Get Creative with Picture Frames!

Turn Old Picture Frames into Wall Art and Craft Pieces

Looking for new ways to decorate your home? Or maybe you need a gift for the person who has everything? Well, look no further than your local yard sale, flea market, basement, or attic for inspiration! Old picture frames can be used to create new wall art, frame new or old photos and paintings, make unique serving trays, add wainscoting to a wall, and can even be used by themselves. When used creatively, open picture frames can add a whimsical or contemporary touch to your home. So when the glass breaks in your favorite frame, don’t throw it away—add a little paint and give it new life!stacks of picture frames

Note that some prep work may be involved. For example, you may have to remove varnish or existing paint. If that’s the case, be sure to have light-grade sandpaper (120 grit), tack cloth, and a Scrigit Scraper™ on hand to thoroughly clean the corners, edges and grooves.  Once you have your frames ready, here’s three ways to put them to new use.

Group Open Frames for Instant Art

Take your mix of picture frames and group them on a wall. It helps if the frames are different sizes and widths, to add interest.  For a classic or contemporary look, paint the frames the same color. For more whimsy, mix colors as above. You can use spray paint or latex, but be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for ventilation and drying time. If you’re not quite sure how to arrange your frames, you can find tons of ideas online. The key is to hang the frames close together, as it provides a unified look. Here is an example of open frames. You can also use open frames to frame other objects hung on the wall.

Make a Serving Tray

This requires a little more skill and some tools. Large frames (11” x 14” or larger) work best, although you can complete this project with any size. First, you’ll need to cut a piece of ¼” plywood the same size as the outside dimensions of the back of the frame. Next, affix the wood to the back of the frame with ½” brad nails, spaced approximately 2” apart. Paint the entire piece and allow to dry. Finally, affix a drawer pull on each of the shorter sides of the frame (you may have to drill pilot holes). You can gather more inspiration here.wall with picture frames for wainscoting

Update your Dining Room (or Any Room!)

This project requires multiples of the same frames, at least 16” x 20”. To create a shadowbox wainscot, you will need to measure the space and mark where you want the frames to go. Some people like spacing, as shown in the photo, while others like the design more pronounced by buttressing the frames. Have fun with it! You can paint the frames a different color than your wall, or paint them all the same color for more subtlety. The chair rail is optional.

Not feeling so creative or adventurous? This site may get your artistic juices flowing with tons of ideas for your old frames!

Contributed by guest blogger Cyndi G.

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