DIY First Day of School Photo Prop Sign/Frame

The first day of school is a monumental milestone for our little ones, filled with anticipation, nerves, and excitement. As parents, we want to capture every precious moment of this special day, and what better way to do so than with a personalized DIY first-day-of-school photo prop sign?

From choosing the perfect materials to adding a touch of creativity, we’ll guide you through the process step by step.

This is the perfect DIY project for those just starting out in the craft world.

Get ready to unleash your creativity and make memories that will last a lifetime. Grab your craft supplies, and let’s get started!

Little girl holding the DIY first day of school sign.


  • One tall piece of thick cardboard  mine is approximately 2.5 ft square. I got my cardboard from a box.
  • hot glue gun
  • Crayons ( I used eight boxes of 24),
  • White construction paper or cardstock
  • Two pencils
  • Markers
  • Glue stick
  • Exacto knife or razor
  • Tape measure,
  • Optional: stencils or any other school supplies you would like to glue on your sign.

Step 1: Making your Frame

The thickness of the frame will be the length of a crayon.  To make your frame, lay a crayon on the edge of the cardboard horizontally and mark it with a pencil at the tip of the crayon. As seen in the picture below.

Repeat three times on each side.  Use a ruler or tape measure to draw a line to connect your marks.

Cardboard with crayons on it to trace to make the DIY photo frame.

Step 2: Cutting out your Frame

Using your Exacto knife, cut the frame by cutting along your drawn lines.  Save the cardboard scraps to make your signs later.

The DIY back to school frame cut out.

Step 3: Gluing the Crayons

Using your hot glue gun, start gluing your crayons around each side. If your children are helping, be mindful that hot glue guns get very hot and should only be used by adults. To make my frame, I used 2 boxes of  24 Crayola crayons for each side a total of 8 boxes.  This is the longest part of the project.

Gluing the crayons on your first day of school sign

Step 4: Creating your Sign

The next thing you are going to do is create the signs that get glued on your first-day-of-school sign. Glue white construction paper or cardstock to a piece of the leftover cardboard.

left over cardboard from the frame you cut out

Using a stencil, or if you are good at bubble letters, you can do this part free hand, write First Day leave a space, then write OF, leave another space, then write the grade your child is going into. 

If you have more than one child, you can just write school.

Optional: Another idea is that you can use chalkboard paint. If you are going to use chalkboard paint, I suggest using it on cardstock or posterboard (found at the Dollar Tree) to paint. Once the chalkboard paint is dry you can write the words in chalk.

Letters for the sign

Step 5: Decorate

This is the fun part, time to decorate.  I outlined my letters in black markers and colored them in.  I also added polka dots.  You can decorate your letters with glitter, markers, or anything else.

Letters colored in

Once the decorating was completed, I used my Exacto knife to cut out the First Day, then of, and then Pre-K (you would do either school or the grade your child is entering).  

Step 6: Glue on Accessories

Hot glue cardboard onto your frame directly over the crayons.  When completed, you can glue other items on, such as pencils, glue sticks, etc…

Completed first day of school sign

Crafting a DIY first-day-of-school sign to use as a prop for capturing memorable pictures of your children on their first day of school is a fantastic way to celebrate their first day. Personalizing the sign with their name, grade, and date creates a unique keepsake that you will cherish throughout the years.

Allowing your child to help make the sign is a great way to spend time together and lets them use their creativity and imagination while creating memories that will last a lifetime. Remember, there are only little for a little while!