There’s no limit to the ways you can add a border or frame to your photos. From online tools, to mobile apps, to desktop programs, there’s something to suit everyone’s needs.
You can opt for something as simple as surrounding your image with a plain white border, you can create a diptych or collage using multiple photos, or you can get creative with your frames, adding color, patterns, stickers, and more.
These apps and sites can be used to up your photo styling, especially if you plan on sharing your images online using photo-sharing apps like Instagram.
Web Apps That Add Borders to Photos
If you don’t want to install software on your computer or smartphone, there are several solid free photo frames and borders available through these sites. And you can also upgrade to a paid account to access more features and designs.
In addition to these online apps that add frames to your images, there are also plenty of solid web apps that make cropping and retouching your images a breeze.
Canva is your one-stop shop for online design, but there’s no reason you can’t use it for something as simple as adding a border or frame to your photo.
To use the service, you’ll have to sign up for a free account.
After you begin a new design, click Elements > Frames to get started. With Canva, you’ll have to select your frame before adding your image.
The frames on offer include borderless collages (perfect for Instagram), frames that make liberal use of color blocking, spliced images, polaroid frames, and more.
There are plenty of free frames to choose from, but Canva also offers additional paid frames or frames only available for premium users.
With some of the frames (like the Polaroid frame for example) you would want to download it as a PNG with a transparent background to really get the full effect, but that requires a paid account.
BeFunky’s Photo Editor includes a way to add frames to your photos—and you don’t need to sign up to use it. There’s a small selection of free frames (one per category), but upgrading for around $5/month gets you a lot more options.
When you first load BeFunky, select Photo Editor. You can then upload your image, and click on Frames in the menu. BeFunky has a selection of frames including ArtDeco, Rustic, Lace, and its “Instant” category offers users an easy way to create a digital polaroid design.
Pizap can be used to add frames to photos and create collages. You can test the feature before signing up, but in order to save your images, you’ll have to create a free account.
To add a border to your image, click the Edit a Photo button on the homepage. The Borders option has over 13 categories, most of which are themed for special occasions like Christmas, Halloween, and birthdays. Each of the categories have free options you can use, along with designs reserved for premium users.
The designs available through Pizap are a little louder and more colorful than other options on this list, and are definitely as kitschy as they come. At the same time, if you’re looking for a simple, online method for adding a white border to your photo, Pizap is your best bet.
Mobile Apps That Add Borders to Photos
If you’re adding frames to photos you’ve taken on your phone, and plan on sharing them on mobile-friendly platforms, then you might as well add frames to them using one of these mobile apps.
There are plenty of border and frame apps available on Apple iTunes and Google Play, that cater to a variety of tastes, and these are just a few that we’ve found offer unique designs or decent free options.
4. Fuzel (Android and iOS)
Fuzel Collage makes it easy to add frames and borders to one photo or multiple photos.
If you’re looking for a simple way to add a border to just one image, the free version of the app has over 20 simple, tasteful options available. In addition to frames, the app also offers users some stickers, labels, and patterns for free.
Fuzel Collage comes with a great selection of paid frames, but its payment system can be a little confusing. You can purchase packs of frames with credits. Most packs will run you about 49 credits, and you can purchase close to 700 credits for $6.99.
While Fuzel might be on the pricier side of these kinds of apps, its designs are extremely on trend and offer a great way to up your Instagram game.
5. April (Android and iOS)
April is a quirky little app with two annoying factors to bear in mind if you’re an Android user: it will constantly ask to use your location data which is totally unnecessary, and if you don’t grant it access, it will ask you every time you open the app.
The app can also be a bit of a battery drain because it runs in the background, so you’ll need to manually kill the process every time you finish using the app.
That said, it has some of the most unique and creative frames, with endless free options based on how many photos you want to use.
You can choose between “Layout” for basic frames or “Poster” for more elaborate options. Within “Poster”, you’ll find different options based on category (Decoration, Food, Daily) and based on how many photos you’ve chosen to use.
April can also be a one stop shop for all your mobile photo editing needs with some really solid filters, editable text, and stickers.
When you apply a pre-set frame, April may also apply a filter, but you can remove that manually if you prefer to simply add the frame.
6. PhotoFrame – Billboard and Collage (Android)
If you’re looking to frame up your photo as a billboard or magazine cover, the PhotoFrame is completely free.
Unlike most other frame and border apps that offer users a free selection, after which you’ll have to pay to download additional options, PhotoFrame is 100 percent free. And it may not be obvious at first, but you can remove the PhotoFrame watermark by tapping the Watermark tab at the end of the menu.
With different frames and templates based on how many photos you want in your final design, PhotoFrame also offers stickers, filters, and a freestyle option where you can rotate and move photos on the background, which can also be tailored to your color of choice.
Download: PhotoFrame for Android
7. ShakeItPhoto (iOS)
ShakeItPhoto is an iOS app that does just one thing and it does it really well—it adds a Polaroid frame to your photo and also adds a bit of vintage editing to your photo.
So if all you’re looking for is an easy way to add a polaroid frame to your iOS photos, you really don’t need to look any further than this app.
You can take the photo directly within ShakeItPhoto, or pull a photo from your camera roll.
Download: ShakeItPhoto for iOS
Desktop Apps That Add Borders to Photos
Finally, there are a couple of desktop apps that can also get the job done.
Photoshop boasts a ton of features, just one of which is the option to add a frame to any photo. And if you already have access to Adobe Creative Cloud, using Photoshop gives you complete control over the final product.
You can go as simple as adding a white border to your photo using Photoshop, or you can add a pattern, change the shape, and more. The only limit is your own creativity.
A handy trick when it comes to creating borders with Photoshop is to use the Clipping Mask feature:
- After you’ve designed your frame, add a box or rectangle indicating exactly where the photo is going to go.
- Add the photo as an additional layer in your design.
- With the photo layer above the shape where you want your photo to go, right click the image layer and select Create Clipping Mask.
- Once you’ve done this the image will be confined to the rectangle or shape you clipped it to. You can move the image within the confines of that shape using the Move (keyboard shortcut V) tool.
- You can resize it by selecting the Rectangle Marquee tool (keyboard shortcut M), right-clicking the image and selecting Free Transform. Hold down the Shift button and using the mouse, grab one of the corners of the image and drag to resize.
This is how your layers should look with clipping masks added to the frame:
You can use this method to add texture and patterns to your frames as well, because it ensures that your additions are limited to the shape you’ve created.
For those of you who don’t want to shell out money for Creative Cloud, GIMP offers similar features to Photoshop and is also worth exploring.
9. Microsoft Word
If all else fails, Microsoft Office products alone can be used to add a basic frame or border to your image. Microsoft Word’s basic image editing features include the ability to add a frame to an image. Similar features can be found in PowerPoint and even Excel.
After you’ve inserted your image into the Word document, right-click it and select Format Picture. In the menu that opens you have several options including adding a variety of drop shadows, a reflection of your image, and an outer glow.
If you want a simple frame, click the “Fill” icon (bucket) and select Line > Solid Line. You can change the color, type of line, width, and more.
From Simple Photo Borders to Vintage Frames
From adding simple white borders, to making your photos look like Polaroids, to making your digital shots look like they were taken with a vintage Kodak camera, there’s plenty you can do with just an app or two.
Beyond frames and borders, there are plenty of great smartphone photo editing apps to help make your photos stand out even more.