Porthole Picture Frame


January 26, 2019

Portholes are neat. They remind us of luxury cruises, deep sea exploration, and being sealed involuntarily in a time travel chamber. I wanted to capture those moments in my home decor.

Invention idea #01136.1 pulled from my notebooks to share.

In Development: Prototype 1

Final Release 15%

Reproduction plans (CC BY-SA) and limited release prototypes will be available after final.

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Is that a porthole?

Idea was to make a picture frame with the look and feel of a porthole. It should be easy to build and modify the front plate, fast to add/remove pictures, and look like it is embedded into the wall.


Design notes on each version. Select a tab to learn more.

Last updated: October, 2022


  1. Design 3D printed keyhole for flush mounting to wall.
  2. Try out in 1/4" MDF.
  3. Recon alternate bolts & binding screws to use. Prefer Hex bolts but hard to find with large heads and short lengths. Print my own?
  4. Redesign to fit standard picture/poster sizes.

I worked together with my Twitch viewers to evolve the initial concept. We designed two sizes of portholes that would mount flush to walls, looks like a porthole, and allows for different materials for the front plate as desired.



  • Concept made from laser cut E-flute cardboard. 
  • OD of portholes: 13.75" and 19.75".
  • Used binding screws to hold the structure together and provide a "riveted" look.
  • The width of the edging determines the dimensions of the photo used. Ideally, it will fit a standard picture size without any modification. Tricky.
  • Did not address flush mounting for this iteration. Plan is to 3D print keyhole structure that can use a single mounting screw.

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