DIY

The 7 Best Raspberry Pi Picture Frame Projects

Christian Cawley Updated 08-05-2020

There is so much you can do with a Raspberry Pi, from building a media center to controlling a robot. One of the most popular projects is to display photos in slideshow format. And because it is so flexible, there are many ways to do this.

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Illustrating the Raspberry Pi’s versatility, here are seven awesome digital picture frame projects for you to try.

1. Inspiring Raspberry Pi Picture Frame

Build an inspiring Raspberry Pi picture frame

The /r/earthporn sub-reddit is a great place to see some of the most amazing things the planet has to offer. Meanwhile /r/showerthoughts contains gems of wisdom.

Reddit user tvm78 combined the two to produce a frame that displays a beautiful scene juxtaposed with (potentially) insightful thoughts. The result is a random inspirational poster.

Head to Reddit to find the information on how to create your own using a Python script. If you find the instructions somewhat fractured, we’ve organized them in our guide to creating an inspiring Raspberry Pi photo frame ShowerThoughts and EarthPorn: Make an Inspiring Raspberry Pi Photo Frame Read More .

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We think you’ll agree that the result is rather magical—but you can no doubt think of better pairings.

2. Raspberry Pi Photo Frame With Weather Reports [Broken URL Removed]

Want to view stunning photos of your family, friends, and places you’ve visited alongside the latest weather reports?

Designed for a Raspberry Pi 2 or later, this project turns your display into a weather station using the Weather Underground API. While it’s not a standard photo frame project, you can select your own images for the background.

This is a useful project that you can use to check the weather before you head out.

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3. Remotely Updateable Pi Picture Frame

Remotely switch photos on your Pi picture frame

This Raspberry Pi picture frame is average in most respects but has the advantage that it can be updated remotely. It pulls photos from a Google Drive folder, so you might invite multiple people to choose photos.

Created by Hackaday reader Greg, this project also includes a wireless remote to switch from photos to weather display mode. Rather than a Raspberry Pi screen this build uses an old computer monitor, but you could use any suitable display.

Just make sure you have a compatible display adaptor!

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4. Motion-Activated Pi Picture Frame

Make a low-power motion-sensing digital picture frame with a Raspberry Pi

A digital picture frame looks great, but an always-on display can hit your electricity bill. If you want to decrease your Pi picture frame’s energy use, why not add a motion detector?

This Pi photo frame by Samuel Clay pulls images from Instagram and Flickr. It uses a motion detection script to only turn the screen on when someone is nearby. It uses an inexpensive PIR sensor to detect movement—it’s easy enough to incorporate with other frame designs.

Admittedly the design demonstrated here is rather idiosyncratic. A project that hides the Raspberry Pi would probably be preferable to most tastes. Something to think about if you fancy the idea of a motion-detecting Raspberry Pi photo frame.

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5. Display Cinemagraphs on Raspberry Pi With DynaFrame

Plotagraphs are ideal for display on a digital photo frame. These are still photos that feature minor, repeated movement—like the moving photos in the Harry Potter movies. Cinemagraphs are similar, but with slightly more significant movement on a loop.

DynaFrame is an open source digital photo platform for the Raspberry Pi. It uses Python to display cinemagraphs and plotagraphs, presented on a display of your choice.

In the demo video above, you’ll see how the project is implemented, where to grab the software, and how to display images. Check the video description for the download link.

This isn’t a simple project, so will require plenty of time to get right. If you want your build to look as impressive as the one in the video, you’ll need a decent-sized display. Don’t have anything big enough to hand? Recycle a display from an old laptop Disposing Of An Old Laptop - What To Recycle, What To Keep Laptops are a treasure trove of parts that can live more than one life. Whether they continue a life as spare part or become the subject of a DIY tech project, you can get a... Read More , or source a used LCD TV or monitor from eBay.

6. Raspberry Pi E-Ink Photo Frame

Most of these projects rely on a typical LCD display. The advantage of a Raspberry Pi in such builds is that it can easily change the image. But what if you wanted a digital photo displayed that wasn’t simple to change?

The answer is with an e-Ink display. YouTuber Hamed Taha demonstrates how this is done with a Raspberry Pi Zero WH and an e-Paper HAT from Waveshare.

e-Paper HAT from Waveshare e-Paper HAT from Waveshare Buy Now On Amazon $64.99

The result is a pleasing black and white image. More importantly, you can disconnect the Pi from the display, resulting in even lower power use.

Amazed by e-Ink? You’ve probably seen it used on an Amazon Kindle—if you want to know more, here’s how e-Ink works What Is E-Ink? How It Works & Why Every Ebook Fan Needs It If you read ebooks and haven't switched to E-Ink yet, then you're seriously missing out. Here's everything you need to know about why E-Ink rocks for ebook lovers. Read More .

7. App-Controlled Raspberry Pi Photo Frame

Adding images to a Raspberry Pi digital picture frame usually involves pre-loading the photos to the SD card. Alternatively, the photos would be available via a cloud or network drive. But if that doesn’t suit you, there is an alternative.

With the Framen app and framen.io website running in the Pi’s browser, you can remotely determine which images appear. Simply sync them with your free Framen account from your phone, select the images, and they’ll be displayed. Because this uses the browser, it’s an easy job to program your Pi to launch straight into displaying Framen images.

Of all the solutions in this list, Framen is probably the simplest, ideal if you’re planning on using the Pi for a dual purpose.

Raspberry Pi Picture Frame Projects

These projects are great for getting started with your own Raspberry-Pi-powered DIY picture frame. At the very least you can get away with a $10 Pi Zero, old laptop display, and a card frame.

While you’ll need to spend some money on a more polished Pi photo frame, the basics will get you started. Use them to prototype your project and iron out the faults before upgrading the build with new components.

We’ve shown you seven Raspberry Pi projects that show you:

  1. Inspiring quotes and photos
  2. Photos and weather
  3. Remotely updated photos
  4. Motion-activated pictures
  5. Displays cinemagraphs and plotagraphs
  6. e-Ink photos
  7. App-controlled images

Find one you like, read up on the details, and most importantly, learn from your next Raspberry Pi project. The beauty of these projects is that they will run on almost any model—Raspberry Pi Zero, the original model, and the Raspberry Pi 4.

If you want to go further, check out our list of awesome uses for a Raspberry Pi 26 Awesome Uses for a Raspberry Pi Which Raspberry Pi project should you start with? Here's our roundup of the best Raspberry Pi uses and projects around! Read More .

Related topics: DIY Project Ideas, Photo Album, Raspberry Pi.

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