April 01, 2020

How To Make A Digital Photo Frame With A Raspberry Pi

Reading Time: 4 mins

The idea of a digital photo frame really appealed to me as I tend to take lots of photos but am reluctant to print them all.

Having one would let me display all the photos I want in a nice display without the complication of sending them away to be printed, collecting the photos, putting the photos into frames, photo albums etc.

I did price digital photo frames online but liked the idea of building my own, and what better way to go than with a Raspberry PI!

In this guide I share with you the steps I followed to create a digital photo frame using a Raspberry PI.

What I Used

Here is all of the equipment I used for this project:

Steps I followed:

Source and assemble the parts

  1. The first step with creating the photo frame was sourcing the monitor and the frame. A quick trip to the charity shop and I found the perfect sized monitor and a good sized frame to fit around it.

  2. When I got home, I started to gather together everything I needed. I had a Raspberry PI and associated gear lying around so I didn’t need to order one and wait for it to arrive. This suited me as I was very impatient to get started with this project.

  3. The next step was to take apart the monitor. I did this very carefully using some tools that I bought originally to take apart my old tablet.

  4. With the monitor bare, I placed the photo frame over it to see what I was working with. It was almost a good fit but not quite. I needed to use a dremmel to sand away some of the inside of the frame just enough so the frame would slot around the monitor.

  5. With the frame now the right size, I started to tidy up some scratches by giving the frame a very light sanding. I ended up liking this worn look so decided against spray painting the frame, at least for now.

Prepare the PI

  1. On my laptop, I followed the following tutorial to add the NOOBS installer to the SD card: Tutorial from raspberrypi.org .

  2. I hooked up the PI to a monitor, attached a keyboard and mouse, slotted in the pre-loaded SD card and booted it up.

  3. As I already had a home media server set up and running in the house, I decided to use this as the source of media for the photo frame.

  4. To install the screen saver add-on which would display my images I followed the following steps:

    4.1 From the Kodi home screen select Addons > Download > Look and Feel > Screensaver

    4.2 Then select the Multi Slideshow Screensaver and select Install.

  5. I then tested the screen saver add-on to ensure it worked and once I was happy with this, it was time to start assembling the parts!

Assemble the parts

Now for the fun.

I placed the frame around the monitor, it was a snug fit. Next, I attached the pi case to the back of the monitor screen. Finally, I added the power cables, turned it all on and watched everything come to life!

Further Improvements

With the photo frame up and running the next step is definitely to find a permanent home for it so that it doesn’t lean against the wall. I am planning to attach a stand that will be durable enough to support the weight.

It’s possible I may also decide on giving the frame a coat of spray paint should the mood strike me!

I also need to spend some time curating the images that display in the photo frame.

Initially I just used a gallery of all of my more recent photos but this includes random photos of documentation, diagrams and the like that definitely don’t have a place in the photo frame.


I really hope you enjoyed reading this guide! If you did, please consider sharing it on social media to help other people to find it.