Lego Ikea Photo Frames
The RIBBA and SANNAHED photo frames from Ikea are rather popular with Lego fans as they have quite some depth thus allow to create diorama’s, mosaic, brick sketches or showcase minifigs. As there are many different frame sizes i have translated them to Lego dimensions so one can more easily start building a MOC.
Converting physical to Lego dimensions is easy, a single stud is 8 mm wide and 9.6 _ x + 1.7 mm high. A plate is 3.2 _ x + 1.7 mm high and a tile 3.2 mm. The bricks themselves are marginally smaller for tolerances (P - 0.2 instead of P), however one should calculate dimensions without tolerances (just P). If you do not want to do the “math”, i already did it for you and there are plenty online converters available.
All files use brick color “sky blue”, please use the color which is the most appropriate for you use-case instead.
Be careful to place the picture frame in direct sunlight as high temperatures, or extensive UV radiation, could damage the Lego. The picture frame is a more or less a closed environment thus temperatures can rise very high in sunlight!
Consider applying a clear, thin, UV protective film on the photo frame’s plexiglass.
Ribba photo frame
The Ribba photo frame series has been in production for a long time and comes in different sizes. However the available frame sizes do change over time. They are 3.2 cm deep (inside), which is why they are so popular. The frame is wide enough to be put on a shelve without being mounted to a wall.
The 23x23 cm Ribba frame went out of production and has been replaced by Sannahed 25x25 cm frame (see below), and therefor is not included here. When looking up other MOC’s/tutorials online be careful, if they use Ribba 23x23 cm frame you must adjust it to 25 x 25 cm Sannahed yourself.
All frames are 4 studs deep.
10 x 15 cm
|height||9 bricks + 3 plates + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (14.4 x 9.9 cm)|
|height||15 bricks + 1 plate + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (9.6 x 15 cm)|
13 x 18 cm
|height||12 bricks + 3 plate + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (17.6 x 12.8 cm)|
|height||18 bricks + 1 plate + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (12.8 x 17.9 cm)|
21 x 30 cm
|height||19 bricks + 4 plate + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (29.6 x 19.8 cm)|
|height||30 bricks + 2 plate + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (20.8 x 29.8 cm)|
30 x 40 cm
|height||30 bricks + 2 plate + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (40.0 x 29.8 cm)|
|height||48 bricks + 4 plate + 1 tile|
|perfect fit||no (29.6 x 40.0 cm)|
BrickSet has a tutorial on how to prepare a photo frame to showcase minifigs.
There are many other ways though and you can always come up with your own, some examples below (note some use the discontinued 23x23 cm Ribba frame).
Minifig mount examples
Sannahed photo frame
The frame has inner dimensions of 25x25 cm, and is 4 cm deep (inside). It also comes with a passepartout which can be removedif desired. The original design keeps the photo in place by a cardboard frame which reduces the inner dimensions to 24x24 cm. While the cardboard frame is not required for Lego diorama’s removing it does not gain much space as the transparent window is also only 24x24 cm. The only thing one might gain is to hide the left and right brick borders of a diorama in the photo frame. All dimensions below assume te cardboard frame remains in place. However this still leaves plenty of room to create diorama’s and showcase minifigs. The photo frame is wide enough to be put on a shelve without being mounted to a wall.
Remove the passepartout. The diorama will fit the frame perfectly. It is not mandatory to build the full frame if your MOC does not need it, however if the diorama is not 5 studs deep at the top and bottom it might not stay properly in place. The frame itself can also be part of the diorama, one does not have to stay within the frame but only within the bounds of the frame (see Lego dimensions below); hence the frame can be part of the diorama.
The background can be made out of bricks or a 25x25 cm photo can be used behind the lego. I advice to use a slightly thicker paper if available. One can set the size of the image in a Word document an print it.
Note: some renders include a border (black) to give the impression of the photo frame, this is not part of the diorama and for illustrative purposes only. See the real images.
|height||24 bricks + 2 plates + 1 tile|
Baseplate / Mosaic
By removing the passepartout and adding a baseplate one can create mosaics or dioramas (build “up”). Unfortunately the fame does not match the Lego baseplate dimension as they are 32x32 studs, the frame is 31x31 studs. You wil need a knife… cut it to size and and mount it in the frame.
The available colors of official lego 32x32 stud baseplates is limited.
|height||31 studs (30 available to build)|
|width||31 studs (30 available to build)|
|depth||4 bricks + 1 plate|
Plate base / Mosaic
Remove the passepartout. Create a base plate which may serve as a base for mosaics, diorama’s (build “up”).
|depth||3 bricks + 1 plate|
It does not matter with what size plates the 30x30 stud base is created, a popular option is 15 * 10 x 6 plates. If by construction you connect the base plates already the support plates on the back (4x4 and 4x2) are no longer required and you gain a additional plate in depth.
Brick Sketch/Mosaic (adapter) - passepartout
This adapter allows to create mosaics or mount brick sketches in the frame’s passepartout (12 x 12 cm). All brick sketches use 12 x 16 stud bases and were first release by Lego in 2020. The idea was pioneered by Chris McVeigh1. By default they come with a stand which should be removed (including brick border at the back) so the sketch can be mounted to the adapter and fit the passepartout. The adapter can also be used to mount (small) mosaics.
Examples of brick sketches
Source: Chris McVeigh
This is a copy of “ Brick Sketch & IKEA RIBBA adapter” by BobTheMadCow. As he only provided build instructions i converted them to a Studio 2.0 for ease of use.
All credit goes to BobTheMadCow.
|height||15 studs (mosaic/sketch can be a different size)|
|width||15 studs (mosaic/sketch can be a different size)|
The Sannahed frame, with this adapter, comfortably fits a Brick Sketch up to 5 plates “up” from the background colour level. You can squeeze in 1 more plate (plus studs on top) but the plastic front will start to buckle. The Joker’s (40428) nose will cause this effect.
- Source BobTheMadCow
The digital file also includes the 12 x 4 baseplates, however they are already included in the Brick Sketch sets. The 16 x 2 and 8 x 2 plates (on the back) are NOT included in the official sets. Note the adapter is not visible, thus the colors do not matter but the “base” will be visible and thus its color should be chosen carefully (see images below).
he came up with the idea and was hired by Lego to release official sets ↩︎