Crafts Using Picture Frames

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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November 11, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about making a seashell picture frame. Use your seashell collection to create a beautiful picture frame.

A picture frame made from seashells.

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November 17, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about decorating a wooden picture frame. Plain wood picture frames can be decorated in many ways to fit into your home decor or to be given as gifts.

A wooden frame with red glitter hearts.

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November 1, 2010 Flag
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This is relatively a simple quilling project. A 3x5 inch brown mat frame is embellished with beautiful quill work. Quill a flower with leaves and "V" scrolls, and a pumpkin in the grass. This can be put in a picture frame with your Pumpkin Patch picture, or in a scrapbook. This holds a 3x5 inch photograph.
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Approximate Time: forty-five minutes

Supplies:

Instructions:

Use your slotted quilling tool or needle to create shapes.

For the Flower:

  1. Create six yellow teardrop shapes. Refer to the picture and glue these together to form a flower. Create a green/gray tight coil and glue to the middle of the flower.
  2. From two 6 inch green quilling strips create two "V" coil shapes. Glue the bottom together up to 1/2 inch to form a stem. Glue these into flower referring to picture for placement.
  3. From two 6 inch green quilling strips create two leaf shapes and glue to the "V" shapes.
    For the Pumpkin:

  4. From the 6 inch orange quilling strip create a loose coil. Set aside. From a 3 inch green quilling strip create a rectangular shape to represent the pumpkin stem. Glue to the pumpkin.
  5. From a 6 inch green quilling strip, create a "V" shape and glue the bottom together up to 1/2 inch. Glue to pumpkin next to stem. Refer to picture for placement.
  6. From a 3 inch green quilling strip, create a scroll shape and glue to the bottom of the "V" shape. (Again, refer to picture for placement if needed.)
    For the Grass:

  7. From a 2 inch green quilling strip and a separate 1 inch green quilling strip, create irregular fan folds. Slightly open to represent grass.
  8. Glue all created pieces to the mat. Refer to the picture for placement. This mat holds a 3x5 inch photograph.

By Marianne from Monroe, IA

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November 2, 20100 found this helpful

Wow! That's really neat and pretty!

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August 22, 2012 Flag
6 found this helpful

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

Supplies:

Instructions:

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.

By Sharon from Lakeland, FL

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August 27, 20120 found this helpful

Love this idea.

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December 31, 2008 Flag
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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.

A frame decorated with confetti

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June 11, 2005 Flag
Jess Hampton0 found this helpful

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:

  • A store bought picture frame of any size, or a picture frame that you're bored of and want to jazz up
  • Craft glue
  • Acrylic paint or nail polish
  • Mod Podge/Acrylic Medium
  • Miscellaneous junk drawer/craft items, including: buttons, beads, wire, newspaper, old watches, old keys, shells, beach glass, old earrings, photos, stamps, negatives -- the list is endless.

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.

finishedframe.jpg

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.

Framedetail.jpg

© 2005 - ThriftyFun

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June 12, 20050 found this helpful

Very cool, I really like the watch pieces!

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March 9, 20060 found this helpful

margie @ hotmail.com

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June 3, 2014 Flag
1 found this helpful

Renew and refurbish old picture frames, even rusty metal ones, with acrylic paint. Try mixing silver paint with different colors for unique results. For wooden frames, use Gesso to glue lace or lacy seam binding around the edges for a carved look before painting.

Use one color and let it dry, and then top with another color, wiping off most of it for an antique look. You can even paint old mat board with acrylic paint.

Steps:

  1. Experiment with different colors that work well with your picture/photo.
  2. You can spray with clear acrylic to give further protection, and add a shiny look.
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July 18, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

Decorate a Picture Frame

Decorate a Picture Frame

Uses for old wooden frames that are missing glass. These tips are from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own ideas here.

Decorate a Picture Frame

Decorate a picture frame using paint and found objects. You can decorate a frame with a nautical theme by painting a lighthouse and birds on it. Then hot glue on some found objects like seashells to complete the project.

Make A Table Tray Or Collage

You can put a thin piece of wood in where the glass goes, paint the whole thing and make a tray. Small frames make nice trays for your dresser or the bathroom, and large frames make nice serving trays. If the frame is really thick and strong, you can add handles from the hardware store to hang on to.

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 QueenBeeCrafts

Blackboard

You could paint some plywood with black board paint, attach the frame and then hang it near the pantry as a notice/shopping list board.

By Wolnut

Use For Children's Artwork

When my kids were little, I use to take the old frames and frame their artwork and put them by the pictures on the same wall and as they got older I would put their best papers from school in the frames to show off. They were also able to take the frames and decorate them to become "different frames" on our walls.

By Ginny

Earring Holder

If you staple window screening to the back of the frame, they make a great holder for earrings. Simply hang on the wall and organize!

By Kathy

Get Glass To Use As Frame

An Arts and Crafts store like Hobby Lobby sells glass made for photo frames. If you know the measurements for the frames, you can buy new glass pieces for them.

By Renee

Make A Papermaking Screen

Try a search on making paper. I have never done it but one easy method that I have heard of is to blend scrap paper with a little water to a fine pulp and then using a screen (a.k.a. one made out of an old picture frame) lay the mush out, squeeze it thin and let it dry.

By Kwaurio

Yard Art

A lady in our local garden club used an old barnboard picture frame in her landscaping. She set it up on a stand and planted an assortment of annuals and perennials behind the stand. This "picture" was the talk of the club when we toured the yard and looked great.

By Valleyrimgirl

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July 18, 20070 found this helpful

what a beautiful frame

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July 18, 20070 found this helpful

A designer friend of mine used velvet in gilt frames and put several on them on an office wall for a bulletin board.

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July 18, 20070 found this helpful

You can always put acetate sheets in them as a cheap glass substitute (also good for children, as it isn't as hazardous as glass)l.

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July 19, 20070 found this helpful

I have glued smaller frames onto larger ones and then painted or stained them. This technique makes for an interesting frame!

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February 21, 2012 Flag
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There are many creative ideas for making your own jewelry holder; using a picture frame provides a tangle free solution. This is a guide about making a picture frame jewelry holder.

November 18, 2009 Flag
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By Eva Marie Stasiak

These personalized frames are great gifts! They can literally be for anyone because they are personalized. I enjoy making them for my daughter and with children for their parents on Mother's and Father's days.

Supplies:

  • Frame
  • Water
  • Paint / Spray paint
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint brushes
  • Decorations
  • Sealer

Directions:

Once you have gathered all your supplies select the color you would like to paint your frame. After removing the glass and backing of the frame; paint or spray paint it. For the best results use two coats of paint, and let dry for at least 2 hours.

Next you will want to paint on any personalization or wording. Do all your painting before you glue on any decorations, this keeps your work surface flat. Again let your frame dry before continuing.

After your paint has dried you should spray the entire painted area with a sealer. You can use a satin sealer or glossy sealer to add a shimmer to your art. This will increase the life of your frames paint job.

The last steps are to lay out any decorations you would like to attach to the frame. Lay everything out first to ensure it all fits and looks the way you like. Then hot glue them into place.

Let the frame dry for 24 hours before replacing the glass and adding a picture.

Feedback:

RE: Personalized Frames

Pretty and easy thank you. (03/21/2006)

By meoowmom

RE: Personalized Frames

These are really neat! I might try some of these. Thanks for posting the directions! (03/21/2006)

By rainwolf

RE: Personalized Frames

They look great! I think that I could even make one of those frames. I will look forward to making one. Thank you for such clear directions! Best wishes (03/22/2006)

By Sheri

RE: Personalized Frames

Awesome - good project idea, I love it! (03/25/2006)

By wdyjsu

RE: Personalized Frames

Real pretty, I love it when someone gives good ideas with a picture. Thanks (04/01/2006)

By nmcl

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