Back to School Photo Ideas: DIY Picture Frame Photo Prop

I love celebrating the Back To School season with my kids. There’s something so exciting about filling backpacks with school supplies, shopping for school clothes, and meeting new teachers. Our family has a simple First Day of School tradition. We take a photo of each child on their way to school. It’s a fun way to kick off the school year, and we can compare First Day of School photos with Last Day of School photos to see how much the kids have grown.

back to school photo ideas

When Michaels sent me a gift card and asked me to share a Back To School craft, I knew I wanted it to be something special. Something that could become part of our First Day of School tradition. I created this First Day of School Photo Prop for my family and yours. I’ll tell you everything you need and how make this photo prop. My sister is an elementary school teacher, and she plans to make one of these photo frame props to take pictures of her students throughout the school year.

I designed this photo prop to be used on ANY special day of school. The star is painted with Chalkboard Paint, which means you can use chalk and eraser to change the dates. For example, change the star from “1st” to read “100th” or “Last” and you instantly have a photo prop for the 100th Day of School and/or the Last Day of School.

You can find everything you need to make this First Day of School Photo Prop at Michaels stores.

Materials Needed:

  • Unfinished wooden photo frame (large enough to frame child’s face when held)
  • 2-3 cans of different colored spray paint
  • 1 can of Chalkboard Paint
  • 1 wood star
  • Unpainted wooden letters: D-A-Y, O-F, S-C-H-O-O-L
  • Elmer’s Carpenters Wood Glue (or hot glue gun)


Spray paint the unfinished wooden frame one color. Select a different color(s) and spray paint the wooden letters. Spray paint the wood star with Chalkboard Paint. Add a second layer or spray paint to frame, letters, and wood star if needed. Allow all to dry overnight.

Position wood star and wood letters on the photo frame as desired. Use Elmer’s Carpenters Wood Glue (or a hot glue gun) to attach wood star and letters to the photo frame. Allow glue to dry completely.

Now you are ready for Back To School photo fun!

Project Photos and Tips:

diy photo props

first day of school picture ideas

TIP: Use Chalkboard Paint on the Star so you can write with chalk, and change the Star from “1st” to “100th” and “Last” Day of School for even more photo opp fun. 

Do you have any Back to School traditions? Do you take your child’s photo on the first day of school? Share your back to school celebration ideas with us in the comments.

Keep up with the latest news from Mom Always Finds Out! Like MAFO on Facebook and Tweet me at @momfindsout! You can also find other great Back To School ideas on my Pinterest boards.







  1. Betty Baez says:

    I LOVE this!!!! now i just have to get the letters

  2. Such a cute idea; I love it!

  3. Love this ==great idea and it looks wonderful! You could start a business with these:)

  4. Natasha Rodriguez says:

    I LOVE this too! You could even put what grade 🙂

  5. Janet W. says:

    Wow, what a prop!! What a wonderful idea!

  6. What a cute idea, my son is still in preschool 2 more years until Kindergarten.

  7. This is really cute . What a great idea to make for the kids especially when this is their first time going to school. thanks so much for the information. I am making one of these for my grandson .

  8. Oh my goodness! That is awesome!!!! Seriously the cutest back to school photo prop I’ve seen yet! Love this tutorial. You did a fantastic job! So creative.

  9. I was looking for this EXACT craft all weekend to create for a shoot this Thursday!!! Thank you so much, you even made it look easy 🙂

  10. OMG, this is going to happen before I turn around! We don’t start school until Sept 9, but it will come quick as I fell like the Summer just started and is about to end already!
    Time to start scheduling his haircuts!

  11. I love this. What a great treat for the first day of school.

  12. Sandy VanHoey says:

    What a terrific idea! I love this and you did a great job!

  13. Mary Withrow says:

    I love this. We take a picture in front of the school every year on the first day of school and they make a scrap book

  14. What size is the unfinished Photo frame?

    • The one I used is 12×12. I believe it was called something like the “Scrapbook Frame”. But you can use any size frame as long as it is big enough to “frame” your photo subject’s head and there is enough room for the letters you have chosen.

  15. I see more and more photographers using “props” in pictures and it sure add a nice touch. This one is great – I think teachers could use it too.

  16. Marcia Lee says:

    I absolutely love your 1st day of school photo prop. Brilliant to make the star with chalk board paint so that you can use it for other school occasions and then again for the last day of school as a comparison.

  17. Maryann D. says:

    I always shop at Michael’s for my craft and art supplies for my daughter. I do love this First Day of School Photo Prop. Great idea and fun for children to celebrate back to school.


  1. Props, poses take first day of school photos to new level | #Salt Lake City, UT says:

    […] paint to create a frame that her kids could peek through for a reusable back-to-school photo prop. Commenters on her blog,, seem to love […]

  2. […] 3. Get a little crafty and make your own props. You can decorate an old picture frame, give it a little personality and personalize it to help capture your child’s big day like Mom Always Finds Out. […]

  3. […] Put a Frame on It: If I had the time {and the creativity}, I would so make this frame for the first day of school. {Via Mom Always Finds Out} […]

  4. […] DIY First Day of School Photo Prop Over the summer break, make this frame to use in your back-to-school pictures. […]

  5. […] page printouts (like these) or fancy with cardstock, foam, or wood letters glued to a frame! The pic above has a chalkboard star so you can reuse the photo for “100th day” or “Last […]

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