Decorating Plain, Recycled, or Repurposed Picture Frames: Tutorials and Ideas

Source

If you've ever browsed in dollar stores, the dollar sections of big box stores, or thrift stores, you know that there is an abundance of cheap picture frames out there. Craft stores often sell inexpensive frames as well. Look for a used frame that you can repurpose or recycle or look for a plain frame that you can decorate any way that you like. Not only are homemade frames generally cheaper than purchased frames, they can be customized for just about any occasion.

Keep in mind that if you are making a frame for a specific photo, consider the orientation of the photo when you create your design.

Please respect artist copyrights. Unless it is indicated otherwise, all ideas and tutorials are for personal use only. If you're interested in selling your creations, contact the artists directly to work out agreements. Thank you and happy creating!

Source
Source

Scrapbook Paper/Scrapbooking Embellishments

There are endless possibilities for decorating plain frames with scrapbook paper and/or scrapbooking embellishments. If you keep these materials on hand, this is a great way to use up smaller scraps and little odds and ends (i.e. one pink flower embellishment that you didn't include on a scrapbook page). Consider incorporating messages and/or creating frames for specific occasions (i.e. baby showers, graduations, etc.).

Source
Source

Recycled Magazines

Most of the tutorials and for sale frames out there with recycled magazines are made by rolling and then gluing little magazine strips in any number of different patterns. You can alter this concept with different designs, color combinations, shapes, etc. just about any way that you like. Additionally, consider using magazine pages for more of a decoupage type of frame.

Source

Inkodye

Jessica had the opportunity to test drive Inkodye, and the frame is one of the projects she created with it. I love many things rain and cloud-related so this theme appeals to me, but you can customize your frame any way that you like. This is the only tutorial out there for an Inkodye frame, but I have included a couple other Inkodye tutorials in the links so you can get a few ideas for other options for it.

Check out more craft ideas from Kristine at www.kmckaydesigns.com.

Source
Source

Seashells

Create a special frame for any tropical or beach side vacation with a seashell frame by collecting your own seashells. This can also make a great honeymoon gift for a soon to be wed couple who will be taking a tropical honeymoon and would appreciate a unique frame for one of their trip pictures. If you don't have your own seashells to work with for a gift and don't live near a place that you can collect them yourself, consider purchasing shells.

Source

Retro Theme

I don't have a tutorial for this idea, but you can get basic instructions for decorating a frame in many of the other tutorial posts here. This is a great gift option for a graduation, wedding, or milestone birthday. If you still have old toys or memorabilia in the basement from when your kids were little, sort through some of your trinkets. If you don't, it shouldn't be too time-consuming or expensive to find some new options online or in a thrift store. Have fun with it.

Source

Spools of Thread

The blog author applied this concept to a bulletin board, but it would work perfectly well for a picture frame, too. The spools will work filled with thread or empty, especially if you find wooden spools or unique vintage plastic spools. If you can't find any vintage spools of thread, new ones will work just fine, too.

Source
Source

Chalkboard Paint

For the first photo, the blog author created this frame as part of a set of teacher gifts. The chalkboard theme does work nicely for teachers, but as you can customize the chalk messages any way you want, there are numerous possibilities for this. A chunky frame like the ones pictured will work well with chalkboard paint, as there is more room for writing. If you're giving this frame as a gift, consider including some chalk with it.




Source

Adding a Ribbow and Bow

Keep it simple with a ribbon and a bow. This is a great option for a recycled or repurposed frame that is in good shape and doesn't need a lot of other work. It is also a good option if you're making a lot of frames at once (i.e. party favors) and don't want anything too complicated or time consuming.

Old neckties are an excellent option for decorating a frame.

Source
Source

Buttons

You know that I had to include buttons as an option. If you don't have a stash of buttons at home, check thrift stores or sale sections of craft stores. You may be able to find a post-holiday deal on a seasonal set. You can use a few buttons as detail or you can fill every inch of your frame with buttons. If you will be filling your whole frame, consider painting the frame with the color of your buttons (or one color of your multicolored set) in case any of the frame shows through the buttons.




Source
Source

Fabric Covered/Embellished

Similar to scrapbook paper, there are endless possibilities for fabric covered or embellished frames. I have provided just a couple examples here. You can cover an entire frame in fabric or simply add a little embellishment such as a patterned strip of fabric or a fabric flower. This is a great way to use up scraps and any oddly shaped pieces of fabric that don't work well for the type of projects that you usually make.

More by this Author


27 comments

ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

These are all really neat ideas in this hubs on frames decorating. I've done the shell ones before and some frames repainting.

Great hub. Thanks for sharing.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

More great uses for scrapbooking paper! YES! I love this. I have some frames that I purchased from the craft store and needed ideas. Your hubs are beautiful and timely. Thank you!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

I was just deciding whether to get rid of some extra frames…now I know what to do with them! Will be checking back on this! Thanks for putting these great ideas together for us. I'm loving the mini frames at the end!


Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

Super hub, loved the frames using rolled up magazine paper. So funky! Will definitely be giving this one a try.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Comfort, that's awesome that you've used a couple of these ideas before.

Cyndi, yep, another scrapbook paper craft! I can't believe how many I've found since I wrote that hub. This will be perfect for your new frames.

RTalloni, this works out well then! Have fun with your frames.

Thundermama, awesome! I hope that goes well.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Wonderful, random! I thought of you when I asked this question. I figured you'd come through for me! Great ideas. I have lots of buttons and some fabric. I think decorated frames are great for gifts with a special picture. Inexpensive, creative, and meaningful. Thanks for writing this hub. Voted up and just about everything else! :-) Sharing!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I'm glad that I was able to come through for you! I agree with you about decorated frames. Have fun. :)


Angelo52 profile image

Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

Great Hub! Lots of really good ideas for decorating those bland and recycled picture frames. Voted up and thanks for sharing.


Journey * profile image

Journey * 4 years ago from USA

In this hub, you were so thorough and have provided so many nice pictures. I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for the information. Voted interesting.


Nancy 4 years ago

These are really great ideas! I LOVE that rainbow magazine one:)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Angelo, Journey, and Nancy! I'm glad that you enjoyed this hub!


Edi 4 years ago

Of course I love the ones decorated with scrapbook paper :)

But I love the ones with 3-D embellishments too!

Great list of resources!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Edi!


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

So many cool ideas here that sparked my interest!!! I really liked Spools of Thread and the frames with chalkboard paint! I have to share this!!!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks imaudra! I appreciate the sharing. :)


storybeader 4 years ago

golly! So many different options, everyone will have something to recycle! Great ideas! {:-D


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Yes, for sure! Thanks Deb!


shabbygirls profile image

shabbygirls 4 years ago from Australia

What a collection of really great ideas, thank you


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks shabbygirls!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

These are all super cute. I just got married a couple months ago and have been thinking about framing some of my wedding photos. This hub is very inspiring; I think I'm going to start a picture-frame project soon!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Om! Congrats on your wedding. Good luck with your framing!


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 4 years ago from The City of Generals

Hi Rose. I love the patchwork frame idea, sounds and feels country. I've been thinking of what frame styles and colors to get a touch of the old-fashioned for my small living room and kitchen. I've thought of patching up different colors for a larger frame. So glad I've read these tips. I'd love to share to you (through my hub) a picture of it the moment I'm through with my dream frame. Thank you again Rose. Looking forward to more ideas from you.

Awesome, interesting and voted up!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Tonipet! I'm glad that idea appeals to you. It would be perfect for an old-fashioned and/or country style home. Good luck with it!


MAGICFIVE profile image

MAGICFIVE 4 years ago from New York

This is such an inspiring hub! I have had this urge lately to decorate a picture frame, and now I have some great ideas! Thanks!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Magic! That's great. Have fun with your frames. :)


worddsplaytoday profile image

worddsplaytoday 4 years ago from NC

I love this hub I was just thinking about what I could do with my frames I have. Thank you for the ideals!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

You're very welcome! That's perfect.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working