creative way to display a few small photos on your refrigerator.

They would even make excellent handmade gifts!

Besides having them for your own home, these would make a great gift idea!
Photo gifts are perfect for close friends and family members for occasions such as

  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Christmas gifts
  • Party Favors (in small gift bags) *Optional Note: You can leave the photo out for this option

Handmade gifts are wonderful meaningful gifts to give the people you love, but don’t forget the gift bags!

There are actually several options for wonderful DIY projects you can do as far as making your own fridge magnets like

  • Photo Paper Magnets Print out your favorite family photos on printer paper, hot glue them to large magnets, then give them a good coat of mod podge to seal.
  • DIY Magnet Photo Puzzle Have a photo puzzle printed out, complete the puzzle, then adhere it to a large magnet sheet, cut out the individual pieces with an x-acto knife, and use mod podge to give them all a top coat for protection. Note: This would work best with a puzzle with only a few larger pieces.
  • Picture Frame Magnets Find small lightweight frames (3×5 or 4×6), glue a business card size magnet on the back, and then fill them with personal photos and you have personalized magnets with a few easy steps.

The hard part of any of these projects is creating just a few and not an entire collection!

Thanks for stopping by!


Meet the Author

Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→

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