Make a Pretty Framed Picture for Pennies

Here is a way to make a very nice framed picture without the high cost.

Find a picture you love. I've had luck finding these in magazines and catalogs.

Use acrylic paint ($.59 to $1.29 a little bottle) to paint any old plain frame. Choose a color that's in your picture. Those frames for certificates that usually come in black are prime candidates for this project, as they're usually cheap. Takes maybe 4 coats to get it all covered depending on your color choice.


You can use shiny nail polish to put detail color, a border or design on your frame. Or use another complimenting color of acrylic paint for detail, if desired.

For your "mat", cut a piece of brown paper to fit into the frame. Grocery bags (back plain side) work very well for this. Sponge water color onto brown paper. You can also just paint the brown paper, or color it with markers.

A good thing about making a mat is if your picture doesn't exactly fit centered in your frame, the mat takes up the extra space and makes it look good.

Now carefully cut out your picture, cut a piece of cardboard (like a cereal box) 1/4" wider than your picture on all sides, and color the edges of the cardboard with black marker. Glue your picture onto this. Gives it depth.

Glue your picture with its backing onto your "mat", put into your newly painted frame, and enjoy!

Note: If you're not too good a painter, like me, don't fret. Enjoy your framed picture anyway. Just call it "folk art"! LOL

By Jayne

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