Birthday DIY: Monthly Photo Frame Display

A monthly photo frame to display the first year of your kiddo’s life is a fun way to remember that first year.

Hi everyone!  Sorry I’ve been MIA lately.  We finally have some awesome spring weather here in PA and I’ve been soaking up every minute with my little men.

My littlest, Charlie, turned one this past January and I found the best way to remember his first year with this monthly photo frame!  

We celebrated his birthday with both of our families and a few friends.  I didn’t want something too “themed?” if that makes sense.  So we went with a woodland/mountain/winter theme.  

DIY Monthly photo frame display. Perfect for 1st birthday parties. Easy DIY craft for birthday party decor!

If you look at Pinterest and search “winter wonderland” there are so many cute ideas and that was the basis for my party!!  Anyway, this was my FAVORITE part of his party: the Monthly Photo Frame Display.

A Monthly Photo Frame Display Captures that First Year Perfectly

Let’s face it, that first year drags on, I mean flies by.  But seriously, it does!!  You look at the tiny baby every day and it seems as though nothing changes.  Same crying, same diapers, same sleepless nights.

Then one day you’re celebrating his birthday and you see a little boy in front of you.  How did that tiny baby become a toddler??  I love love love the idea of taking monthly pictures and having them on display for their first birthday.  

For Liam, my oldest, I took pictures on the 18th of every month (he was born on August 18th).  For Charlie, it was plus or minus a week from the actual date every month haha.

I actually did this same DIY for Liam’s first birthday!  I loved using the same template/idea from Liam and making it unique to Charlie.  And guys, this is so easy.  I would give it a 2-3 nap times to complete.

This post contains affiliate links. Please, click here to read my disclosure policy.

Supply List for Monthly Photo Frame:

Step 1. Find a Frame for Monthly Photo Display

(I’m going to give instructions based on my picture frame size.  Keep in mind this can be customized to any sized frame.  Don’t feel limited to my design!)

I found this super cute frame at Hobby Lobby years ago.  It actually used to be a chalkboard!  I popped the chalkboard part out and just used the frame.  

I didn’t have to paint or distress the frame at all, which saved so much time!  But, if you have an old frame at home don’t be afraid to paint and distress it to give it a unique look.

Step 2. Attach Eye Hooks to the Frame

The frame measured 16in x 26in.  My hubby put the first row of eye hooks in 3/4in from the top of the opening.  The subsequent hooks were separated by 6.5in.  Except for the last row, which was separated by 6in, since apparently, my husband can’t do math haha.  

Step 3. String Twine through Eye Hooks

I tied the twine off at the first hook and thread it across for the first row, through the hook on the other side, then down to the next row. Alternatively, you could have a piece of twine for each row, but that would require lots of cutting and tying knots.

Using an old chalkboard turned into a picture frame is a cheap alternative to using expensive and ornate frames
Stringing twine through eye hooks instead of cutting and tying them off helps save time on your monthly photo frame

In this picture, you can see if we used one piece of twine and strung it the whole way down, tying knots at the tops and bottom.  Make sure to pull the twine tightly to minimize sagging.

Fully stringed monthly photo frame with twine ready to hang monthly photos of your young one

Step 4. Cut Cardstock for the Back of Each Photo

The openings for each picture were a little less than the 4×6 size I had printed.  I wanted to mount each picture on sturdy cardstock so that there would be a uniform backing on each photo and just to make it look nicer.

I’m not going to win any physics award with how I measured this.  It’s actually kind of embarrassing.  As you can see in the picture below, I held up the piece of cardstock and marked where I wanted it to hang, and then cut it.  I have no idea how big the piece actually measured, oops!!

Cardstock helps give some structure to your 1st birthday photo frame and is a great idea to display photos

I then traced the initial piece of cardstock I had fit into the frame and cut the remaining 11 pieces from this template.

Mark the cardstock to back the images that you will use for your 1st birthday photo collage ideas

I had to cut the pictures to match the cardstock, leaving a little room so that the cardstock was visible around the outside.  Again, I didn’t measure, which is horrible I know.  I eyeballed it and cut probably 1/4in off each side of the photo.  The photo on the right is cut to fit the cardstock and the photo on the left is an original 4×6 print.

To help the images fit on the display you can cut your photos and cardstock to size for the monthly photo frame.

Step 5. Add Foam Numbers to Photos

Once they were all cut, I used these awesome foam stickers (from Michaels) to mark the month each photo was taken.  I love these because it adds some dimension to the display and people don’t have to count each picture to try and figure out what month the photo was taken.

Start at 0 for the hospital photo, 1 for 1 month old, etc all the way until 11 months totally 12 pictures!

Add foam numbers to the pictures of your little one to notate which month the photo is from on the frame

Step 6. Glue Cardstock to Monthly Photos

Next, I mounted the pictures onto the cardstock using Krazy Glue.  I love Krazy Glue for this because it doesn’t leave that rippled or bubbled effect in the picture.  You could also use spray adhesive or other glue you have on hand.  Just keep in mind regular white glue may leave the pictures looking rippled.

Gluing cardstock to an image to put on display for a 1st birthday. This is a great way to display photos at a birthday party

Look at this cute squishy baby face at 1 month old!!

Step 7. Attach Images to Monthly Photo Frame

I found these silver clothespins at Michaels.  They come as a 25-count pack which is perfect since you need 24 for the project!  They come in a few different colors, too!

Clothespins help display the pictures on the monthly photo frame and are easy to adjust if needed

Last step: hanging the mounted pictures!!  Again, no specific measurements are required.  Just place them on and adjust as needed.  That’s the beauty of clothespins!

Looking for a tutorial to help with those 1st birthday photo collage ideas this is a great way to capture attention

On the flip side of each of Charlie’s monthly pictures, I had the same monthly picture of Liam!  It was great being able to compare my two little boys.  Although, honestly there’s not much to compare.  They look absolutely nothing alike! 🙂

Hanging cardstock pictures onto twine to display at a 1st birthday party for a 1 year old
You can use any frame to hang pictures on with twine and clothespins. This is a great way to display images
Pictures assembled in a row by month for a 1st birthday creative way to show a child's first year of life.
Cute photos of a monthly photo frame display for a 1st birthday hung up with clothes pins on cardstock
This monthly photo frame DIY will help you with all the 1st birthday stress and is a great way to remember the first year

Aren’t DIYs for your little ones the best? I just love the moment they capture and how they get your littles involved with the art of making!

Check out these other ideas for some crafts to do with/for them.

I hope you guys love this idea as much as I do.  

DIY Month by Month picture display. Perfect for 1st birthday parties. Easy DIY craft for birthday party decor!
Finished monthly photo frame displaying an entire year of a child's life on cardstock hung up with clothespins and twine.

How to Make A Monthly Photo Frame

DIY Month by Month picture display. Perfect for 1st birthday parties. Easy DIY craft for birthday party decor!

DIY to create a monthly photo frame from an old chalkboard to celebrate a kid's first birthday

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $50



  1. Find a Frame for Monthly Photo Display
  2. Attach Eye Hooks to the Frame
  3. String Twin through Eye Hooks
  4. Cut Cardstock for the Back of Each Photo
  5. Add Foam Numbers to Photos
  6. Glue Cardstock to Monthly Photos
  7. Attach Images to Monthly Photo Frame

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *