Do you have a pile of old picture frames collecting dust in your basement? Get them out so you can upcycle them! With a bit of creativity, it’s easy to repurpose old picture frames or ones that you find at a thrift store to proudly show off in your home.
I have shared a few picture frame ideas over the years from 3D Frames for a Gallery Wall to making Photo Frame Mats Using Wallpaper or Making Ribbon Mat for a Photo Frame. I liked how I made all of these, but I really like the way I transformed a recent find of thrift store frames.
Do you remember when I posted about finding this above set of black picture frames I bought for 60 cents each? At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but for the price, I couldn’t pass them by.
Then on a trip to the Dollar Tree I came across these textured adhesive sheets and got an idea on how to transform three of the frames to fit my decorating style.
For my idea I had to make each frame larger. To do this I went through my home decor and improvement supplies and found old garden stakes that took on a weathered look. I cut them to make a weathered wood frame around each existing frame.
I didn’t stop there though. I needed to find a third texture to cover the set of frames as there were only two designs (stone and vintage tin) at the Dollar Tree and I wanted three. I thought about using clothespins to create a surface with texture the way I did to make a DIY Clothespin Picture Frame, but wanted something simpler.
I looked though my crafting stash and found corrugated cardboard that I saved from packaging and it worked. I used leftover wallpaper to make the mats for each frame.
Upcycled Picture Frames AFTER
Here is how the frames look now after I added my style to them. Each got a different texture that I painted white.
For the first picture frame, I covered the black part of the frame using the vintage tin sheet.
To cover the second picture frame, I used the corrugated cardboard.
For the third frame, I added the faux stone sheet.
I hung the three repurposed picture frames in my foyer. My favorite aspect of the frames is the subject matter. Seeing the smiling faces of my grandchildren makes me smile. Isn’t that what we want when we decorate our homes? To love every inch?
Total cost to transform the frames was $2.50 since all the supplies I needed were leftover from previous projects, except for the dollar store adhesive sheets.
I also like that the weathered wood I added to the frames coordinates with the Modern Driftwood Sculpture I made on the foyer console.
Upcycle Picture Frames Step-By-Step Instructions
- Old or thrift store frames
- Scrap wood and saw to cut it
- Dollar Tree adhesive sheets
- Wood glue
- Spray glue
- Craft knife, scissors and ruler
- Spray paint
- Staple gun
- Masking tape
Time needed: 4 hours
Enlarge and Transform Plain Thrift Store Picture Frames
- Cut Wood
To make an existing frame larger, using a wood saw, cut 4 pieces of scrap wood to fit around the existing frame. Miter the ends to follow the lines of the existing frame.
Set wood cuts aside.
- Paint Inside Edge of Frame
Paint the inside and outside edge of frame, no need to paint all of it as the top and sides will be covered. Painting the edges ensures the black color of the frame will not show up where the wood will join the frame in an upcoming step.
- Attach Adhesive Sheet
Cut adhesive sheet to size needed with a craft knife and straight edge ruler. Remove center piece and set aside as you don’t need it.
- Place Cut Adhesive Tile on Frame
Make sure cut sheet fits, then apply spray glue on top of frame. Place cut tile on top. Gently press to make sure it adheres.
Note: When cutting the sheet to fit the frame, the adhesive film on the back will come off. You can discard this as you can use spray glue to attach the cut sheet to the top of the frame.
- Spray Paint Frame
Apply 2-3 light coats of spray paint over the frame. Let dry. If you are new to spray painting, follow these Spray Painting Tips.
- Attach Cut Wood
Place the wood cuts on each side of the frame, spread wood glue along inner edge of wood and attach to frame. Let dry.
- Cut Mat
Measure frame and photo to figure out the size needed for the mat. Use a craft knife and ruler to cut to size.
- Attach Photo to Mat
Use masking tape to attach the photo to the back side of the mat.
- Place Photo and Mat
Place the glass, wallpaper mat, photo and cardboard backing that came with the frame into the frame.
- Close Up Back of Frame
Use a staple gun to place a few long staples into the wood to hold the cardboard into place. Add tape to make sure the backing will securely stay in place.
- Note: If Using Corrugated Cardboard
When using corrugated cardboard to cover the frame, you can piece i4 cut sections with diagonal cut on the ends.
If corrugated cardboard gets flattened or smushed when working with it, use a large sewing needle to open the smashed channels.
Close Up of Frames
Vintage tin texture.
Corrugated cardboard texture.
Faux stone texture.