Recycled or inexpensive picture frames can be decorated and used to create fun new decor for your home. This is a guide about crafts using picture frames.
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To make a quirky picture frame try varnishing favourite sweets, jelly babies or licorice, all sorts look quite colourful, then glue them to a cheap picture frame. I suppose you could do the same by varnishing cookies, but make sure who-ever you're giving it to knows it's not really edible!
Turning boring picture frames into works of art doesn't take much more than some paint, glue, a junk drawer full of odds and ends, and an imagination! Revamping a picture frame is an easy project that you can complete in an afternoon (drying time included).
What you'll need:
Look at your boring, plain picture frame as a blank canvas, with limitless possibilities.
It's wise to plan out what kind of theme you'd like your frame to have before you start the project. What do the odds and ends in your junk drawer spell out? Rustic country style? Gothic? Outdoors-themed? Loud and colorful, or subdued?
First, think about what kind of base you'd like. It could be as simple as a couple of coats of acrylic paint. Alternately, if you have some old newspaper, rice paper or magazines you'd like to get rid of, you can create a decoupage paper base using acrylic medium. To do this, make a stockpile of paper cuttings. Paint a small area of your frame with acrylic medium, and place a cutting on the area you've painted. Paint some medium over the paper, and begin to smooth it down with your finger, removing all air bubbles that may have formed. With your finger, 'wrap' the edges of the paper around the inner and outer edge of the frame. Continue in this manner, covering the frame with paper, and give the entire thing a coat of medium when you're done.
Remember that before you add any sort of base or embellishment to your frame, you should remove the backing and glass first!
To give your frame an antique metallic finish, combine about 1/2 or 1/4 teaspoon of gold or bronze acrylic paint with 1 tablespoon of acrylic medium, and paint 1-2 layers of the mixture over a decoupaged or light-colored frame.
Once your base is dry, you can begin to add embellishments. This is the perfect opportunity to use up those keys whose locks are long forgotten, or that jar of single buttons.. A neat use for an old watch is to gut it with a small screwdriver and pliers, and glue its inner clockwork to your frame. Or -- string some beads onto some craft wire, and wrap the wire around the edges of the frame.
Simple tacky craft glue is ideal for a job like this one, because it's flexible but very sturdy and dries completely clear.
Once your embellishments have been added, you can decide whether you'd like to go over the entire frame with a coat or two of acrylic medium, to protect your creation.. This isn't always necessary, but if you've glued small beads or photos to the frame, the medium will help keep them stuck on.
Lastly -- it's important to put a special photo in your frame, and display it in a prominent place! You've created a work of art, and it will definitely draw compliments from houseguests.
© 2005 - ThriftyFun
By Jess Hampton
I've bought picture frames (with wide borders) from the Goodwill or other thrift stores. I use craft paint (any color) to paint them and then a satin varnish. Then I hot glue a variety of shells to the frame. I use shells I pick up at my beach and the frames cost only a couple dollars. Sometimes I insert a meaningful beach picture or I will leave it empty for the receiver to fill.
You can also bleach (dilute with water) the shells to make them look more weathered. Paint the frame with a true white paint. Then do a second coat of off-white or cream. When both coats are fully dry, lightly sand the top coat so that the white and even wood-grains show below. Hot glue the bleached shells on the worn frame for a fully weathered look.
Approximate Time: 1 hour
Take your scrap paper and place your picture frame on top and trace all around the frame and the inside of the frame onto the paper. Then once you have completely traced the outside and inside of your frame, take a craft knife and carefully cut along the lines you've done. When you're all done, the paper should be the same shape as your picture frame.
Next you're going to need to chose a color paint that'll match or go good with the scrap paper. When you've found a good color paint, paint your picture frame. Remember to take the glass out and to paint the back. Let the paint completely dry.
Once your paint is dry, take the piece of paper you cut out earlier and use some white glue to lightly cover the back of the paper. Then match the corners and stick the paper on your frame. Once your paper is on the frame you can put wax paper over your frame and use a popsicle stick to smooth out any bubbles in the paper. Once you are done smoothing out the paper on top of the frame and its dry, you can go on to paint the edges of your frame. I used a little piece of sponge and dipped it into some paint (the same color paint that was used earlier) and just gently ran it all around the outside edges. I did this to kinda hide the paper edges and to make everything kinda blend well together.
Once the paint around your edges has dried, take some modge podge (or watered down glue), and go over your frame to seal and protect the paper. You might want to do a few coats depending on the paper you use. For mine, only one coat was needed. If you use watered down glue, I suggest around 3-4 coats.
After the protective coat is on and dried, you can use some little embellishments to add to your picture frame. I found some little wooden cats and dogs to glue onto mine at Michaels for 4/$1.
I hope you enjoy this craft project!
By Jennie from Las Vegas, NV
I used small twigs from my yard and using a hot glue gun, I added them a layer at a time until the entire frame was covered. Then I covered with a light coat of Mod Podge to seal it. Also, look at the little flower pot done to match. This was a small tin can covered in twigs.
Approximate Time: 2 Hours
By Sharon from Lakeland, FL
This old picture frame was going to be trash until I thought of painting it and adding some extra "Happy New Years" confetti to it. I slapped on some glossy varnish and now it looks fantastic.
Approximate Time: 10 minutes without drying time
By Aysha from Boise, ID
Ever collected shells at the beach or just admired their natural beauty? Frames decorated in shells are always distinct (no two shells are the same), stimulate personal or collective creativity, and evoke a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere for years to come.
I went to Michael's Craft store and bought those plain wood frames for $1 that you can paint, I also bought some cute kid decals for decorating them. It was simple, just painted bright fun colors on each side with acrylic paint and a sponge brush. Then I used lettering decals to put their name. I did one of each of my grandsons, and have a grand daughter arriving in 2 weeks, one more to make!
By Linda from Bellevue, N.E
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Here are questions related to Crafts Using Picture Frames.
If the frames are nice, it also looks neat to do a collage of empty frames on a wall - different shapes and sizes. The woodwork of the frame becomes your "art".
By Lisa Austin07/19/2007
I have glued smaller frames onto larger ones and then painted or stained them. This technique makes for an interesting frame!
I am trying to decorate a plain wooden photo frame with sand and shells collected from a special holiday. I intend on covering the plain wood with sand and then placing the shells on top of the sand. Has anyone got any ideas how this might best be done?
Deb from Cleveland, TN
To avoid dust, I saw a product in the craft store that can cover basically anything. It looks like it's a plastic coating. It's not thrifty but it would solve the dust problem.