How to Make a Gold Frame for a “New Girl” Theme Party

One of my friends got the fantastic idea to throw a birthday party themed around FOX’s show New Girl. My friends and I love that show, so we took the ball and ran with it.

We wanted to hang a giant gold frame like the one in the TV show’s intro, so that all the party-goers could take their photo inside it.


Well, turns out it’s VERY hard to find a frame like that, and even if we DID find one, it would have cost an arm and a leg. So I created a replica instead.

Here’s how I built it, using paper, printer ink, and foam board.

Materials I Used

  • 8 sheets of 40″x60″ foam board – $1 each at the Dollar Store
  • Elmer’s Extra-Strength Spray Adhesive (10 oz. can) – $15 at Office Depot
  • 3 wooden rulers – $1 each at the Dollar Store
  • Many sheets (30 or more) of Premium bright ink jet paper (I used 96 brightness, 24 weight)
  • Plenty of printer ink (make sure you’re not running on empty)
  • packing tape
  • craft glue
  • hot glue
  • frame hanging eyelets – a few bucks at Walmart or Home Depot
  • string – $1 at the Dollar Store
  • 4 cup hooks – a few bucks at Walmart or Home Depot


  • Color printer – I used my own Epson Workforce 435
  • Paper cutter
  • Box cutter
  • X-Acto knife
  • Hot glue gun

How to make the pieces

Step 1 – Download and print

Download these PDF files, which I created from scratch using the a still frame from the TV intro (above) as a guide. This involved lots of tracing, creating patterns, and tiling patterns. I won’t bore you by going into those details!

Next to each PDF is its size when printed at 100% scale and pieced together. (Measurements are rounded to the nearest inch.)

New Girl – oval pattern print-out (PDF) – 30″ x 40″
New_Girl_gold-frame (PDF) – 39″ x 46″
New Girl – NEW sign print-out (PDF) – 25″ x 16″
New Girl – GIRL sign print-out (PDF) – 29″ x 17″
New Girl – JESS sign print-out(PDF) – 34″ x 14″

Credit for the image of the frame goes to Adorn Event Hire‘s website. I modified the image of the frame in Photoshop to look a bit more like the frame from the TV series.

Add your own name

Want to add your own name to the “JESS” sign? No problem! Here is my source file for the sign, so that you can replace the text with your own name if you like:

New Girl – Jess source file (PSD) – 34″ x 14″

To change the text in the sign:

  1. Download the PSD file above and open it in Adobe Photoshop.
    • Note: If you do not have Photoshop, you can print a blank sign and then draw whatever name you like inside of it after you construct the sign. Download the blank sign here: New Girl – Jess sign print-out (blank) (PDF)
  2. Use the text tool to change the text in the JESS layer.
  3. Go to “Save As,” and for the Format, select “Photoshop PDF.”
  4. Uncheck the box for “Layers.”
  5. Click “Save.”
    • Note: You can apply compression if you need to make the file size smaller. If so, on the next screen, select Compression, then set “Image Quality” to “High.”
  6. Click “Save PDF.”
  7. Follow the rest of the instructions in Step 1 of this post: Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat and print using the poster option.


Open the PDFs in Adobe Acrobat and print them using Acrobat’s poster printing function. You may need to toggle the Portrait/Landscape mode in order to use the fewest sheets of paper.


Use small margins, 0.25″ at the most. You will need at least 12 sheets of paper to print the background, 12 for the frame, and about 4 for each sign (“NEW,” “GIRL,” and “Jess”).

Note: I recommend printing the background pattern at 130% its size, because the size of that oval appears much smaller than the frame when you place a person in between them to take their photo. The extra 30% will help out with the foreshortening effect.



Step 2 – Trim print-outs

Cut all the white margins off the printing paper. This step takes a LONG time, and you need a GOOD paper cutter, so try and find one at your local office supply store that has a sharp blade. Most office supply stores have a paper cutter available for you in their printing/shipping department.


Step 3 – Prep foam board

Lay out and line up the sheets you printed of the background pattern to get feel for how many foam boards you will need to mount the sheets. One way to do this is by placing the foam boards on top of the sheets until you have covered them with foam boards. Since I printed the background pattern at 100% its size, I needed only 2 foam boards on which to mount the sheets. If you print the background pattern at 130% its size as recommended above, you may need 4 foam boards to mount the sheets.

Once you lay out the sheets and determine how many foam boards they will require, tape the foam boards together on both sides using packing tape.

Step 4 – Prep layout of print-outs

Lay the printed pattern pieces onto the taped foam board to plan their position and make sure the foam board is big enough. Remove the pattern pieces from the foam board, keeping them in order, as you will need them again in just a moment.


Step 5 – Mount print-outs to foam board

Spray the entire foam board with spray adhesive. (Be sure to do this outside where you can breathe!) Then apply the sheets of background pattern to the foam board, piece by piece, matching up the seams carefully.

The finished pattern applied to the foam board (my cat is supervising):


Step 5 – Repeat for all pieces

Repeat steps 3 through 4 with each of the PDF files. Each of the “Jess,” “NEW” and “GIRL” signs should require 1 foam board. Lay the printed sheets out onto a foam board to plan their position and make sure the foam board is big enough. If you need more than 1 piece of foam board for a sign, tape together the foam board as needed. Use spray adhesive to apply the sheets of paper to to the foam board.

For the frame, arrange the printed sheets into 4 sections–top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right. Each section should be 4 sheets of paper. Use spray adhesive to apply one section of 4 sheets to each foam board.


I recommend waiting until Step 7 to tape together the 4 frame sections, so that you can trim out the details more easily while the pieces are a manageable size.

Step 6 – Trim foam board

Trim off all the excess foam board from all pieces using an X-Acto knife or box cutter. Trim right up to the edges of the printed paper. If you accidentally make any tears or rips, use spray adhesive or craft glue to patch it back together.

Use a small blade to cut out the finer details in the frame. Do NOT use scissors to cut anything, since scissor blades will crush the foam board and weaken its structure.

X-Acto knife


Step 7 – Reinforce foam board

Now you can tape together the 4 frame foam boards at their seams. Reinforce the back of the frame by taping rulers across the seams. This will help keep the frame from bending or buckling under its own weight.



Step 8 – Glue hanging eyelets

Use a hot glue gun to glue two frame-hanging eyelets onto the back of the frame at the top-left and top-right positions. Hot glue two eyelets to the back of the background pattern oval as well, also in the top-left and top-right positions. Try to align the eyelets so that they are level on each side. This will help you keep the frame level when you hang it up.


All your pieces are now complete!


Step 9 – Hang frame and background pattern

Screw two cup hooks into the ceiling about 3 feet apart (or the width of your background pattern oval). Hang your background pattern oval onto these hooks with some string. You will need an assistant for this part, to help you get it level.

Screw 2 more cup hooks into the ceiling about 3 feet apart, and 2 feet in front of the other cup hooks. Hang your frame onto these hooks with some string. Adjust the string so that it is level.

You may need to unscrew and re-screw the cup hooks a few times to get the placement of both pieces just right.


This is how the frame and background pattern should look when you have hung them up. I printed my background at 100% its size, and it is easy to see here why I recommend printing the background pattern at 130% the original size. Foreshortening (when objects closer to your eye appear larger than those in the background) causes the pattern to look too small for the frame that’s in front of it once you have hung them from the ceiling. Printing the background larger will help you take foreshortening into account.

New Girl hang frame and background pattern

Step 10 – Party!

Now for the fun part! Get your friends together and start taking pictures!

New Girl theme party


Update 12/28/2016

Wear the Frame as a Costume

One of my readers Sarah suggested scaling the frame down to make it wearable for a costume–Great idea, Sarah! Here’s how you can make this frame into a Jessica Day costume.

  1. Download and print this PDF file (29″ x 34″)–It is a smaller version of the frame with the pattern built into it.
  2. Follow steps 2 through 6 to mount the trimmed pieces onto foam board, and then cut out.
  3. Tie some strips of ribbon or cord across the shoulders and through the foam board. These will act as straps, so you can carry the frame like a backpack. Here is an example of where you could place the straps.


Thank you to my reader Taylor P. for sharing her Jessica Day costume that she made using my tutorial. Great job, Taylor… You look adorable! I think Zooey Deschanel would be impressed.

new-girl-reader-costume_01a new-girl-reader-costume_02b


14 thoughts on “How to Make a Gold Frame for a “New Girl” Theme Party

Add yours

  1. I’m looking to make a wearable version of the gold frame and Jess sign to go as Jess to Halloween. Any idea how much I should scale everything down by?


    1. I love that idea, Sarah! I think you could scale both of those pieces down to 75% when you print them out. That would make the frame 29.5″ wide and 32.3″ tall, with a 21″x26.5″ opening. The frame will be a manageable size to carry around with you at that point.

      I’d also recommend perhaps taping/glueing 2 pieces of string in an upside-down V-shape, sort of like the straps on a backpack if you were wearing the backpack backwards. (See the pic I have added at the bottom of the post.) The string would go from the top of the frame down to the bottom, to act as a support or harness to keep the frame hanging on you versus carrying it around by hand. Otherwise you may be straining to keep it balanced around your neck. I’d love to see how it turns out! Good luck!


  2. This was so helpful for my costume this year! I printed both the frame and the design at 80% and poked holes for ribbon so I could wear it kind of like a backpack then I also connected the Jess sign to the long tails of ribbon that was left over. Thank you so much for making the template public, definitely my cheapest and favorite costume so far!


  3. Hi Kristen.

    I am amazed with your work with this New Girl frame. I am trying to use the file “JESS.psd” but it is corrupted.

    Can you upload the file again or tell me the font used in the frame?

    Thank you so much. 🙂


    1. Hi Alvaro, thanks so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it! Also, thank you for letting me know about that file. My apologies–It looks like the embedded font was causing the issue. I changed the font to Comic Sans since it is a common font that’s very close to the original, and I re-uploaded the new PSD file.


  4. Kristen,
    This is great! Thank you for posting this, it was so helpful! I just had a couple of questions for you. How can I change the name on the banner? Do I have to open it with a certain program? Also, I’m trying to do this for a bachelorette party (the bride LOVES the show). Is there any way to change the “girl” sign to “bride”? If not, I completely understand, just thought I’d ask.



    1. Hi Marisol, how exciting! I bet the bride-to-be will be thrilled! You can definitely change the name on the banner. Go to Step 1 of the post, and download the file named “New Girl – Jess source file.” It is a Photoshop file, so you will need Photoshop to edit the text.

      Open the downloaded file in Photoshop and change the text. Then go to “Save As,” and for the Format, select “Photoshop PDF.” Uncheck the box for “Layers,” and then save the file. Next, follow the rest of the instructions in Step 1: Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat and print using the poster option.

      I’ll work on posting a blank banner for anyone who doesn’t have Photoshop, so that they can draw it right onto the finished banner if they like.

      I hope you all have a blast at the bachelorette party, and thank you for your comments!


    1. Hi Cindy, thank you very much! I just added the measurements to my post, next to each PDF file. Here they are for your convenience:

      New Girl – oval pattern print-out (PDF) – 30″ x 40″
      New Girl – gold frame print-out (PDF) – 39″ x 42″
      New Girl – NEW sign print-out (PDF) – 25″ x 16″
      New Girl – GIRL sign print-out (PDF) – 29″ x 17″
      New Girl – Jess sign print-out (PDF) – 34″ x 14″


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