Computer Keyboard Photo Frame Tutorial

I realised that I promised to share this a little while ago and I never got round to it! So here it is for you!


I made these photo frames as a Christmas present for my boyfriend. I love giving handmade gifts but I find that men are often much harder to make gifts for. I saw something similar to these in a department store and knew instantly that it was the gift I had been looking for! This is how you can make your own:

You will need:

  • An old computer keyboard (a broken one will do)
  • A photo frame of your desired size*
  • Black acrylic paint (if you are using a black keyboard)
  • Sandpaper
  • A glue gun

*when buying the photo frame I had a few of the computer keys with me to check that they fit along both the short and long sides without leaving any gaps to get an even finish on them.


1. Unscrew the back of the keyboard. Take out the contents of the keyboard then use the screwdriver to push the keys out from the inside. If you are using an old keyboard, they can get incredibly dusty so it might be worth doing this over some newspaper. I also washed the keys once I had pushed them out to ensure they were clean.

2. Sand the frame inΒ preparationΒ for painting.


3. Paint the frame using black acrylic. I only used a cheap paint that cost 99p but it successfully covered the frame in one coat, meaning that I only had to go back and touch up areas rather than adding several coats. Remember to also paint the outside and inside edges of the frame.



4. Once you have painted the frame and it has dried completely, apply glue from the glue gun to the back of the computer keys. The keys have a small prong sticking out of the back of them which I was going to saw off, however, I discovered that it was just as easy to apply the glue to this area and it didn’t look less effective than if I had spent hours sawing the backs off.



As the glue dries quickly, you have to work fast and stick the key to the frame as soon as you have applied the glue. Add a little pressure as you place it on to secure it, then it should dry pretty sturdy.

5. Once you have glued all of the keys in place, allow a few minutes to ensure all of the glue has dried before you fit the glass and a picture.

And there you have it! A quick and easy project that makes a great gift! If you have any questions feel free to comment below!


73 thoughts on “Computer Keyboard Photo Frame Tutorial

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      That’s true, I thought about that but I decided to do mine randomly in the end – I was working to a tight limit! But it would be pretty cool to spell out words πŸ™‚ yeah it saves throwing them away!

  1. Maryanne says:

    BRILLIANT!!! Thank you so much for entering the Made It challenge wooohoooo! These are amazing. My daughters “boyfriend” (cough coughh!) is celebrating his birthday this week and is freaking out because she doesn’t know what to get for him. WE ARE SOOO MAKING THESE!!!!

  2. Liza says:

    Hi, I love the idea and am having some kids make one for their tekkie dad today! Did you do anything to cover the sides since they stick up when you leave the “post” on?
    Thanks so much! Liza

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      That’s a wonderful idea! I didn’t cover the sides at all, just left the keys sticking up and they looked fine, but you could always get some black ribbon to cover the sides if you prefer.

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