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Christmas Holiday Decorating Ideas Using Basic Picture or Photo Frames

Updated on October 12, 2017
purl3agony profile image

Donna enjoys using her arts background to create fun craft projects with a special focus on using repurposed or handy household materials.

How to decorate for the holidays with basic frames  (c) purl3agony 2012
How to decorate for the holidays with basic frames (c) purl3agony 2012

I've found that frames are an easy and festive way to display your holiday decorations, particularly if you have a limited amount of space for decorations (like people living in apartments), or if you only have a small collection of holiday ornaments. (I happen to fit into both categories). By using basic (translation: cheap) frames, or by recycling/upcycling old frames, you can highlight your trimmings and make a greater impact with the decorations you have.

My projects below use Christmas ornaments, but you could use these ideas as inspiration for any holiday! And as with most of my craft projects, I used mainly materials I already had on hand. I only bought one frame and some ribbon to make these holiday decorations.

Make a Christmas decoration using a simple frame (c) purl3agony 2012
Make a Christmas decoration using a simple frame (c) purl3agony 2012

Framed Door Decoration

My dad made this charming wooden noel sign for me, but it looks kind of small and lonely on my door on its own. So I went to my local dollar store and bought a framed picture that was large enough to fit around my noel sign. The picture in the frame didn't matter - I removed the glass and the backing board, since I just wanted to use the frame. I painted the frame gold and then wrapped it with Christmas ribbon by stapling the ribbon in place on the back. I added a small hook and hung my noel sign within the decorated frame. This not only creates a beautiful decoration for my door, but also gives my dad's sign the attention that it deserves.

Christmas stocking decoration (c) purl3agony 2012
Christmas stocking decoration (c) purl3agony 2012

You might not have a carved noel sign from your dad :), but you can use this idea with any hanging decoration - a garland, a bunch of ribbons or bells, even a Christmas stocking. Here, I've stuffed my stocking with paper to fill it out and give it shape. I then topped it with some balls of yarn, because that's how I roll : ). However, you could also top the stocking with candy, little toys, or wrapped gift boxes.

Using Tree Ornaments or Small Decorations

Even if you do not put up a tree during the holidays, you can still decorate with Christmas tree ornaments.

Instead of decorating a tree, you can frame smaller ornaments, or a group of ornaments, and hang them on your wall.

Christmas decoration
Christmas decoration

This rustic metal tree is one of my favorite decorations. Using an old frame, I decoupaged the outside with tissue paper to give it an aged, textured look. I removed the glass and put some decorative paper behind my ornament to make it more interesting (you could also use wrapping paper). If your decorations are thicker, you can just use a deeper frame and/or remove the backing board to make more space to hang your ornaments (like I did with my noel sign).

Using greetings cards to decorate (c) purl3agony 2012
Using greetings cards to decorate (c) purl3agony 2012

Holiday Card Collage

You can also create holiday decorations using cards or photos and frames. I've kept some of my favorite Christmas cards over the years and used them for a special holiday collage. First, I chose a few cards that had a similar look and color and arranged them in a 10 x 14 frame. To make my collage more merry, I used a piece of wrapping paper as background.

I wanted to be able to use this frame for other things, so instead of painting it, I wrapped each side of the frame with red ribbon. To avoid damaging the surface, I taped the ribbon to the frame on the back side. When the holidays are over, I can use this frame for something else.

My home is looking more jolly already :) Hope these easy projects give you some ideas for decorating your home for the holidays!


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    • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Herron 

      6 years ago from USA

      Hi RTalloni - You're right! They are easy to store and easy to use again at different times of the year. Thanks for your comment!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A neat look at using frames to make holiday decorations. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I like the fact that these would be easy to store.

    • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Herron 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks! Great idea to use these as gifts! And there are a lot of places that you can buy nice frames at low prices. Or, you can makeover a frame you have using paint, ribbon and/or decorative paper. Hope you come up with some great presents. Have fun!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love these ideas. They are so cute, and frames are definitely in my budget :). I might be giving one of these as a holiday gift.

    • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Herron 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks! I think bright, cheery colors are always associated with the holiday season.

    • lethag profile image

      Letha G. 

      7 years ago from USA

      Hi purl3agony, some great ideas here. I like the Noel sign and the use of ribbon on the frames to make them more festive.

    • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Herron 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks so much!! These projects were a lot of fun :) It's great to see the different ideas people have for decorating for the holidays.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      7 years ago from United States

      What a lot of fun! Shared & voted up.

    • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Herron 

      7 years ago from USA

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy decorating your home for the holidays too!

    • theframjak profile image


      7 years ago from East Coast

      Very creative holiday decorating tips. Thanks for sharing.


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