How to Make an Instax Balsa Frame

I love finding new materials to work with! Lately it has been balsa wood – easy to use and with an effective result.

This is an easy DIY you can complete within an hour if you’re using the template below. The downloadable template is for the mini instax film size, which is 86mm x 54mm.

How to make an Instax Balsa Frame

You will need:

Thin balsa wood sheet (mine was 1.5mm thick)
Cutting mat
Craft knife or Stanley knife
Template (download and print below)

Firstly, download and print the free template for your frames, or if you are making frames for a different sized photo, use this template to get an idea of how to make your own.

free printable template for instax frames
Download the printable version here

Cut out the template and trace it onto the balsa wood. On a cutting mat, carefully cut out each section of balsa including the middle part of the frame. Be careful not to cut too far when cutting out the inside part!

You will notice each piece has a small slit cutout, which is how they will sit together. On two pieces the width of the cutout should be 1.5mm – or the same width as your balsa wood, and on the cross-section piece it will be 3mm to accommodate for the other two pieces of balsa.

If you’d like to paint or decorate your frame, now’s the time!

Once you have each part cut out, sandwich your photo behind the frame and with the backing section behind the bottom of your photo. The backing should line up so that from the the front, you can’t see it at all. You may also need to use some tape to make sure the top of your photo stays close to the frame at the back.

Line up the slit cutouts on the bottom of the frame and backing with the cutout of the cross section so they make a 3D ‘cross’. They should slide into place with a little help, being careful not to split the wood. Slide them into place until they are sitting flush.


You could also just make the front frame section of this project, add some magnets on the back and you can have frames for your fridge! Or use the frame when you are hanging your photos, like with this DIY. Let me know what you end up making!

Balsa wood photo frame

balsa instax frame side table

make your own balsa instax frame with this easy tutorial

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