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Decorating Plain, Recycled, or Repurposed Picture Frames: Tutorials and Ideas
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!
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 DIY home decor articles from the author.
- DIY Chevron Pattern Home Décor Ideas and Projects
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- Valentine's Day Home Décor: Decorating Craft Ideas
Are you looking for Valentine's Day home décor ideas? This article has over ten tutorials for easy decorating craft ideas, many of which you can make with kids.
- 11 Button Wreath Craft Holiday Decorations
This hub has 11 button wreath craft holiday decoration tutorials with descriptions for each. I have included other button craft resources as well as lots of pictures, too.